A Young Liberian Celebrates Independence Day with Rural Bong Citizens

GBARNGA, Bong – During this past Independence Day celebrations, a young man has launched a program that provided assistance to rural Liberians including donating food and other items to citizens in seven villages in Bong.

The program, known as Smile with the Future – Keep Liberia Hope Alive, provided materials, including clothing, copybooks, bath soaps, pens and pencils to children.

Richlue Burphy, the vision bearer of the program, told The Bush Chicken that he had raised funds for the materials from friends and family members as their way of showing love and care to others as part of Liberia’s 170th Independence Day celebrations.

Richlue Burphy making remarks at the program. Photo by: Moses Bailey.

He said the enthusiasm to identify with rural dwellers was because of visits he made to rural communities, particularly in Lofa, where he observed that most Liberians, especially those in the rural areas of the country need attention.

“We decided to organize it so that we can reach out, leave the nation’s capital and go into the rural areas, identify with fellow Liberians, share with them the food we have to eat on that day, play with them, hang out with them so that we can help make the day a colorful one for them,” Burphy said.

Burphy put the cost of the items at little over US$3,000. He said he raised part of the amount and materials from friends through a Facebook post he did soliciting support for the program.

Burphy vowed to continue identifying with rural dwellers on holidays in Liberia.

“With the support of the friends and the colleagues that we have that will keep supporting this idea and the help of God, we intend to do it regularly,” Burphy noted.

Meanwhile, parents of the children who benefited from the program expressed their gratitude to Burphy and his colleagues for the assistance.

Felecia Martin, Women Leader, DoloPaye Village. Photo by: Moses Bailey.

Felecia Martin, a community leader of DoloPaye Village, expressed her appreciation: “This is the first time for this kind of program to come in our town. We are really happy that y’all came here today to celebrate with we and our children.”

Similarly, Malachi Mulbah, a teacher in the community, also lauded the team for selecting their community for the occasion.

Mulbah used the event to call on other personalities and organizations to help improve the school in the community.

“The school is from ABC to fourth grade; we only have two teachers. The building housing the school is not even up to the level of a school. We want help from our government and other people,” Mulbah said.

He said the children of the area are eager to learn but the condition of the school is not in a good condition.

Villages that benefitted from the donation included DoloPaye Town, Maluquelleh, Lackie Village, Richard Henry Village, and Venkpeh Village.

Featured photo by Moses Bailey. 

Moses Bailey

Moses started his journalism career in 2010 as a reporter at Radio Gbarnga. In 2011, the Press Union of Liberia recognized him as the Human Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2017, he was the Development Reporter of the Year. He is also an Internews Health Journalism Fellow. Moses is also the regional coordinator for NAYMOTE-Liberia, an organization working with youth to promote democratic governance.

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