Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Bumpy Road to a New Computer Training Center

Spryte Loriano, fresh off Liberia’s largest teacher training in its history, heads out to the countryside to follow up with impact programs in the rural areas.

This is her report:

The HUB/StarShine 3-Day Teacher Training may be over for now, but now the journey of impact continues this week into the “interior” of Liberia. The road to Grand Bassa County and the city of Buchannan took us five hours on Saturday, which was slower than usual, due to a cautious driver on very bumpy roads – the usual joke from visitors is, “I like a little road with my potholes.” I must be getting use to being knocked around by the roads in Liberia, for I actually slept most of the way there – either that, or I was just exhausted from the excitement and energy of the previous few days!

Upon arrival, we dropped off a new generator and two new computers to complete first round of ten computers at the Youth Action International Computer Training Center!

This center is the fulfillment of a promise made to the youth of Grand Bassa over a year ago, when Charlie and I first visited in July 2008. The center will provide consecutive 3-month training programs in Microsoft Office Suite to 64 youth. They will receive a Certificate of Completion and the skills to give them a leg up in finding employment. As funding for the center is completed, this building will also house a reading library for the youth with internet access and additional computers to download empowerment programs and audios. This is where HUB Faculty will be able to share their brilliance directly with the youth of this rural community, who are hungry for knowledge and an opportunity for them to grow into the future leaders of their country and the global community.

This is the only program of its kind in Buchannan. What makes it different is the cost. The current computer training program that exists in Buchannan is not accessible to most youth because it costs $200US. When you realize that most professional teachers, for example, in Liberia are paid anywhere from $30 to $100 per month, and most youth don’t have access to good paying jobs – this training is just out of reach. YAI charges the students a one-time registration fee of $10.00. As you can imagine, the youth are lining up early to fill out their applications, with hopes of being the first to be trained. Over 200 young people will apply for this quarter, but only 64 will be chosen. They are chosen based on their current level of education (high school grad’s or pending graduation), their age (they must be under 30), and their dreams and goals, as YAI wants to be sure that the most ambitious and driven students have the opportunity to expand their skills first.

This program is essential to this rural community. It will help aspiring rural youth compete for access into still a limited university system, and it will provide a more skilled employment base in the rural areas for the businesses that are re-establishing themselves after the war. Once a thriving, resort area, Buchannan, like the rest of Liberia is picking itself back up, and hopes to once again become a fine destination spot for tourists. Personally, I think it’s one of the most beautiful, lush landscapes on the ocean I’ve ever seen, and coupled with the tranquility, kindness and peacefulness of its inhabitants, Buchannan and it’s lovely people feels like home and is a place that has my heart.

from Grand Bassa with love … Spryte, HUB Chief Humanitarian Officer

PLEASE NOTE: Anyone called to donate Computers and/or shipping of computers to Liberia please contact executive@hubhub.org

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