SOS National Director, Augustine A.K. Allieu poses with the HGIS valedictorian Nelly Wende and her parents
SOS Children’s Villages Liberia Hermann Gmeiner International School (HGIS) graduates 43 students from six counties in Liberia.
The graduation marks students’ departure from HGIS, but also marks the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, as some go on to University, College, or entrepreneurships. The Class of 2018 program was held at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship in Sinkor, Monrovia.
At the 13th graduation ceremony recently, SOS Children’s Villages Liberia awarded the valedictorian, Nelly Wende two-year scholarship to any University of her choice in Liberia.
National Director Mr. Augustine A.K. Allieu thanked the students for their achievements thus far, noting “Today is a very important day not only in the lives of the students that are graduating, but for SOS and undoubtedly for the country as well.”
Mr. Allieu says he was gratified to recognize the great effort by parents, care-givers, teachers, and the administration, amongst others whose contributions culminated into the day’s event. “For us at SOS, we feel fulfilled that we can proudly turn out their precious potentials after years of teaching, modeling and grooming.”
The SOS National Director continues, “As part of encouraging striving for excellence among our young people as well as supporting the efforts by government to support girls’ education, I have the honor to extend to our valedictorian Nelly Wende two-year tuition payment scholarship to any higher institution in Monrovia.”
In her Valedictory speech, Nelly Wende congratulates her colleagues, reminding them that their graduation was a culmination of a long and challenging, but ultimately rewarding journey.
She notes that they have expanded the SOS vision of “no child should grow up alone.” Student Nelly thanks the teachers for constantly acquainting them with content that have challenged their minds to attain that level and beyond. “I am fully persuaded that SOS passion for taking children from the dungeon to the higher height is one among none.”
Lakshmi N. Moore, Country Director for Action Aid Liberia urges the graduates to be creative. She says many people fear to fail, therefore they withdraw from activities that could benefit them, informing the graduates that lots of inventions today are the results of trying.
Madam Moore adds, “You have studied in a unique institution where talent and creativity is nurtured and you have become empowered with the skills and attributes you need to be the next generation of global leaders who can make the impossible possible.”
She urges the graduates to keep focus and keep trying, adding, “Many leaders didn’t get what they wanted for the first time”, making specific references to Liberia’s first female President Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and current President George Weah.
Special guests at the occasion included Senator Company B. Wesseh of River Gee County, who lauds SOS Children’s Villages Liberia for the level of work done in Liberia. Senator Wesseh, whose daughter was among the 43 graduates, praises SOS for giving awards and honors to deserving individuals. “Institutions including government should follow the good examples demonstrated by SOS”, says the River Gee Senator.
He stresses that awards or honors should be given based on merit, and thanks SOS Children’s Villages Liberia for awarding the two-year scholarship to the most deserving student. “I am of the conviction that student Nelly Wende deserves this scholarship judging from her track records which include the different prizes won due to her hard work.”
Also amongst the 43 graduates were four children who grew up in SOS Village. “Born in a remote village but grew up in SOS, meant I found a home, a place where I belongs” says Finda Flomo.
“Ever since the first time that I crossed the gate of Juah Town SOS Village, up until today, I’m truly fascinated by all of the amazing people coming from different background, bringing along not only their unique culture and personality, but also their aspirations and desires. Here I found out that people were just like me, looking for their better self, and constantly trying something new.” She notes.