A prominent resident of Louisiana township, Montserrado County has embarked on providing quality education to scores of Liberians in the township and adjacent communities.
Speaking in an interview with this writer recently, Boima Wright said the initiative is aimed at helping government and the people of Liberia heal what has been described as the greatest societal ill.
Through his Yatta Foundation Elementary, Junior and Senior High School, Wright, a high school dropout, is impacting lives of children in the sparsely populated township of Louisiana and parts adjacent at very minimum cost.
With many parents unemployed and heavily reliant on daily hustle such as bricks making, building construction and trade, the Yatta Foundation High School comes as a safe home for their kids.
Boima explained that the establishment of the Yatta Foundation is in fulfillment of the dream of his late father, who instructed him to build a school, a mosque and a health facility prior to his demise in 2009.
“My father called me one Saturday and instructed me to do certain thing after his death and that thing was the construction of a school, a hospital and a mosque. Listening to his message, I first built a mosque that has a capacity of 2,000 worshippers. Afterwards, I decided to build a school and this is what you are seeing here today. As I speak to you, the hospital project is ongoing,” said the Yatta Foundation proprietor.
The 32-classroom Yatta Foundation High School, according to Boima, currently has an enrollment of 319 students, having started as a study center for students in the immediate community prior to the eruption of the coronavirus disease.
Boima’s vision is not only limited to secondary education – his greatest aim is to make further extension to the project to include technical and vocational training as well as a junior college.
“I am not yet satisfied with just this high school. My greatest vision is to have a technical and vocational education component and if possible a junior college. I have already purchased the land; a three-acre, for the construction of these learning centers,” he disclosed.
“It is not my aim to make profit, but to help our people. Many people in this community for instance, used to go all the way to Caldwell for prayer on Fridays and other Muslim holidays, but this is no longer happening. Many people have died here because of common sicknesses due to the lack of health facility and that will not happen again in the soonest possible period when the health center is completed. Prior to the construction of this school here, only few parents who could afford school fees and transportation were able to send their children to school. For those who could not afford, their children sat home. But with the presence of this school here, many of our people far and near are now able to join the fight against illiteracy,” Wright, who ended his education at ninth grade level narrated.
“I did not go far in education and so I don’t want my children and other children in society suffer the same. I was only able to stop at ninth grade level at the Calvary Chapel in the night session. However, this does not stop me from providing opportunity for other children,” he added.
Mr. Richard S. Zarwolo, Principal of the Yatta Foundation High School said quality education is the best way out in helping the children of Liberia to become responsible citizens for tomorrow.
Giving a historical oversight of the institution, Zarwolo explained that the school was founded as a study center otherwise known as a “study class” in early 2019 with an enrollment of just 63 students.
“Following our first closing exercise, the following school year, which was the beginning of our main school calendar, we grew up to 150 students because many parents were impressed with our activities,” Principal Zarwolo furthered.
Like any other institution of learning, normal academic activities were aborted due to the coronavirus disease (covid-19), which has since ravaged the world since November of 2019 and Liberia in March 2020.
With the virus ceased to a considerable level and with normal school activities again back on course, the Yatta Foundation chief administrator vowed the school’s unflinching commitment to continuously provide quality education to its many students.
While the technical and vocational segment is away from being constructed, Principal Zarwolo disclosed plan for the introduction of some extra curricula activities including pastry, tailoring, computer, among others.
The growth and development of the Yatta Foundation High School does not only lie in the hands of the administration – it has been backed by students as well, through personal or class initiatives.
As the administration quests to build a strong learning foundation that will propel Liberian youth for the future, students of the ninth grade class through a class initiative have provided some sanitary materials and wall clock to the school.
Such move, according to the President of the class, Student S. Johnson Tokpa, is intended to keep the school campus tidy at all times.
“We brought these sanitary materials to help keep our campus clean at all times because the administration cannot do all for us. While they are focused on other administrative duties, we, as students, must help in the maintenance of this campus, because cleanliness is next to godliness,” Student Tokpa told the gathering.
Proprietor Boima Wright–Editing by Jonathan Browne