MONROVIA, LIBERIA-Kid Educational Engagement Project has turned over a reading room to the Administration of Liberia School of the Blind in Brewersville, outside Monrovia.
The facility was made available by KEEP with support from Dan McNaughton Foundation.
This feat marks the 26th reading room to be dedicated by KEEP across the nine counties.
Speaking at the program over the weekend, KEEP Executive Director, Brenda Moore, said the provision of reading rooms is aimed at encouraging students to comprehend and do well in their lessons.
She noted that Liberian students barely read and the availability of the reading rooms will bridge the gap.
“There are several things we do as an organization; the main one is to encourage people to read, because in KEEP we believed that if a student can read well and comprehend well, he or she can do better in any subject. We realized that reading is a problem in our school system,” she asserted.
She noted that lack of reading on the part of school going kids has created a gap in terms of comprehension and their performance.
The Liberian educator added that completing a reading room for visually impaired students is a dream come true for her organization.
She disclosed that among the 26th libraries established across nine counties, the reading room at the Liberia School of the Blind marks the first of its kind for the visually impaired from her organization.
Madam Moore added that upon a meeting with the principal of the school at the joint education sector review in Gbarnga last year, she wrote ten libraries in the United States of America, but only two responded.
“I wrote about ten libraries in the U.S, but only two responded, everybody said no. Then I contacted one of our committed partners called Dan McNaughton, he has never been to Liberia. I told him that I wanted him to stand by me on this project and he accepted. I am grateful to him.”
The well-furnished reading room contains brailed books for visually impaired.
The KEEP Executive Director told the gathering that her organization is leaving no stone unturned in touching the lives of school going kids across the country.
She craved the support of local and international partners in ensuring that students in hard-to-reach areas benefit, and be on par with others in the urban areas.
Also speaking, the Executive Director of the National Commission on Disabilities, Daintowon Pay-Bayee, thanked KEEP-Liberia and added that the facility will enable the visually impaired to give back to society positively.
“Today, I am very happy and I am so grateful. I can say this is the first of its kinds since I have been following the community of persons with disability from 2004 – we have been working on other means of educating the visually impaired, but to have a library, I think this is the first of its kind.”
She reminded the visually impaired students that disability is not inability, and the best way to give back to society is to take advantage of education.
Madam Pay-Bayee urged the students and the teaching staff to positively make use of the library, to bring proud to Liberia.
At the same time, the principal of the school, Jackson Suah, lauded KEEP family for added value to the institution through the provision of the library.
” I don’t know how to thank KEEP and her partners. Look at us (the blinds), we don’t have money for such a wonderful asset. This is a new beginning for our school- we are forever grateful.”
Mr. Suah called on the government and other NGOs to emulate the good example of KEEP, in prioritizing the disabled community.
By: Sampson David