HELPING THE PEOPLE BY BUILDING COMMUNITIES
Many people live without the basic necessities of life. Living in such a way—without shelter, clean water, food or education—is something no person should experience. Nevertheless, this is the case in Liberia. Being one of the poorest countries in the world, there is great need for building communities where people can receive the basic necessities for living a normal life.
The lack of basic infrastructure is an issue that we at the Ri’ayah Foundation are aiming to rectify. Our goal is to help one community at a time. When our work is finished in one community, we will move to the next community…and then the next. We are looking for volunteers who would like to help us in this noble endeavor as we go into underprivileged areas and build homes for the people in Liberia.
Sanitation & Clean Water
Another important aspect of our community building program in Liberia is to help provide people with clean water. Unsafe water and poor hygiene lead to a myriad of health problems such as dysentery, cholera, river blindness, and hepatitis, and it is critical that this issue be resolved. These conditions greatly deteriorate the well-being of a community, and especially affect the children, who often contract these diseases from drinking unsafe water or while playing or bathing in river water. By constructing clean water storage units, digging holes for sanitation structures and providing rainwater collection tanks, we can make a huge difference in the lives and health of the community.
Schools & Education
Education is another primary area of focus for the Ri’ayah Foundation. By constructing new schools and renovating/refurbishing ones in need of repair, we will be providing motivation and inspiration to children with little hope, as well as the nutrition and healthcare that can be provided through a community school. Provisions of books and school supplies such as paper and pencils allow students to participate in lesson activities. Building latrines for schools and teaching students the importance of good hygiene decreases the spread of disease. Providing chairs will allow students to concentrate on the lesson instead of their discomfort as they sit on the floor or in chairs with no backs. Refitting schools destroyed in the civil wars with these and other necessities will open long-closed schoolhouses and will reduce the overcrowding currently reducing the effectiveness of the few Liberian schools that are open. And, of course, providing teachers and training for new teachers will improve the quality of the education students receive.
The reinstatement of a functional school system can help give the children of Liberia the chance to get the education every child deserves. The best way to do this is by building a community that is safe for learning for both boys and girls. Rebuilding schools and providing new ones shows a community that education is important, and provides a welcoming place for community members to gather to learn. As schools are re-opened, individuals within communities will have access to education, and can begin rebuilding their lives as they learn skills that will give them opportunities for jobs in their future.
Liberians practice a traditional kuu system within their community, where neighbors plant or harvest crops at one farm, then the next family’s farm, and so on, until the crops are all taken care of. Ri’ayah’s purchase of community garden plots will enable community gardens to provide easily grown food staples, thus reducing the dependence of families and individuals on outside aid and improving their nutrition, health, independence, and self-esteem. As farming practices improve and people become adept at raising crops, we hope to help them become not only self-supporting, but able to raise surplus crops to sell at profit to raise their annual income and enable them to rebuild their lives and homes.
If you wish to help us in building sustainable communities in Liberia, please donate to our noble cause. We are also looking for volunteers—so why not join us.