A Brazilian PhD Research Scholar of the University of Sao Paulo has hailed the New Hope Academy (NHA) located in Jacob Town, Peace Island, suburb of Monrovia, Liberia for its demonstrated commitment to advancing girls education in Liberia.
According to Dr. Germana Dalberto, a Sociologist who also holds master of laws (LLM) degree in Criminal Law, accelerating girls’ education is extremely important to Liberia’s endeavor to eradicate abject poverty for sustainable peace, security and development of the post-war West African Nation.
Delivering her keynote address recently at the program marking the 22nd Graduation ceremony of the Kindergarten Class of the New Hope Academy (NHA), on Peace Island, Ms. Dalberto said her selection to speak to the kids, was not only an honor, but also an opportunity to speak and contribute to towards building Liberia’s future, which according to her, represents the present Kindergarten Graduates.
“Poverty and limited opportunities are challenges in Liberia that are similarly found in Brazil, particularly in the community where I grew up,” Ms. Germana Dalberto told the graduates.
“The 14 Graduates today, among which are 11 females, is a significant milestone and national achievement being made by the New Hope Academy and Better Future Foundation, its principal sponsor, in closing the huge gender gap in Liberia,” the PhD researcher Germana Dalberto further told the audience.
In retrospect, to NHA’s commitment to educating the underprivileged, Ms. Dalberto who is also a lawyer currently working in the Rule of Law and Security Institutions Support Service of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), recounted the story of Professor Paulo Freire, a renowned Brazilian Educator who despite been an underprivileged school dropout, persevered through hardship, to have eventually completed his education at one of Brazil’s prestigious universities.
According to the Guest Speaker, Professor Paulo Freire, to date, is remembered as an accomplished educator who devoted his life to educating the under privileged; taught farmers to read and write, and even help them to have developed some new words from the cultures of their communities. Professor Freire also taught locals to use their education to transform the communities around them through their endowed imaginations.
Ms. Dalberto, an advocate for social justice, emphasized that education is achieved through the collective efforts of the school, family and the community. She concluded by challenging parents to at all times, transmit to their children “words of hope that they can use to believe in themselves and become agents of positive change in the larger society”.
Meanwhile, the New Hope Academy Valedictorian Miss Rutience P. Reeves, who spoke on the topic: “Determination is the Key to Education,” cautioned her audience that determination and responsibility are inseparable.
“Determination is a key pillar for education; open doors of possibilities, and without which you will not get anywhere in Life,” Miss Reeves told the audience, amidst rousing applause.
According to Miss Reeves, dux of the New Hope Academy, the seven steps required in demonstrating one’s determination include: being respectful, eager, appreciative, obedient, challenging, goal orientated, and being attentive in one’s learning process at all times.
The occasion was attended by community leaders, elders, Parents, personnel of United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), and an array of distinguished personalities, including the Secretary General of the Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform, Mr. Adama Dempester who expressed delight, and noted that the level of academic success being made by New Hope Academy and BFF worth reporting to the CSO national platform.
Prior to presenting certificate to the graduates, Ms Carla Fereguetta, who also works for the United Nations, challenged parents to at all times invest in the education of their children; and raise them in the right way that they will not depart from. “Children are like our garden that needs to be watered and nurture with good words, and good examples for their future success free of regrets,” Ms. Carla maintained.
Ms. Carla concluded by singing a beautiful song: “Oh Happy Day,” and was joined on stage by the graduating kids and their class Sponsor, Ms. Janell Eastburn, that left many in the audience in tears.
Miss New Hope Academy, Wychen Somah for her part, recited a poem cautioning all to prioritize girls’ education as a prerequisite to successfully reduce poverty, and increase universal literacy.
Meanwhile, Mr. Augustine Arkoi, Proprietor of the school, and President of the Better Future Foundation, use the occasion to reaffirm his unflinching commitment to accelerating girl’s education for the promotion of sustainable peace, democracy and development in Liberia.