Grade 5 student Maddie collects books for children in Liberia

20160525_143518For her PYP Exhibition project, grade 5 student Maddie chose to support children’s literacy by collecting books to send to children in Monrovia, Liberia.

 “Did you know that over 750 million people in the world can’t read? Having books at home can bring that number down” Maddie.

As part of the research for her PYP project, Maddie interviewed Aletha Wallace who works with the “Give a book for Liberia” scheme, which collects books and sends them to the National Library, and to primary, middle and high schools within and around Monrovia. When Aletha explained to Maddie that the education system has been severely affected by the Liberian civil war and the illiteracy rate is high, especially for girls, Maddie decided that her “Action” for the project would be to organise a collection of books at St. John’s.  Maddie has collected around 150 books which will be sent to Liberia with others collected in Belgium.

Excerpts from the interview:
Athena Williams is originally from Liberia, but is now a naturalized, Belgian citizen. She lived through the 14 years civil war in Liberia before coming to Belgium to study, gaining a degree in Biotechnology. She is currently working full time while still studying for a Master’s degree in in Management and Policy in Healthcare at VUB.

What organization do you work with?   “One of the institutions I am currently helping to collect books is the ULAB / ELFLA (Liberian Association in Belgium/Europe). ULAB/ ELFLA have launched a project name ‘Give a book for Liberia’.   The books I will be receiving from you will be going to that organization.”
 
Why did you decide to help the children in Liberia? “Education is important and I believe everyone should have an equal opportunity. The education of a child during his or her early years is very important in shaping his or her future. I went through the fragile school system of my country Liberia, but I have had the opportunity to have a decent education and still became somebody. I would like to have an impact on others and help them reach their full potential. This project is already helping hundreds of children, but in the future I hope to reach the remote parts of Liberia where these books are greatly needed.”

Well done Maddie!