Some days are dark. Some days are bright. Today is one of those days…bright, I mean. Tangible progress is often difficult to measure. But today, I can celebrate one of life’s small victories.
One cool thing we’ve been able to implement since arriving in Liberia is an employee development and tuition reimbursement program for the SFL’s national staff.
The money used to fund this program comes primarily from the money we bring in renting out rooms in the Monrovia guesthouse. Decent, western style hotels are crazy expensive, so we’ve tried to advertise our modest, but comfortable guesthouse within the international community and have already had a few guests.
We’re thrilled that one of our brightest staff members, Victoria can take advantage of the funds being generated for this program.
Victoria is SFL’s caretaker or cleaning lady at the Monrovia guesthouse and office. She is so great. We all love her. She is a single mother of two and works very hard to provide for her family.
Victoria was in the 10th grade in 1990 when the Liberian civil war broke out and was never able to finish high school. When the war erupted, she fled to Nigeria and remained there almost the remainder of her adolescence. By the time she returned to Liberia, she had two children to care for. Because it was time for her eldest to start kindergarten, she forfeited returning for her diploma so that her son could enroll in school.
She approached Tim and I recently asking if SFL would consider supporting her in achieving her GED. We asked her to bring us the information and found that for her to finish the 11th grade, the cost would be $150 USD. SFL made an agreement with Victoria that we would support her education as long as she passed her classes. Victoria is currently enrolled in the adult education program at a local high school. She attends classes from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Monday-Friday.
For $300 USD, SFL is able to invest into the future of this hard-working, single mother allowing her to get the credentials needed to obtain a higher paying position.
When I asked her why she wanted to further her education she said that she would like to go on to college and get a degree in business. I am happy to have been able to play a small part in bringing authentic transformation to this woman’s life. Knowing her has been an absolute pleasure.