The Special Dream of LDF

LDF director, Nyan M. Korto, is a native of Liberia where he grew up. He went through all the atrocities and brutalities of the war. He was forced to fight as child soldier and he fled in order to escape from the violence and the horrific actions he would have been forced to commit. The punishment for escaping was death. In fact, many children were killed for trying to flee.

Luckily, Nyan was able to run away and survive. So, he promised to himself that, one day, he would have done everything he could to help stop once and for all the violence in his country. While in the neighboring country, Guinea , he struggled to get his high school diploma from the Refugee High School established by the International Rescue Committee. There were no high schools nearby the Gbah Refugee Camp. Without anything to eat all day long, he had to walk for one hour and half each way, every day, to the next village, Bossou, to go to school. But he was determined to get an education and he was able to complete high school.

He then had the opportunity to come to the U.S. on the resettlement program as a refugee. While in the United States, he decided to take the lead of the Liberian Development Foundation, to help the reconstruction of Liberia and make sure that no child will never again be forced to go through the difficulties he experienced during his childhood. His goal is to spread a culture of peace in Liberia through education. His dream is to ensure that every child will have the opportunity to get an education.

Vision

The vision of the Liberian development foundation is to help Liberia to become a self-sufficient country, a land of peace and opportunities for its inhabitants. A land where children can live their childhood in peace and access educational opportunities.

Current Situation

The 14-year civil conflict has had terrible effects on Liberian people. Thousands of children were abducted and forced to become soldiers and commit atrocities of every kind. These children were typically from war zones and were economically disadvantaged and deprived of educational opportunities. Thousands of innocent civilians were murdered, raped and displaced from their home by fighting factions.

The Hard Process of Peace Building

The war has left people vulnerable and fragile. The sharpening of poverty an the lack of educational and job opportunities make people vulnerable to reverting back to violence as a way to survive. This is particularly true for youths, most of them ex-child soldiers, who are the most vulnerable and at risk.

How can Self-Sufficiency be Achieved?

In order for Liberia to become a self-sufficient country, successful peace building and local development must be achieved. To fulfill this, education is the key to instill into people strong civic values and make them realize that diversity is not a weakness but rather a great strength for a country. Education plays a crucial role in this process, aimed at making people eager to actively contribute to the reconstruction and advancement of their country.  

Deficiencies of the Educational System

Access education is a challenge after 14-year of civil war that brought the educational system to almost total collapse. Most schools were destroyed or made unusable. Most of the qualified teachers fled during the conflict. Most children, forced to become child soldiers, were not able to enroll in school because of the conflict.

Today, as a result an increased student population is trying to access a reduced number of schools. Deficiency of qualified teachers, oversized student population, insufficient materials and equipment, lack of libraries and unavailable or not affordable internet connectivity make difficult the access to educational resources and inadequate the level of education that people can achieve.

 
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