Zolowo is located in the northern part of Liberia, about 165 miles away from the capital city, Monrovia. In America, this is merely a couple hours drive, but in Liberia, the trip takes an entire day. Over 5,000 people live in this town, but there is only one Kindergarten through ninth grade school. Any student wishing to go to high school has to move to Salayea or Zorzor; unfortunately, this move usually does not take place because the students cannot leave their family or pay rent in a new town.
Zolowo is often forgotten by the government and other aid organizations because of its location and bad roads.
In January 2014, H.E.L.L.O. delivered a shipment of textbooks to the school, the first time this has ever happened in Zolowo. Both teachers and students were very excited and grateful. They also asked us to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. We realized their poverty more thoroughly as we toured the school. There were classes with broken floors, benches, and windows, as well as tight office spaces and no library. The school is also understaffed with teachers and cannot even provide seats for the teachers it does have.
Teachers are not paid, They work voluntarily; as a result, they come to school when they can. When Janelle saw a kindergarten class without a teacher, the children explained to her that the teacher has to make and sell bread for her family at home before coming to school. This type of situation is not uncommon.
The more classes we visited, the more we realized how serious and determined these students are to learn despite these difficulties. The teachers also make tremendous commitments to help their students. As teachers, Eb and Janelle were amazed when they observed cooperative learning taking place. Even students in the first grade were teaching each other, sometime without their teacher even being in class.
We left Zolowo determined to return again with the hope of doing more to help. We want to remind the people of Zolowo that they are not forgotten and to encourage them to keep persevering. They need benches, chalks and more teachers. Teachers need financial support.
If you have helped us in the past, you can see that this is where your support goes: We are reaching the unreached. Please scroll over the picture link and click on “Zolowo” to see more pictures. Also click the video to watch “kids teaching kids”. Thank you so much!