Philemina's Story

Philemina is a student in the 11th grade who lives just outside Monrovia.  She receives a scholarship from the LEF chapter at Camden Hills Regional High School.  She wanted to take this chance to share her story.

“I would like to share a story of myself and an opinion on education in Liberia.  I am Miss Philemina A. Jolt, a beneficiary of the Liberian Education Fund (LEF).  I was born on August 19th, 1997 to unmarried parents.  As a baby, things started to get worse sooner as sounds of the war started to creep over the city of Monrovia.  Eventually in September of 1998 fighting broke up between the government forces of Charles Taylor and rebel forces loyal to the late Johnson.  That war is known in Liberia as the September 18th.  Due to this crisis, my parents had to leave Monrovia and settle in the North-Eastern part of Liberian (Grand Gedeh County) cause both my parents are from the Krahn tribe.  There I started my first schooling.  After couple of years in Grand Gedeh County, I had to come to Monrovia to attend school, cause my father was working with the transitional government which was headed by Charles Bryant.

At that time my father had married to another woman and my mother was still back in the interior.  Things started up very fine as I attended two of the best schools in Liberia.  After some time, things started to change as our family continued to get large over the year.  My father’s attitude started to change towards me, accusing me of being a witch and said I was joining with other family members who were practicing witchcraft and were planning to kill him.  Because of this situation, I was ill-treated and even dropped from school.

It was during this time my mother came and took me away and there I was again in Grand Gedeh, attending school.  My mother, doing a little business to sustain the family, was not in the position to do all, so things started to get worse day by day.  But through God I was still attending some local schools through some funds and family help.  Being abandoned and neglected by my father, there was no hope of ever achieving anything.

I remained focused in my schooling and after years of staying in the interior and attending, I moved back to Monrovia to stay with my older brother who had just graduated from one of the famous universities in Liberia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.  Still after graduation, there is no job and taking care of my needs has become a very big problem.  Things become very hard on us as I strived to go to school every morning.  After a very hard school year, we were blessed to have come in contact with the Liberian Education Fund.

Going to school in Liberia is not very easy, especially to gain quality education.  I wish to further my education to a higher level and I’m appealing to anyone, anywhere who has the ways and means to help me continue my education.  I wish to graduate from high school and enter the university sooner.  My dream is to become a professional banker and to help other children who have encountered the same hardship like me.”