"If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children."

~Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Peace Education Workshop

Summer 2010 will bring another opportunity for several people to make a connection in Liberia, and an opportunity for me to re-connect with my brothers and sisters there. The Illinois United Methodist conference will be taking a teacher training trip this summer to Liberia. A group of teachers will be completing training on teaching literacy (phonics, reading, English), while I plan on completing training on peace education. I will be partnering with the Human Rights Monitor to ensure that the workshops are culturally relevant, and will be training the teachers at Hope for the Deaf on peace education theory and curriculum. After the workshops with HRM and the teachers, I am expecting the teachers to teach a small group of the older students at the school, and finally the students leading the younger ones in activities of peace. Essentially, the learners become the teachers.

As a nation, Liberia faces a large shortage in professionally trained teachers, especially teachers who are trained to teach students with disabilities. It is also facing an overload of older students who are still in lower grade levels due to the war cutting off their education for several years. Teacher training is an apparent need, and the teachers are desperate for it.

Not only is teacher training a need, a direct teaching of peace (human rights, equality, conflict resolution) is needed as well, especially for students who are Deaf, who may be cut off from national dialogue on peace and reconciliation and who still face severe inequality.

It is my hope to provide manuals/packets to the trainees that contain documents/articles relevant to peace education, as well as lesson plans that can be used throughout the school year. I also would like to provide a small meal (the only meal they have that day) during the workshop, as well as certificates after. Other resources (travel in-country, pens, markers, paper pad, etc) are needed as well.

As much as I would like to say that I can do this all on my own, I can't. To provide these important resources, I need your help. My estimate of cost is $1,250. If only 125 people give $10, we can meet it easily. I know there are many other opportunities to give to different causes, but if you feel that this is a project you can give towards, I know many Liberians (as well as myself) that will be forever grateful.

If you would like to give, please see the "Chip In" button at the side, and look forward to further information about the peace education project as well as the teacher training trip. Also, if you are a teacher and are interested in going, please let me know.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Liberian Orphan Education Project

I never knew how many connections can be made just through a blog. Last year, Beth from Liberian Orphan Education Project (LOEP) contacted me because she saw our blog on our work and travels in Liberia. She was especially interested in the Hope for the Deaf School. LOEP is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating orphans in Liberia, by providing training and resources for the orphanage schools. Their interest in the Hope School came after they found out that the partner orphanage they were working with had a few deaf students, and the group was curious about services for deaf students in Liberia.

They recently traveled to Liberia to complete teacher training, and were able to visit the Hope for the Deaf school. It is yet another connection that will hopefully spread the mission of the school.

Please see their blog to see info and pictures of their visit. And please share the good work that is happening in Liberia.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Small Steps to Hope

Please see the following flier about activities within Hope for the Deaf school, and the Human Rights Monitor in the past two years since Aaron and I were in Liberia. It is exciting to know that both organizations are continuing to make progress and bring positive change to Liberia. We continue to hope for leaps and bounds in the future.

Liberia News Final

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Welcome to the new blog for Hope for the Deaf. This blog will provide information concerning the Hope for the Deaf school in Monrovia, Liberia. This blog came about from the Action in Liberia that was created to provide information about travels and work in Liberia in 2008. There is great background information there so feel free to check that out, but that blog will no longer be updated. This blog, along with the new Human Rights Monitor blog will detail current and future work in Liberia.

Stay tuned for updates from Hope for the Deaf and a special peace program for summer 2010.