By C.C. Bernard
Yes, this is C.C Barnard, the original…dispatching my second report consisting of the good things that I see happening here in Liberia. The revolution that is taking place despite all the bad news that we hear in the Diaspora from time to time. So here we go….
I should say sweet, sweet SMART LIBERIA!!
I just love these young people!!
I was introduced to this organization by a childhood friend, he actually treated me to lunch, since I was a “Just Come” and did not know my way around yet. The food was and still is, extremely excellent and very reasonable. Later on, I was introduced to Dieudonne K. Perry, The Executive Director of the group and to say the least, I was blown away. I immediately took my notebook out of my tote and began to take notes and scheduled an interview to get a good understanding of their work and impact on the nation.
It was so refreshing to know and see in action an organization visualized, organized and being operated by young Liberians…made me want to dance and shout… I got my One Way Ticket..
For those of you who are preaching MINDSET CHANGE, this group is actually doing it…so send some money to them yah!
Here is the geelah….
SMART Liberia was founded in 2011 and the group started the Student Reform Initiative. Three high school students, Ahmed Konneh, James E. Kiawoin, and Marvin R. Tarawally realized that they worked together very well and were interested in bringing change to Liberia, especially in the mindset and youth empowerment.
Their primary goal is to help create a Liberia where well-educated, entrepreneurial, passionate, and values-driven young leaders are connected and positioned to drive change across Liberia and beyond.
And how do they make this happen, seeing that the average age of the leadership team is 25?
1. They identify aspiring young leaders.
2. Create the space to equip them with the skills and opportunities to create
social change and in leading meaningful lives, and
3. Curate intentional programs to enable them to create impact.
The fact that I had lunch in their Canteen and continue to have lunch there, tells you that they have achieved one of their goals. In fact, I only eat their food these days because they cook Grandmanish, if you know what I mean…..yes, I do carry out as well…they have a nice location on Jallah’s Town Road, Monrovia, Second Street behind the Monrovia City Hall. And I love the student prices…try it sometime.
When they select these young people, they are placed into the four mindset changing programs:
Preparing top-performing students with demonstrated service to the community for quality educational opportunities online and/or overseas.
The Education Advancement Track is a gap-year program that prepares top-performing high school students with demonstrated service to the community for quality educational opportunities online and/or overseas.
This program has four components
1. Entrepreneurship and Leadership
2. College Prep
3. Global Mindset Development
4. Job Readiness and Internships
Girls Entrepreneurship and Technology Program (GET)
Girls Entrepreneurship and Technology Program (GET) is designed to empower and encourage entrepreneurship and technology among young girls and young women in secondary school to university level and tertiary institutions in Liberia as a way of promoting innovation and fighting extreme poverty in our communities.
The Components of this Program are:
2. Funding & Incubating
3. Sharing and Inspiring
The Employment Accelerator (EA)
The Employment Accelerator (EA) is a platform in SMART Liberia’s newly launching Change-makers’ Village that aims to train college seniors and recent graduates through high impact, on-demand skills-based courses and develop an online job portal to match them with companies across Liberia. The EA will partner with companies and match promising participants with entry-level jobs through our online job portal.
Graduates of the Employment Accelerator Program have a deeper understanding of Liberia and the world and are fully equipped with leadership, communication, and entrepreneurial skills enabling them to be productive, ingenious employees. They are also exceptionally fluent in Google Suite, Microsoft Essentials (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel), and the productivity tools, Slack and Asana. Proper workplace etiquette and the preparedness to thrive as conscientious global citizens are also knowledge these local talents have been imparted with.
Tech for Social Impact
Using Code to solve real problems in Liberia, they are Training young Liberians coding/programming and software development skills to build applications that solve real problems while creating jobs.
And what have they achieved?
They have graduated their first two classes and sent them abroad for training. The graduates will return to help rebuild Liberia.
I want to personally thank President George Manneh Weah for dedicating the SMART LIBERIA Facility in July of 2019. Special thanks to the visionaries, the boards of directors and advisors. Special thanks to the donors who honor the grant requests from these young people.
Hey Liberians in the Diaspora, please join me in financially supporting SMART LIBERIA, send good people their way. Go to WWW.SMARTLIBERIA.ORG.
Let us do this…
There you go, my second report on the good things that are happening back home. Let me hear from you.
Despite the bad news you hear about Liberia, this is another evidence that Liberia is Rising again. Why don’t you help this group change more minds? Enh? This way we can build the Liberia We Want.
Until Liberia Rises Again and we get Liberia we want…hands on approach to our development is the best.
I am on Du Port Road Proper, doing my part.
One Way Ticket To Monrovia
+231 077 646 3116