Mrs. Minita K. Moniba's Introduction Letter
Imagine having only one pair of pants during the school year, having to wash it and then wait until it dried before going to class…
Imagine getting straight A’s all during high school, just to be told after graduation that the only thing that awaited you was the village farm…
Now imagine someone who doesn’t know much about you saying, “I see potential in you; I’ll pay for your schooling.”
These were the experiences of my late husband, Dr. Harry F. Moniba, the Former Vice President of Liberia. Now, decades later, potential and greatness is what the nonprofit organization, The Dr. Harry F. Moniba Foundation, Inc., sees in thousands of Liberian children. As bad as it was over half a century ago, Liberia’s youth still encounter the same uncertain future that, not only my husband, but many of us, faced while growing up. In trying to address this issue for the past few decades, my family has helped to educate several of our fellow citizens in need. However, I recognize that for every child we do assist, hundreds, if not thousands, need assistance. Therefore, the family and friends of Dr. Moniba have decided to tackle this issue on a national level despite the fact that our goals, though simple, are lofty.
We would like to accomplish the overall commitment of the foundation to fight illiteracy, fight for education and raise the standards of living for Liberians. As a result, the foundation wants to bring about several programs, one of which is to provide college scholarships to graduating high school seniors around Liberia that will cover the student’s tuition and book requirements. Another goal of the foundation is to build and maintain a national library and computer center for which I have already purchased land in the capital city of Monrovia. This library will provide Liberians the access to a variety of books and technologies, while providing a healthy environment to learn. As stated before, these goals are lofty; however, they are necessary in order to ensure that the best and brightest of Liberia have more opportunities, and more financial assistance than ever before.
I sat in the audience as Harry gave the 1987 keynote address at The University of Liberia, stating, “Education is, and always will be, the life blood of our great country,” and at this junction in Liberia’s history, we need educated Liberians more than ever before. If we are to rebuild Liberia into the great country that it once was, we not only need the hard work, dedication and support of every Liberian, but just as importantly, we need the continued assistance of the individuals, corporations and nations, who consider themselves friends of Liberia. In a country where the unemployment rate is 85% and illiteracy estimated at 60%, we need help, and we need help desperately. Additionally, the fact that we have one of the highest population growth rates in the world at roughly 3.6%, the call for action is immediate.
In Liberia, families make an average of only $2.00 a day and because their money is spent on food or rent and not education, this foundation wants to be there to help take some of that burden off of parents or family members who see potential in their children but are too poor to do anything about it. Our foundation realizes that with every penny raised, Liberian students will have a greater chance to buy books or pay for tuition.
We ask that you please assist us in not only making a child’s future brighter, but the future of our country as well. The saying that Liberia has always had plenty of smart people, just not enough opportunities is sad but true, and through this foundation, we hope to make this statement a thing of the past as we continue our fight to improve the lives of Liberians.
Mrs. Minita K. Moniba