Empowerment through Education
EFG's Liberian Connection: The Girls University of Todee
1990’s - Unfortunate turmoil, a period of civil war
2006 - President Johnson Sirleaf’s restoration of electricity to Monrovia
2010 - Liberia receives a significant debt pardoning
2014 - Struggles with Ebola; Norway and Liberia agree to work against deforestation
2018 - Mr. George Weah, former international football star, elected as President
Liberia is a West African republic founded by freed African-Americans in the mid-1800s. With a newly elected President, recent years of relative peace, and eradication of the Ebola virus outbreak, Liberia is now well-positioned to get back to times of sustainable growth. EFG is hopeful for the some four and a half million citizens of Liberia. In the years to come, we hope the nation’s leaders lead with integrity, encourage international investment, and embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With the UN SDGs in mind, EFG has taken an interest in Liberia's need for energy opportunities, sustainable agribusinesses, and high-quality education. As a starting point, we have partnered with James Kerkula of Community Capital Advisors (CCA) in Philadelphia to assist with a noble vision of building a school for young women in rural Liberia, which will be called the Girls University of Todee. Mr. Kerkula is a community organizer, philanthropist, and leader within the Liberian diaspora in the United States. His team’s vision is to build not just a school, but a holistically managed ecosystem that will help young Liberian women advance in the 21st century. The school will be based on a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) curriculum and will meet the physical (health) and spiritual needs of the students. Programs will include peace building and leadership education, as well as experiential learning opportunities to teach about environmental stewardship, agriculture, and entrepreneurship.
EFG is proud to have recently completed a concept paper for this school, which focused on sustainability considerations for the physical infrastructure, curriculum, and funding aspects of the project. With our advice in hand, CCA will kick off an initial fundraising campaign and begin preparations for breaking ground on the project in late 2018. EFG is also honored to have a seat on the school’s Advisory Board. Finally, plans are in the works for a member of our team to travel to Liberia this year as part of the planning team for the school. We intend to help with initial land survey work and partnership building on the ground in Monrovia and the local communities near the school’s future site, about one hour outside of the capital. We are interested in meeting the team members of the Liberian Energy Network and kicking off a Moringa seed production program with friends at Cuttington University.
Here’s an excerpt from our concept paper. We invite you to contact us if you or your organization would like any additional details.
We are also inspired by these two talks, which share some impactful ideas that informed our approach to this project: