Monrovia: Providing Education for Young Children in West Point
Teresa Jargbe (45) lives in the township of West Point, a slum community on the shores of Monrovia, Liberia. She trades on the street in her neighborhood to support her family. Every morning she walks her 3-year-old daughter, Teetee Jargbe to the newly constructed N.V Massaquoi Nursery and Kindergarten School. This is extra special for Teresa because she never had the opportunity to learn how to read and write, nor to get a proper education.
The school is located just a few yards away from her house. When her older children were young, there was no nursery in the community, and it was harder for her to ensure that they were able to go to school.
Teresa is happy that the facility has made life easier for her. “I do not have to wake up so early any longer, or worry about daily transport fares, when I can walk just right next door, to escort my daughter to and from school each day.”
The kindergarten was built through the Cities Alliance Community Upgrading Fund. The project was funded by Comic Relief, and in partnership with the Government of Liberia, MCC, SDI, FOLUPS, FEPTIWUL, UN-Habitat, WIEGO, and HFHI.
The finished classrooms are playfully painted and fully furnished. They accommodate 78 children between the ages of 3 to 5. The facility is the first in West Point since it was established in 1940. The township is one of Liberia’s most densely populated slums with more than seven hundred and eighty households.
The N. V. Massaquoi is the only public school in an area where few can afford to pay for an education for their children. The school’s construction had given some relief to residents of West Point.
However, more spaces are still needed; Teresa was one of the last parents who were able to enroll their child due to the high demand in the community. Many parents were disappointed after they were turned away.
The Cities Alliance Community Upgrading Fund (CUF) is a community-driven development initiative that provides financing for small infrastructure projects selected by the communities themselves. The projects enable the urban poor to make a measurable impact on their communities by improving their basic social and physical infrastructure.
The CUF plans to reach 113 profiled settlement/slum communities benefiting 400,000 people in Greater Monrovia, Liberia.