Learn about our programs, ways to volunteer and how your giving helps to impact an entire country
LoPA Boarding School
In international studies literacy is defined as the ability to read and write simple sentences about one’s daily life. Liberia’s current literacy rate is 48% overall. A detailed look at literacy rates reveals a chasmic disparity between men’s and women’s literacy rates. 62% of males over 15 years old are literate while only 34% of women over 15 demonstrate literacy. Finally, approximately 1 million children do not have access to a free public education.
The goal of Liberia Forward via partnership with Liberation of Purpose Academies is to close the academic access gap by building world- class K-12 schools (including boarding schools) which will serve male and females equally. We will collaborate with other Liberian schools to bolster the efficacy and delivery of educational services throughout the country. This work will drive schools toward exceeding the national academic standards, increasing the pass rates on the West African Council of Examinations high school exit exam and prepare students for life after high school.
The mission of Liberation of Purpose Academies is to “Cultivate Genius and Inspire Creativity” in order to produce Purpose-Driven Changemakers for the next generation. This institution of learning would be the first American boarding school to return to Liberia since the beginning of the civil war in December, 1989.
Modern Housing Initiative
Houses in underserved communities in Liberia are often made of twigs and mud and occasionally cinder blocks. This program will transform living conditions for the people of the local community. Using local, renewable materials this program will train Liberians in facile modern construction methods. This training will encourage a mindset of self-reliance and cultivate the skills for entrepreneurship.
In Liberia, one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine. Furthermore, 50% of the country lives below the national poverty line. As a tenet to the fundamental needs of humans, Liberia Forward Health Care Team (LFHC) will deliver high quality, culturally sensitive, comprehensive primary and preventative care. We will also provide supportive services such as health education, translation, and transportation that promote access to health care.
Women's Advancement Center (W.A.C)
Only five percent of the students enrolled in high schools throughout Liberia are women. The Liberian female literacy rate is 39% and 33% percent of Liberian women have their first child between the ages of 15-19. It is clear that women need and deserve to be healed from the ravages of civil war and undereducation, empowered to effectively participate in civic engagement and supported in generating solutions to advance gender equality. The Women’s Advancement Center will provide adult and vocational education, counseling and women’s empowerment groups, as well as opportunities to learn skills in financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Finally, women participating in W.A.C. programs will be exposed to woman leaders and educators for the purposes of mentorship and networking for their advancement.
80% of food in Liberia is imported from around the world, sometimes from countries more than 5,000 miles away. This process creates significant access challenges with regard to obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables and other staple foods. Using modernized farming methods and training local farmers to do the same, food insecurity throughout Liberia can be eliminated. Instituting and training residents in modern farming practices will also provide job opportunities as well as for entrepreneurship. Over the long term this shift in practice, can have a significant impact on the future economic success of Liberia and its people.
Thirty-six percent of Liberia’s population are school-aged children (1,811,000 people). Further investigation reveals that only 16% of Liberia’s population (just under 800,000 people) are obtaining a formal education. This gap in educational access must be addressed. While traditionally community centers have focused on fitness and fun, Liberia Forward will build community centers to serve as an educational access hub. The centers will teach technology, establish high quality vocational education as well as provide mental health services, which promote healthy lifestyles and holistic wellness.
Imagine walking the streets at night time and it is pitch black. That is the reality for many Liberians. The related safety challenges limit residents’ productivity and safety. Through Operation Lighthouse, Liberia Forward will increase the productivity & visibility of the local communities. Installing off grid street lighting, this project will increase the current level of safety along the roadways in the community. It will increase productivity by allowing community members to extend their work day such as providing light for students and entrepreneurs who do not have electricity in their homes.
Community Safety Officer
This program will provide opportunities for local citizens to learn leadership skills through fire safety, first aid, de-escalation, and protective combative training. Upon completion, the CSOs will be highly attentive to irregularities and capable of sound judgment in difficult situations. They will work collaboratively with all members of the community & the Public Safety Department.