The students recently sent 50 container boxes of school supplies to students at Heart of Grace Elementary School, the only free public school in a Liberian community. Bourque Signs of Eunice donated the containers, about the size of shoeboxes, and students decorated and filled them.
The students also took on a new assignment, becoming pen pals with Liberian students.
In addition to school supplies. some students donated used school uniforms.
Eric Wowoh, a Liberian refugee now living in Lafayette and coordinator for Change Agent Network (CAN), has emphasized the need to build schools and institutions in Liberia with technical tools and equipment.
CAN was founded in 2003 in Oru Refugee Camp, Nigeria. In 2007 CAN was established in the US by Wowowh.
In 2006 Wowoh moved to Lafayette through the Refugee Relocation Program.
He works at Premier Cleaners with a board member of CAN, which is 100 percent funded through private support.
Meeting students educational needs in his homeland is nothing new to Wowoh.
When he fled the 14-year civil war in Liberia, he was determined to become a beacon of hope to those he left behind, he said.
In 2003, he established a training center through CAN to provide computer education to fellow refugees.
By 2006, the center, located at Oru International Refugee Camp, West Africa had graduated 350 refugees and currently has over 500 students in both Nigeria and Liberia.
Wowoh said, “A total of 1,500 students attend, which includes elementary students and adults. English is the official language in Liberia. Teachers teach on a volunteer basis, receiving $35-$40 dollars a month, to help their own children attend school."
A second school is under construction though materials are needed.
Heart of Grace has received computers, printers, books, clothing and supplies from different organizations, the general public and various schools.
Wowoh said a generator was given by the Salvation Army. “We have no electricity in Liberia. To produce electricity to run the computers, a generator was needed.”
According to Wowoh, some of the computers were given by Acadia and St. Landry Parish schools.
Wowoh said that approximately $3,000 is needed to complete the second school building.
Information: Donations of school supplies, school items can be dropped off at Highland Elementary or Bourque Signs.
Information: Eric Wowoh at 337-781-4208.