Global perspective Human stories

UN official, Duchess of York dedicate new school in Liberia

UN official, Duchess of York dedicate new school in Liberia

The United Nations today dedicated a newly constructed school in Liberia at a ceremony attended by Sarah, the Duchess of York, who called for continued attention to the country as it solidifies stability after years of conflict.

She told participants at the event in Perry Town, Montserrado County, that Liberia is now at peace and “should not be forgotten” because of the present preoccupation with ongoing conflicts elsewhere.

The Duchess of York noted that the Liberian Government is “determined to make a difference and get the country back to its former condition through training and educating its children and young people.”

The Duchess, who has been in Liberia for two days discussing ways of providing humanitarian assistance to the country, held meetings with officials from the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the Government as well as representatives of civil society organizations.

At the ceremony, UNMIL’s Officer-in-Charge Jordan Ryan advocated “a nationwide campaign so that everyone in Liberia would be able to read and write.”

Mr. Ryan emphasized the importance of education for women and girls. “Every woman who voted with a thumb in the last election should be able to sign her name in the next,” he said.

The Sean Devereux Community School was built through an initiative by UNMIL’s “Quick Impact Projects” to accommodate more than 300 children and to provide skills training for men and women of the community, the mission said in a news release.

It was established in memory of Mr. Devereux, a former missionary and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) staff member who lost his life in the service of peace in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993. He had previously worked in Liberia for more than four years.