Changemaker: Mahmud Johnson
Liberia has a “free and compulsory” primary education policy, but paradoxically also has an eighty percent illiteracy rate. The country’s weak economy hugely contributes to people not sending their children to school. For example, 85% of the country’s potential labour force is unemployed. This leads to many parents sending their children to sell wares on the streets and in markets instead of sending the children to school. Also, although primary education is technically free, parents still have to pay a considerable amount of money for books and other related educational costs and many parents just cannot afford these expenses.
This leads to this CAP’s goal: to increase and sustain primary school enrollment.
iMHere! is a summer day camp that will provide educational and recreational opportunities to adolescent boys aged 13-16 years old in Central Monrovia, Liberia, who have never attended school. This program will serve 20 boys from the streets, providing them opportunities to lead better lifestyles.
Over seven weeks, the project will run reading and writing workshops five days a week, as well as workshops on conflict resolution, reproductive health, positive life skills and career opportunities. As members of our target group really love to play sports, we will also develop a sports program that will serve to maintain participants’ continued interest in the project and forge a spirit of teamwork among them.
We further realize that when parents are adequately informed, they can be excellent motivators for their children. Hence, we will include participants’ parents in most of our activities, hoping that parents will continue those discussions with their children at home. Finally, we will match the boys with young adult mentors who will not only monitor the boys’ activities during the project, but will also forge lasting friendships and serve as positive role models after the programs’ end.