Five Liberian kids are due to be flown to Lagos, Nigeria this weekend to be schooled on Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s scholarship scheme that is expected to take them through their current academic status up to college level.
Receiving the kids prior to their departure this weekend, President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf encouraged them on Thursday, 14 September to keep it better by studying hard when they go to Nigeria.
President Sirleaf recalls that Governor Okorocha came here couple of days ago for the purpose of meeting the kids and to tell her about his Rochas Foundation and what he would do for the beneficiaries.
Mrs. Sirleaf notes that the kids are going to be supported free through high school and maybe even finish college by the Rochas Foundation, adding that in their early ages, there will be a lady who goes with them to monitor them.
According to President Sirleaf, Gov. Okorocha is awarding five scholarship slots each to all the African countries, of which Liberia is a beneficiary. She commends the kids for the grade points they have acquired in school here, asking them to keep it better by studying hard in Nigeria.
Notwithstanding, President Sirleaf remarked that the program being managed by the Social Welfare arm of the Gender Ministry here sometimes does not get known by people because government doesn’t tell its story “well enough,” particularly for children and women.
She seizes the occasion to disclose how government has taken girls from the streets and put them in places of learning like Ricks Institute, Bromley, and other institutions and is taking care of them.
Presenting the kids to President Sirleaf, Acting Gender Minister Sieane Abdul – Baki says the scholarship awarded the kids is in recognition of the many efforts made by President Sirleaf that sees Imo State Gov. Okorocha of Nigeria presenting Liberia the scholarship slots last month.
She says the criteria set in awarding the scholarship targeted the “poorest of the poor,” revealing to the President that the beneficiaries include Ebola survivors, Ebola orphans and poorest of the poor.
Madam Baki indicates that the kids will depart Liberia on Friday, 15 September and will arrive in Lagos by 12 noon to be met by liaison officer from Liberia’s Embassy in Nigeria.
She notes that the Rochas Foundation in Nigeria was established to give kids access to education in Africa from high school level and supported at university level.
“These kids, most of them are orphans – Ebola orphans. And then two of them are also from West Point, the slum area in Liberia,” Madam Baki says.
She notes that their selections were based on academic excellence, with averages ranging from 80 to 87 percent, while economic situations were also being considered in the process.
By Winston W. Parley