Liberia: “I Do Not Wish to Run for Public Office”-Aaron Kennedy￼
MONROVIA — Mr. Aaron Kennedy, proprietor of the Patricia Fumbah Kennedy Elementary and Junior High School, New Guinea Community, Soul Clinic, Paynesville, who is visiting from the US to recondition a community road leading to his school for easy access, said he is not fixing the community road because he wants to run for public office.
Mr. Kennedy said he is helping to do so ahead of Rainy Season because during the rains students find and other users of the road find a difficult commuting on it and that some students go to school with dirty uniforms as a result of falling from bikes.
“I am not fixing this road because I want to run for public office. I do not wish to be any Aspirant or even a community chairman. I am helping to rehabilitate this road, because I am taking after my mother the late Mrs. Patricia Fumbah Kennedy whom this school is named in her honor. She was the first female Commissioner of Zorzor District in Lofa County. She opened many schools in Liberia including the Ganta Public School, now called the J.W. Pearson School, The Yeala Public School, The Lorma Community School, The Robert G.W. Azango Afternoon and the Aaron Kennedy School in Chocolate City. So, I also have a school here and I want to create an easy access for the students and community dwellers. Fixing the road and having cars coming in and out, will bring liberation to the community; when it rains, no vehicles can come in here,” said Kennedy.
At the work site, dump truck brought in loads of giant-size boarder rocks and dumped them on very critical spots of the community road. Kennedy was there working with a shovel alongside young boys, who, too, were spreading the smaller rocks, after the machine breaks the boarder rocks into smaller pieces.
“I came here last September 2022; there were severe floods in the community and this road was terrible. I experienced firsthand suffering these people are going through when my car got stuck in the mud. I had to get out of the car and walk in the water. I even slipped and fell in the water three times before reaching my school. With that, I empathize with the community dwellers and decided to call a meeting with the parents to see how we could fix the road,” he said.
Prior to the fixing of the road, a fund raiser program was held at the School to raise some money to begin the fixing of the road on Monday, January 30, 2023. Proceeds from the fundraiser amounted to US$792 donation, while pledges amounted to US$530. At the program, Kennedy pledged US$10,000 on behalf of his family and the school, as their initial contribution to kick-start the Soul Clinic Community Guinea Road in Paynesville.
Also speaking about the relief the road construction will bring to the community, Development Chairman Peter Jackson of the New Guinea, Soul Clinic Community, expressed his joy adding that their children will go to school without worrying about getting dirty and their wives will go to the market freely, because when it rains they can take off our their shoes and sometimes their pants due to the water and mud.
“AFL Chief of Staff Gen. Prince C. Johnson and our District #4 Representative, Madam Suakoko Dennis, all live in this community with us. We all use this same ugly road and they have done nothing about having it fixed. Mr. Kennedy, who is not living here, should come from way America to fix the road for us. This is why I want to give Mr. Kennedy his flowers while he is alive and say a big thank you to him, because if we had two Mr. Kennedy here, many changes will take place,” he said.
Asked why the community is named “New Guinea”, he said because the road was very bad and nobody wanted to go in the community. “It is like we were living in another country; so we called it New Guinea, which has approximately 5,000 inhabitants.”
Student Elijah Garteh of the Patricia F. Kennedy School said he and the other students are happy because the road is being fixed.
“When it rains, no car or motor bikes can come on this road. We have to take off our school shoes and walk in the mud and by the time we reach on campus our uniforms can be dirty. When the road is fixed, it will be very helpful for us because it will allow motorbikes to bring students to school. I think more students will come to attend this school since the road is fixed and I will help with the fixing of the road because it is for our own good. I want to encourage the community to join and fix the road without asking for pay, because it is for our own benefit,” he said.
District # 4 representative aspirant, Mr. Lyee Bility, who attended the fundraiser program, sent 15 men to help Kennedy fix the road.
“We are here to work because if this road is fixed, it will bring relief to our mothers going to the market and students going to school. If we had two or three Mr. Kennedys in this community, I think a lot of things will be done. We cannot sit and depend on the government to do everything for us so we have to intervene as community dwellers to help Mr. Kennedy with this road project,” said Momo Nyehn, who headed Mr. Bility’s 15 men at the job site. He is also chairman for Lyee Bility Foundation.