Liberia: Cynthia Toney Testimony Academy Educating Less-fortunate Kids
Monrovia – This newspaper recently reported that while few kids were in schools, so many in their age group are presently out of school.
Some parents had told us that their children were not in school because of the high fees being charged by the schools. They blamed their lack of unableness to meet these high costs on the economic hardship in the country at the moment.
However, at the Cynthia Toney Testimony Academy, somewhere in Parker Corner, Brewerville City, adjacent to Monrovia, can be heard sounds of laughter from happy kids, who are in school. This school is being run by the House of Testimony Church.
“We have over 150 students; our place is small we cannot take more students but parents are still begging for us to take in their children. We operate like a charity here: we provide free books and uniforms to many of our students and we charge a minimum fee, yet parents are still crying,” said Pastor Ezekiel Douglas, House of Testimony and proprietor, Cynthia L. Toney Testimony Christian Academy.
Pastor Douglas’ academy, which is a private school, charges parents L$1,000, which is less than US$10, but parents are still complaining that the amount is relatively high.
“We reduced the amount by half, which is now L$500. But it is so sorrowful to see that parents cannot even afford that amount. We have over 10 students whose parents have paid only L$150, which is equivalent to US$1 and they have promised to pay the balance L$350 at the end of the month. So you see how bad the situation is for parents? This shows that things are so tough that they cannot even afford that little amount,” said Pastor Douglas.
Some of his students are orphans of people who died during the deadly Ebola virus disease outbreak. Kids in this category are being supplied uniforms, books and shoes and their guardians don’t pay any fees.
His academy is sponsored by Apostle Cynthia L. Toney of True Foundation Evangelistic Ministry, USA, in whose honor the school is named.
Apostle Toney’s sponsorship helps pay the teachers, staffs and the daily operations of the academy.
The school has more girls than boys because Douglas’ wife promotes girls education and empowerment. She even plans on opening a free adult literacy program, which will be operated during night hours for market women.
Pastor Douglas wants to take in more students but would need additional support. He is contemplating on asking the Ministry of Education for additional support.
With this support, he can be able to rent a bigger space they have identified nearby.
“We are also asking and trusting God to send kind hearted individuals to help us pay for this bigger space for now. Because we have an acre of land and if we can put down a structure to host over three to five thousand students, we can try to get many of the wayward kids from the street,” Pastor Douglas indicated.
He can be reached at +231777822105.