Senwah Foundation: Building Minds, Rebuilding Lives in Liberia
Schools in Liberia have been shut down since September due to the Ebola outbreak. They are expected to reopen in February, but what children will be coming back to are broken desks, classrooms with no roofs, and blocks as chairs. The everyday struggle outweighs education in Liberia and it is Senwah Foundation’s mission to change this by building minds and rebuilding lives one school at a time. Founder and Executive Director, Jassie-Fredcia Senwah, envisions a Liberia where every individual is motivated, empowered, and safe to achieve their dreams (www.senwahfoundation.org).
Senwah Foundation was created in honor of T. Albert Senwah, and Jassie O. Senwah. They were siblings and dear family members of Jassie, who lost their lives in the political upheaval and civil unrest in Liberia. The foundation is dedicated to keeping their legacy and passions alive. Everything Jassie has been through propelled her to create a world in which children in Liberia would never have to face what she saw. “I’ve been through war, I’ve seen my grandmother negotiate with rebel leaders who I believed were going to kill us all”, she said. In 2012, Jassie began the start of an amazing organization, which became officially recognized with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2013. All of the foundation’s proceeds go to supporting the people of Liberia.
Jassie believes that the key to a strong nation is a strong education, which prompted her idea to rebuild schools through Senwah Foundation. ‘I know first-hand the importance of education, and I have seen the tremendous difference it can make in one’s life.” Jassie says. After visiting four schools where devastating broken buildings and classrooms looked more like jail cells, Senwah Foundation decided to redefine what was possible and rebuild schools in Liberia, starting with the Mani elementary school. This school is located in the village where Jassie’s father is buried and gave her motivation to begin the journey there. With the money raised and donations from local agencies such as Cradles to Crayons, The Murphy School, and Sherwin-Williams Paint, Senwah Foundation was able to revamp a whole classroom in Mani School. They painted, put 70 new desks in classrooms, and received book donations for a reading room that will be a new addition to the school in February, just in time for it to be reopened.
With dedication and persistence, Jassie and Senwah Foundation will continue rebuilding several other schools in Liberia, and begin to offer other services through the foundation such as; trauma-based counseling, victim advocacy, and Ebola outreach, which is expected to launch in the future. The best is yet to come from Senwah Foundation.
WiLabers: I encourage you to check out what Senwah Foundation is doing and help support their cause to create amazing changes in Liberia at www.senwahfoundation.org!
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR: CHRISTINE BERARDINO
I’m an advocate in law enforcement and am passionate about women’s rights advocacy. I received my Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Hampshire in 2011, with a dual major of Psychology and Justice Studies.
Boston, MA | @cberardino
Read more about and from Christine: Christine’s WiLab Profile