Visually Impaired Girl Brings Audience to Tears At KEEP Dinner
Monrovia – “Living a life as a visually impaired person in Liberia is a very difficult, for which no one in this room would ever want to experience,” sadly said Victoria Maizee.
Report by Mae Azango [email protected]
Sixteen-year-old Victoria Maizee is in the 10th grade at the Jacob Town Calvary Temple AGM School. She was born blind unto blind parents.
She never dreamt of living with Ma Oretha Tiah, a stranger, who took her in when her blind mother abandoned her two years ago.
Bringing tears to the eyes of everyone in the Ball room at the Monrovia City Hall, Victoria emotionally narrated her sad story, as she read by moving her fingers over the brails, at the Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) Fund Raising Dinner.
“Living a life as a visually impaired person in Liberia is a difficult life, for which no one in this room would ever want to experience.
Both my parents are blind; my father died two years ago, leaving my blind mother with four children to care for us. Having no means to earn an income, my mother left for Nimba and took my brother and sisters along with her and I was left alone,” Victoria narrated.
“Since 2015, KEEP heard about me and other children like me, they have been helping me with school supply and other basic needs.
It is not easy, but with love and support from you all in this room, I will be helped to further my education. I say thanks to Ma Oretha, who took me in and is taking care of me, and to Sister Aminata Johnson and Sis. Brenda, for paying my school fees, I am also thankful to everyone who has been supporting this program over the years,”
Serving as guest speaker, Mrs. Monique Cooper Liverpool, President Rotary Club of Monrovia, said in order to affect social change and do something meaningful for others, it will also mean that people should challenge themselves to give time, effort and resources.
“When we accept this challenge, we will know how to support and invest our energy. My advice is for you to restore your physical passion and use it in helping others.
KEEP has provided reading rooms and computer labs in five counties, including hard to- reach counties like Gbarpolu and Grand Gedeh counties. Her project has brought smiles to the faces of many children,” Mrs. Liverpool further said.
She also stated that the reading rooms have created avenue for others to voluntarily provide their time and services in helping the kids to read.
“KEEP has also provided skills training for girls in three counties in Liberia.
The question is how can each of us do something in supporting the work of KEEP?
As for me I will give in my time services and resources in supporting the work of KEEP in educating our kids,” she promised.
Also speaking, Mrs. Brenda Brewer Moore, Executive Director of KEEP, said the organization received over ten sewing machines from one of their sponsors last year, and the machines have taught the girls at the “Love A Child Orphanage” how to design and make fabrics to sell.
And one of their biggest achievements is opening a reading room in Gboloken, Grand Gedeh County.
“For those of you who have been to Grand Gedeh, you know the ride is not easy, it is a 12-hour ride on a road that is not smooth at all.
We were able to build the reading room from scratch. Establishing a reading room with over hundred books is a great help to the children in doing their school work,” said Mrs. Brewer Moore.
“In Gbarpolu County, we have built a playground for the children and have started training girls, who had dropped out of school in skills training, such as baking and sewing. As you may know that Gbarpolu is a county where many girls do not reach sixth grade without getting pregnant.
Therefore, we are asking Action Aids to help us with teachers for this program in Gbarpolu. Most of all we need all of your support to build more reading rooms and computer labs,” Mrs. Brenda Brewer Moore appealed.
She pointed out that during the last 11 months they have successfully established two reading rooms and one resource center.
The resource center established in Gbarpolu does not only provide free computer literacy to both teachers, students and other members of the community but has also been training women and young girls in tie dye as well as provide hundreds of books for students in its largest reading room to date.
The project is a compliment of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).