President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commended the Chinese-initiated Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia for donating assorted educational, medical, sports and nutritional supplies to children at Lolognta Childhood Development Center in Sinkor, Monrovia.
An Executive Mansion release said, the President’s commendation was contained in remarks delivered on her behalf by Mr. Sylvester M. Grigsby, Minister of State Without Portfolio at the handing over ceremony by the Chinese Confucius Institute on Friday, March 18, 2016 at Lolognta Childhood Development Center in Central Fiamah Community, Sinkor Monrovia. Minister Grigsby said the donation is another manifestation of the true people to people friendship between China and Liberia.
He said the government and people of Liberia are extremely appreciative of the generous donation by the People’s Republic of China and indicated that the donation is a clear manifestation of China’s true friendship and partnership to Liberia. He observed that China has continued to be a significant and strategic partner to Liberia’s development agenda adding, “We recall when China came forward as the first country to identify with Liberia at the height of the Ebola outbreak that killed many Liberians”.
However, Minister Grigsby indicated that the donation bears further testimony of how China remains a dependable partner in Liberia’s reconstruction drive. He stressed the need for renewed momentum around the issues of early childhood development in Liberia – that will reinforce community partnership organized around education and health as a viable and sustainable way to achieve the desired objectives. Hon. Grigsby noted that the donation will go a long way in improving learning in a healthy and safe manner for the children of Liberia.
In remarks, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Zhang Yue said the donation is done under the framework of China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action, which was initiated during the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2012, with the purpose of supporting and enhancing exchanges and cooperation between social organizations, enterprises, women and youth from both sides.
He said the Confucius Institute, Chinese-owned companies and Liberian institutions have implemented a series of actions including the donation of agriculture items, street lights, school and office materials. The Chinese envoy furthered that Liberia and China have maintained a profound traditional relationship, which lies on the solid foundation of their peoples’ support.
He expressed appreciation to Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia for the donation adding, “You are not just sitting on campus to teach Chinese Language but also sharing with communities”. For his part, Dr. Huang Jian, Co-director of Confucius Institute said the children are the future of Liberia and therefore must be supported at all levels. He thanked President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her commitment to the initiative and pledged his institution’s continued support to education in Liberia.
Earlier, the school’s management team, represented by Madam Catherine Davis, praised the Liberian leader for the farsightedness and vision, which she said has greatly helped the children and encouraged others emulate same.
Lolognta; which means “Little Children’s Hut” in the Kpelle language, was established by President Sirleaf as a gift to the people of the Fiamah Community in February 2011. The school combines literacy, culture, health, social, religious and other educational-related activities with the development of the child. The school is a tuition-free institution. The Lolognta Childhood Development Center is clearly an intervention, which personifies President Sirleaf’s desire to make the children of Liberia smile again.-Press release