Our school has a new principal. Henry H. Flomo comes to us from the Confidence School of Liberia where he was acting principal. Mr. Flomo has a “C” certificate from the Liberian Ministry of Education, and taught school for many years before returning to college to complete his Bachelor’s degree. In 2015 he graduated from the University of Liberia, majoring in Public Administration and Accounting. Mr. Flomo replaces Mr. Charles Koko who will move to the newly created position of farm manager. Mr. Koko has a degree in Agriculture, and will focus on increasing crop yields at our recently expanded 15-acre farm adjacent to the school.
Thanks to all of the individuals and churches that donated to our Campus Improvement campaign this summer. The Presbytery of the Western Reserve designated $15,000 in mission funds to match your donations, and we now have a total of $30,000 to make our dreams a reality. During the next year we’ll be building an improved kitchen and a new cafeteria for our students and faculty. Additional projects include new “right-sized” classroom furniture for our youngest students, library shelves and furniture, and some much needed classroom repairs.
Our 2016 Gala fundraising dinner will be held on Sunday, October 23rd, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Banquet Center at St. Noel in Willoughby, Ohio. This year we’ll offer reserved seating for groups of eight or more. The very popular silent and live Auctions and wine pull are shaping up to be bigger and better than ever. Individual tickets are $50, or bring your friends and reserve a table of eight for $375.
Make your reservation today using Eventbrite:
then mail your check to:
Dougbe River School
P.O. Box 18017
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
or make your payment using PayPal in the top right corner of this page.
Call Laurie Moormann at 440-339-6992 if you have questions.
The farm project is coming along, and this benefits the school in multiple ways. Since we feed the children breakfast and lunch every school day, the crops reduce our expenses and diversify their diet. We’re already growing enough to have some food to sell, too. We’re growing rice, plaintain, yams, kidney beans, soy beans, cassava, corn, and more. Some of the staff stays on campus during the summer vacation (which is only about a month and a half this year) to work on the farm.
Yeah, I know we’ve used that headline before.
Isaac Monah got a chance to visit the school in late July, and brought these home. Classes were not in session — they will resume September 7 after a brief, seven-week summer break — but there was a lot going on.
The Dougbe River Presbyterian School re-opened on Monday, March 2, after being closed for seven months as a precaution against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Some schools in Liberia re-opened today (Monday, February 16). Others, according to a report by the Monrovia newspaper Front Page Africa, are waiting until March 2.
We’re in between. We’re ready to open apart from the fact that our teachers are in Zieh Town, the hub of Konobo District, to learn more about teaching good hygiene and screening students who may be ill. Classes at the Dougbe River School will resume when the teachers return, possibly before the end of the week.
Here are some reports about what’s going on with Liberian schools today:
The Liberian government has decided to delay the re-opening of schools in the country to February 16. Schools had been scheduled to re-open February 2.
Here’s an article about the decision from the Reuters wire service, which says the action was taken “in order to better prepare safety measures against the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 3,650 people in the country but now appears to be receding.” Reuters article
The Dougbe River School and the the surrounding villages in Twarbo Region have been outfitted with hand-washing stations to prevent the spread of disease. Tiyatien Health, the organization that sends health-care workers into the villages, undertook educational efforts about hygiene and Ebola prevention on our campus last spring, when the outbreak was in its early stages and the school was still open. Grand Gedeh County remains nearly untouched by the outbreak.
Student registration continues while we wait to see if the February 16 date will hold, or there will be another postponement.
We’ve received word that the Liberian government plans to start this long-delayed school year on February 2. Dougbe River School staff members plan to begin accepting registrations on Monday, January 12. About half of our all-Liberian staff has been on campus throughout the Ebola outbreak, working on farm development and other matters, and the rest were asked to return to the school last month after travel bans were lifted.
There have been reports that some school facilities in Liberia are in poor condition and will not be ready to re-open on February 2. But Dougbe River executive director Isaac Monah, who has been in ongoing contact with principal Charles Koko and other staff members, says he’s told our school will be ready.
This news comes as the Ebola outbreak is waning, at least in Liberia. Here’s a graph from the CDC showing cumulative case counts and deaths.
Unfortunately, the graphs for Sierra Leone and Guinea are not as encouraging.
The area around our school has largely been spared by the outbreak, as you can see in this map from the World Health Organization. Grand Gedeh County is in the area in eastern Liberia that is in the lightest shade of orange, signifying a total of 1-5 cases. Also, the nation of Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Grand Gedeh’s international neighbor, has been unaffected.
As we wait for the Ebola outbreak to recede so schools in Liberia can re-open, the children are waiting, too. We’ve received letters from three of them. There’s no mail in rural Liberia, so this is how that works: Vice principal Henry Kollies took them to Zwedru — not a small journey in the waning days of the rainy season — and there they were scanned and emailed as .jpg files by Beweh Tweah, a friend of the school.
Please join us on Sunday, November 23rd at Rockefeller’s restaurant in Cleveland Heights for a fund-raiser celebrating the second anniversary of the opening of the Dougbe River School. We’ll have appetizers, music by Bill Hach (the excellent guitarist who played for the same event last year) and updates on how we’re developing the farm and building for the future.
6:30 p.m. Sunday, November 23
3099 Mayfield Road (at Lee Road)
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
$40 per person