A beacon of hope

It had been thirteen years since I migrated from Liberia, my beloved homeland. As excited as I was to come home to visit my friends, family and the love of my life, I am returning back to the United States with a saddened heart. One might conclude that the cause of my melancholy is my departure from Liberia after only a week of visitation, leaving once again my love ones behind. Unfortunately, as truthful as such assumption might be, my early departure is the least factor of my doleful sentiment. Why? The affordances of technology now enables me to see and speak with love ones even in rural counties of Liberia. I also plan on increasing the frequency of my visitation to Liberia as often as possible. So indeed I am saddened leaving those I love behind, but this pain, like I did for the previous thirteen year, I am prepared to bear.

However, what I cannot withstand and neither can the people of Liberia is the hopeless disposition that permeates our country due to poverty, corruption, greed, marginalization, and worst of all, the lack of adequate educational support system. It is difficult returning to one of the most prominent educational institutions in North Carolina, NC State University, to continue my graduate education having experienced and seen with my own eyes the disparities between American school systems and that of Liberia. How can I travel everyday to and from school in one peace on the Wolfline bus system knowing my brothers and sisters must walk miles in scorching heat to their various learning centers? On arrival to these substandard campus facilities, Liberian students enter classrooms filled with broken chairs and desks, torn textbooks, and dusty floors – conditions that are not conducive to learning. Worst of all, majority of students in Liberia don’t have food to eat at home and are not served lunch while at school. Even with the best of learning facilities NC State has to offer, it would be nearly impossible for me to pay attention to my course work while at school on an empty stomach.  It saddens me knowing the average Liberian household lives on less than one dollar a day.

The list of deficiencies the Liberian educational system face is insurmountable. Thus, my desire is still, as it was prior to my revisit to Liberia, to open a design school that will serve as a beacon of hope for current and future generation of Liberian students. This will take tremendous effort in both research and planning. Now more than ever, I am willing to push beyond my limits to accomplish this invaluable dream not for my benefit, but for that of my beloved homeland, Liberia.