Phebe, Bong County — The Lift Liberia Fellowship Program (LLFP) can sum up its philosophy in three simple words: “service to humanity”.
By choosing not to align itself with any one cause, the Bong County-based non-profit organization keeps its horizons open. As a result, LLFP has come to administer a diverse array of programs.
Education, healthcare and youth empowerment are just a few of the causes embedded in LLFP’s initiatives. Though conceived in accordance with a long-term vision, the programs have produced tangible results at a consistent rate since the Foundation’s establishment in 2017.
“Our every action is geared towards positively improving the lives of those we serve, and using every opportunity given to us to leave a legacy of hope,” Gayflor Beyan Garvelee, chief executive officer of the organization told FrontPageAfrica.
Seizing every opportunity that comes their way is a small and exceptionally passionate staff. Garvelee, a Liberian based in the United States of America, says despite being away from the zeal and aspirations of his teammates is worthy of praise.
“I felt like having such people joining forces under one umbrella would go a long way in making a measurable impact,” he explained.
So far, Garvelee’s intuition has proved to be true. Under his watch, the Foundation’s operational capacity spiked from two projects annually to three per quarter. Over 200 underprivileged children’s lives were touched in the meantime — double the numbers seen in previous years.
The upsurge stems, in no small part, from a proportionate ability to reconcile large ambitions and limited resources with fully realizable, well-structured solutions. And nowhere is the balancing act more successful — and more needed — than in LLFP’s education programs.
Spreading Opportunity Through Education
Education in Bong County occupies the front lines of LLFP’s agenda, receiving more than 65 percent of their budget each year.
The organization puts its weight behind education in Bong County to service a social landscape in dire need of it. “Our educational programs, to a large extent, address the most pressing needs of Bong County’s children and youth,” said Garvelee.
“Most parents are not able to take care of the basic tuition needs of their children,” he continued, “and you find very intelligent young people dropping out of school”.
The pressures of breadwinning, in addition to endemic gender norms, often triumph over what education in Liberia has to offer. Garvelee says socioeconomic status is by far the biggest differentiator in determining who is in and out of school.
In response, he has started the Stay in School Scholarship Program, which covers the tuition costs of disadvantaged youths in full. Built into the program are resources that extend beyond the classroom, including mentorship and potential internship opportunities.
Fulfilling and Creating a Legacy of Hope
Although the initiatives are designed to architect a more sustainable future for education in the county, they draw inspiration from the past — more specifically, from the childhood memories of Garvelee.
“My personal experiences coupled with the challenges of going to school in Liberia motivated me to set up the Foundation,” he told FrontPageAfrica.
“My parents’ ideas and belief in education and a good life for all were an additional motivating factor,” Garvelee elaborated.
Even in the face of a persistently short supply of funds, the organization continues to move forward thanks to the combined efforts of Mr. Eugene Ware, an American and a leader that believes in education, transformation and results.