Monday, March 29, 2010

What We Do

LOEP is fortunate to have a solid group of strong supporters who partner in our efforts to provide hope for the future to orphans in Liberia. Thanks to wonderful support of caring, compassionate and committed folks, LOEP has come a long way from our beginnings. In the last days of the 14-year war in Liberia, our work was mainly focused on shipping donated school supplies (and rice) to orphans at two orphanages as the nation struggled to recover from chaos and devastation. As the political situation in Liberia has stabilized, LOEP has continued the focus on educational support, finding new opportunities to work with and serve orphans and vulnerable children there.

The LOEP scope of work has broadened so much that it has been suggested this space be used highlight some of the newer projects and continuing efforts to support educational opportunity for children in Liberia.

School Supplies

LOEP continues to send two to three shipments a year to two orphan schools and Lott Carey Mission School. The shipments include basic school supplies for hundreds of students who do not have pencils, paper or crayons. LOEP school supplies are donated by friends here in the U.S. who take full advantage of the late summer back to school sales. The supplies are collected, packed and delivered to the shipping agent in Hyattsville, MD by LOEP volunteers. In Liberia, the supplies are distributed to students in two orphan schools - CRM and AAMOM. Supplies are also sent to Lott Carey Mission School and provided to the orphans and vulnerable children who can attend that excellent academic school only because of scholarships and individual sponsors.

LOEP also sends instructional materials and classroom supplies for teachers in orphan schools and at Lott Carey Mission School. Posters, flash cards, special instructional materials such as classroom microscopes, telescopes and teacher supplies are provided for teachers who take part in the annual LOEP teacher training. The shipment last Fall also included audio visual equipment and instructional videos for the school libraries. Although electrical power is provided by generator and fuel is expensive, the schools can ocassionally provide special instructional events using the donated audio visual equipment. Television is very limited in Liberia and non-existent in orphanages, of course. They don't have Discovery Channel but students can now learn about the big wide world and the wonders of nature with group viewings in their schools.

LOEP is much more than sending supply shipments. Check back to read more about how we support teacher education and training and develop innovative new training techniques and tools for the unique needs of teachers in Liberia.

Next: LOEP Teacher Support

Friday, March 5, 2010

Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Click on the title of this post to read about Mina.

This achingly sad incident is not so unusual - the UN uses the term "orphans and vulnerable children" which aptly describes every single child in Liberia - no medical care, no legal protection and exposure to the absolute worst that mankind and the world can dish out.

Andrew, author of the linked post and director of Orphan Relief and Rescue, met with the LOEP team last month in Liberia. His group is doing great work there and we agreed that we are eager to explore opportunities for working together on teacher training.

Knowing about Mina and all her vulnerable brothers and sisters in Liberia is haunting. LOEP efforts feel like too little, too late. Heartbreaking.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Connections and Good Work

Those of us involved in LOEP often feel awe-struck at the great work being done by Liberians and our friends here in the U.S. who work with Liberians.

Last year we met little Tracy. Tracy is the very smart child who is expected to be admitted to Lott Carey as the school's first deaf student when she completes her pre-school studies. This delightful little girl was our introduction to the very difficult world of the deaf in Liberia and served as a catalyst for us to contact these great folks who work with the deaf in Liberia.

Tricia and her husband Aaron were in Liberia in 2008 and, like those of us on the LOEP team, became committed to working with highly motivated, determined, compassionate Liberians who are struggling against huge obstacles to make life better in their recovering nation. Tracy and Aaron work through the Methodist Church in Illinois.

Check out their fine work on behalf of persons with disabilities in Liberia: