LIBERIA – A total of 13,500 Liberian Children are set to benefit from a comprehensive educational scheme under a project implemented by Street Child of Liberia, an extended arm of the nonprofit charity organization Street Child.
The project, titled: Education for Every Child Today (EFECT) will reach 6,750 children in Montserrado County as well as an additional 4,050 and 2,700 poor and out-of-school children in Margibi and Maryland counties respectively.
Launched in Monrovia Wednesday, the US$2.4 million EFECT project seeks to, over the next four years, increase access and retention in primary education for the targeted children population in Liberia.
Street Child’s EFECT project is in partnership with Educate a Child (EAC), a global program of the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, supported by the Qatar Fund for Development.
The project, which is being implemented simultaneously across Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, will occasion possibility to enhance engagement from caregivers and communities; increase the ability of caregivers to afford the cost of education; improve the experience of teaching and learning and increase access to schools at a safe distance.
As per the project focus, it refers to “Out of School Children” as children of the official primary school age range who are not participating in primary level education program as well as those over the official primary school age range, who have not received, and are currently not participating in the primary level education program.
In its formulation of the Liberian model of the EFECT project, Street Child outlined a number of constraints in social, economic, instructional, and infrastructural which are being denoted as “Barriers to Education.”
At the inception of the launch, the Country Director of Street Child of Liberia Andrew G. Tehmeh, expressed excitement over the launch of the EFECT project which he said will help support the Government of Liberia’s development agenda.
Mr. Tehmeh called for a collaboration of stakeholders including government actors and partners to rally and work towards a successful implementation of the project, adding that the project is an opportunity for Liberian children who have been excluded from the educational circle.
Owen Doel, the Sierra Leone and Liberia Country Representative for Street Child, said the EFECT program will be a contribution towards realizing the dreams and potential of nearly one hundred thousand children.
“We know we are not alone in this mission to get to zero out of school children as the broader commitments by the government of Liberia has shown.
Doel said the EFECT project will directly contribute towards pillar 2 of the Government of Liberia Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
“Street Child has come together with our esteemed partners Educate A Child, the MBSSE, and our national partners, to launch a program that will strive to help 96,000 out-of-school children in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria to access education over the next 4 years,” Doel disclosed.
According to him, the EFECT programme started in Doha, in November 2019, adding, “Street Child UK first met Educate A Child, when we received the WISE Award for our Family Business for Education work in Sierra Leone. We were struck by the alignment of EAC’s mission with ours – to see children safe, in school and learning – and our partnership was built from there.”
Doel cited that the approaches that have been built into the EFECT project have been tested, adapted, and scaled in some tough circumstances including Street Child’s Family Business for Education as well as its tailoring package of family-centered social and economic support among others.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister for Instruction at the Ministry of Education Alexander Duopu has termed the EFECT project as an “authentic fresh learning project,” and has encouraged Street Child of Liberia to ensure that parents are fully represented during the implementation of the project.
Minister Duopu underscored the importance of Public Private Partnership which he said involves the collaboration of a government agency and private sector company in the development of infrastructures as well as the delivery of public services to address the huge demands, expectations, and aspirations of societies.
He commended Street Child for turning its focus to the educational sector of Liberia and for strengthening the partnership subsisting between it and the Government of Liberia, (LINA).