The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has been distributing educational supplies to some 2,000 Liberian public schools, benefiting nearly half a million students in the post-election West African country where civil conflict raged for 14 years.
“The school supplies are going to every government primary school in the country,” UNICEF Representative in Liberia Angela Kearney said. “Starting last month in Maryland County, in southeastern Liberia, UNICEF has been distributing 5,500 educational kits.”
Each kit consists of enough exercise books, pens, pencils and crayons for 80 children for three months, as well as teacher’s supplies, like chalk, erasers, and flipcharts, she said.
All the supplies are being delivered to the schools free of charge, thanks to assistance from the peacekeeping UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and other organizations, UNICEF said.
If a community is not accessible by road, the learning materials are sent by sea. Some 50,000 children received kits delivered in a 60-foot Fanti canoe from Ghana and a powerboat from a UNICEF partner, the Danish Refugee Council. Volunteers then carried the boxes from the shore to the schools, a good hour’s trek.
Once the boxes arrive at each school, students line up to receive their own set of books and writing materials, UNICEF said.