Monrovia – It was a moment of joy and a sense of fulfillment on Saturday when the charitable group ‘Change for Liberian Children and Youth (CLCY) celebrated its third anniversary in Careysburg, Montserrado County.
CLCY is a registered charitable organization based in Liberia and the United States that supports the learning and development of children and youth in Liberia. The organization was founded by a group of diaspora Liberians.
At a colorful indoor program held at the Careysburg Public school on Saturday, October 9, 2021, the Chairman of the board of directors and co-founder of CLCY, Mr. Emmanuel G. Sapolucia said the organization, with in its three years of formation, has undertaken several programs that have made positive impact on the lives of Liberians back home.
Mr. Sapolucia named the CLCY flagship program which include scholarships, financial aid and school supplies to under privileged children, as well as healthcare and financial empowerment as some of the organization’s major achievements.
Going into the future, he said the organization will continue to increase its support towards its program to help reduce poverty, which continues to be a menace and stumbling block for many Liberians towards the fulfillment of their dreams and aspirations.
He said the best way any nation can combat poverty is through the provision of quality education to its youth population, access to healthcare and vocational training opportunities for financial empowerment.
“The first thing I believe as a nation, is to provide access to quality education to our children. The 21 students will be given 100 percent scholarships to private schools,” he said.
“When we educate our children with quality education, provide quality healthcare and vocational training, their chances of being responsible and successful citizens will be very high. Education creates opportunity, and to focus on their lessons, the children should have access to healthcare.”
He announced that all of CLCY’s 21 students will now be given full scholarships at private schools; while the organization will re-enforce its intervention to the children’s health needs by educating the students on the prevention of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and infections. As part of its ten-year plan, he revealed that the organization has purchased five acres of land for the construction of a state-of-an-art learning center in Careysburg. But as it solicits funding, the land, for now, will be used for agriculture purposes to empower the locals.
The event was attended by officials of government including Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon and local authorities of Harrisburg Township.
Mr. Sapolucia said it was time that Liberians change their mentalities from solely depending on government for employment opportunities. “You don’t have to work at the Ministry of Finance or at the Legislature before you make money or contribute to nation building,” he said.
He called on the Legislature to begin enacting laws based on morality, and not only for political reasons.
Giving the keynote message, Senator Dillon thanked the founders and staff of CLCY for their selfless sacrifice to humanity. He said most people living in privileged societies abroad would only think about themselves and relatives, but for the founders and sponsors of CLCY to reach out to underprivileged children and youth who have no connection with them was a true act of humanity.
Addressing the beneficiaries, he called on them to make use of the golden opportunity afforded by CLCY in order to be successful citizens tomorrow. He also advised them to be humble and obedient in their sojourn. “Respect your parents, older people and learn to share, just as others are sharing with you. In all that you do, be humble and respectful,’ he advised. He offered scholarship to three of the outstanding students throughout their studies in high school.
The Montserrado County Senator was honored with a traditional gown by the organization in recognition of his ‘advocacy for the masses’ including the underprivileged.
Also speaking on the line from the United States, the founder, B. Daniel Henderson, expressed delight over the achievements of the organization in its three years of existence. He said the scholarship and guesthouse constructed in Careysburg to host partners, guests and sponsors coming to Liberia and the purchase of five acres of land for the state of-the-art learning center are standout achievements.
On behalf of his family and CLCY, he thanked Senator Dillon for accepting their invitation through a simple communication on Facebook. He also lauded the CLCY team in the diaspora and Liberia for the sacrifice and promised to come to Liberia along with his family hopefully next year for the organization’s 4th anniversary celebration.
Meanwhile, the students presented several gifts made by themselves including bags and wallets to Senator Dillon and CLCY officials including Messrs. Sapolucia and Henderson. Speaking on behalf the beneficiaries, ten-year old Joselia A. Kollie thanked CLCY for the support and called on others to help the organization reach out to more underprivileged children across Liberia. The aspiring musician and her friends performed a beautiful song she composed and produced for CYCL’s third anniversary celebration.
The event was climaxed with series of outdoor activities including sports. It was held under the theme ‘Changing Lives and Touching Society.’