Ancient Chinese sages are quoted as saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Such a maxim is similar to the Cinderella story of the Nimba County Community College (N-Triple-C).
In 2011, when the college, under the leadership of Dr. Yar Gonway-Gono, initially opened its doors to embark on the onerous process of imparting knowledge to deserving students, it was metaphorically taking the very first step of what promises to be a perpetual journey within the realm of academia.
As would normally be expected in such a situation of dire needs, 438 students, who had been yearning to quench their thirst for higher education, scurried for enrollment at the college.
Now two years later, the N-Triple-C is making some monumental headway. The college’s initial enrollment has rapidly increased by more than 200 percent to 1,038 students. Obviously, a lot of students are eager to enroll, but the facilities are still inadequate, because the school is literally starting from a scratch. Moreover, some potential students are still being deterred by the financial squeeze in the country.
But the president of the college, Dr. Gono appears to be abundantly mindful of the herculean task ahead. As a result, she is leaving no stone unturned in initiating the necessary networks aimed at yielding benefits for current and future students of the N-Triple-C, Nimba County and the Liberian nation at large.
In a communication dated January 28, 2013 to several eminent Nimbaians, Dr. Gono announced the establishment of what she then referred to as “NCCC-USA Advocacy Group” (now FRONICCCO) to galvanize financial and material resources for the college.
“We know that Nimba County is great and we are great people who have profound capacities, and who possess rare combination of exceptional talents, abilities, gifts, and all forms of significant experiences that make us outstanding people in the world”, the N-Triple-C boss noted at the time, and urged all Nimbaians and friends of the county to harness their talents, connections and capabilities to uplift the college for this generation and posterity.
One result of such vigorous networking by Dr. Gono is the 18,000 books valued at $280,000 which have been secured by some close friends and partners of this energetic academician in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
According to Barbara Jo Koch-Smith, when the books eventually arrive at the college’s campus in Sanniquellie, they will “fill the empty shelves of NCCC…” Ms. Koch-Smith, who has scheduled a sumptuous social event on June 1, 2013 to raise funds for underwriting the cost of shipment for the huge volume of books, said in an email that besides fulfilling the immediate needs of the N-Triple-C students, “this library will be accessible to the greater community of Nimba County.”
“By donating what you have, you will help thousands of people have life changing access to books, education & hopeful future”, Barbara further emphasized in her email, adding that the college’s library “will be the FIRST library to serve the 450,000 residents of Nimba County.”
The three-hour fundraiser which will feature live music, an assortment of African cuisines among others, is slated for 6p.m. to 9p.m. at the Midtown Global Market on 920 East Lake Street in Minneapolis.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Governing Board of the Friends of Nimba County Community College (FRONICCCO), Mrs. Cecelia Hippe and the Executive Director of the organization, Mr. A. Gounquoi Domah are appealing to citizens and friends of Nimba County, advocates and supporters of higher education as well as well-wishers to turn out en masse in support of this major N-Triple-C event.
Speaking separately on May 24th during a teleconference, the two FRONICCCO officials noted that since the scheduled fundraiser was the first major project being undertaken by a FRONICCCO partner organization, it was imperative for FRONICCCO to have an official representation at the event. They are therefore, encouraging Liberians and all those concerned about Liberia, especially those residing in Minnesota and other surrounding states to grace this occasion with their presence and donate to such a worthy cause.