$25,000 was raised at the 'Raise The Roof' fundraiser Wednesday evening for Provision of Hope.
Director Karen Barkman from Steinbach says, traditionally the money goes towards construction of homes in Liberia, such as Ma Esther's house, but this year's funds will be sending many Liberian children to school. Barkman adds an elementary school student's tuition is $300 U.S. per year, while a high school student is $400 U.S. in Liberia, noting $25,000 will send many children to school.
"Education opens the door to so many opportunities like jobs and even being able to read and write is huge," says Barkman. "When a Liberian student gets to go to school, they are hungry to learn so they study hard and they really apply themselves because they know it's such a privilege to go to school."
Barkman says Liberia has an 80-percent unemployment rate which seems overwhelming and hopeless at times. She notes seeing people willing to start a small enterprise to get on their feet and provide for themselves, however, is encouraging.
"My ultimate dream [when it comes to my work in Liberia] ... I think one of the things I like to see most is uniting families together. We bring a lot of refugees home, back home to Liberia from Buduburam camp where they fled during the 14 years of civil war. My ultimate dream is always seeing children that would die, live because they got nutrition and seeing children reunited with their families."
Barkman says there is a girl named Grace who they helped through school and for three years she watched her friends go to school every day. She notes her brother was receiving funding for his education and was able to advocate to get her funding as well. Grace is now in her last year of post-secondary and will be graduating with a degree in nursing.