15th Anniversary Newsletter

BUT FOR YOU, OUR SUPPORTERS


ACE extends its gratitude and appreciation to all of our many supporters for making its work in Liberia possible. You have come through with funds, volunteer services, expertise, networking, etc. ACE welcomes all questions, comments, and suggestions to help us be better at what we do. Liberia is still in crisis and we need to stay the course.


WHY WE DO IT


When ACE was founded in 2006 by a small group concerned about Liberia emerging out of the destruction of 14 years of civil war, the focus was on assisting the country they love. The magnitude of the needs was staggering. In addition to the human despair, there was infrastructure to be rebuilt in all sectors (health, education, business, workforce, governance, etc.). The tasks were daunting.


In 2007, the ACE Chair made a visit to Liberia to see firsthand the needs of the community and where ACE could best serve the interests of potential beneficiaries. After talking with government and non-government leaders, educators, and other stakeholders in Liberia, ACE decided to direct most of its support to the education sector.


ACE immediately established a protocol to collaborate and work with legitimate, viable entities in Liberia that were doing good work and could benefit from additional assistance. The missions of those entities also aligned with ACE’s mission to “Support a model of education for youth that helps to meet their basic needs and normalize their lives, allowing them to overcome the impact of disaster and conflict.” The goal has always been to help improve services and build capacity.


In doing so, ACE decided to work with a local non-profit, community-based elementary school (Ann Sandell Independent School - ASIS) whose student population consisted mainly of war orphans. ACE recognized that the relationship could not be a “one shot” deal. It had to be long-term and consistent to be impactful. As such, ACE has continued to be a proud supporter of the school.


There have been many lessons learned during this partnership with ASIS. One of the most significant is that without trained staff, improving facilities and providing materials can never improve the quality of education. This has driven ACE to redirect much of its resources and support to teacher training and continuing education. The war has left the education sector with a staff poorly trained and equipped to teach the next generation of Liberia’s workforce (as confirmed by a recent Ministry of Education study).


ACE is proud of the partnership established in 2018 with Liberia Community Network, Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. – Alpha Alpha Lambda Zeta Chapter (based in UAE). The relationship has initiated a teacher training program for primary school teachers working in low-income, community-based schools. In three years, the program has contributed to the professional development of over 200 teachers in 26 schools, impacting over 6,900 students in Margibi and Montserrado County, the two most populated areas in Liberia.


ACE is proud to feature four (4) of the teachers that have completed the training, passed the C Certificate examination, and have been able to advance in their role as teachers.


Today’s Students—Tomorrow’s Workforce


ACE is proud of its support of primary education in Liberia. The collaboration with ASIS has helped to create a model school that the community is proud of. The school has grown from K through 9th to now 12th grade. ASIS is recognized for its high standards in producing students capable of passing all levels of the national exams; maintaining qualified teachers; and providing facilities that are above average. ACE’s partnership with ASIS has supported quality education as the foundation of Liberia’s future workforce.

Building Strategic Partnerships


ACE has initiated a new partnership with Learning Squared Liberia. This collaboration promotes micro lending for parents of students on scholarships to help increase the financial stability for families. Learning Squared Liberia is a non-profit providing scholarships and supplies to primary school students in Liberia, and offering micro loans to some of the mothers of those students to help increase their income. To date, 10 mothers at ASIS and 10 mothers at a school in Margibi County are benefitting from micro loans funded by ACE.


PROJEKT FOR PROGRESS (P4P)


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ACE was unable to host its annual Projekt for Progress (P4P) fundraiser in 2020. In 2021, the event became a live online performance of DJ Williams Projekt at The Camel in Richmond, Virginia. There is nothing like an inperson gathering to enjoy live entertainment, but thanks to all of our supporters for helping to make the online event a success. We have also moved the auction, which is a regular part of the event, to an online affair. Thanks for the tremendous support!

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