On an April afternoon in 2011, while driving across the Melbourne Causeway over the Indian River Lagoon in Melbourne, Florida, on my way from volunteering with the FIRST Lego League, it dawned on me that I was only few miles away from the Kennedy Space Center. It was a place I read about as a child growing up in Liberia, which was at the forefront of landing human on the moon. The story of man landing on the moon had sparked my interest in science, with a dream of someday becoming an astronaut.
That childhood dream of mine came to an abrupt end on December 24, 1989, when the Liberian civil war started and lasted more than fourteen years. With a childhood of shattered dreams, memories of war, and painstaking nights of studying with candles on an empty stomach, I found myself working as an Embedded Software Engineer with General Electrics (GE) in Melbourne, Florida, because someone took a chance to give me an opportunity.
Upon my return to Liberia, the imprint of the Liberian civil war was seen in every sector. Of particular interest to me, was the lack of basic education for young people. I met several children who did not know their age; parents who didn’t know the birthdays of their children; several young girls who saw prostitution as a means of survival; classrooms without chairs for students; high number of teenagers with children, and young men on drugs. Many of my peers had turned to alcohol as a means of coping with their frustrations. The future seemed hopeless for many as it did for me.
As I volunteered my time mentoring kids in the FIRST Lego League in Florida, I saw the excitement and hope for the future among the kids and could only think about how the dreams of many children in Liberia have been shattered like mine. Organize For Liberia (OFL) was birthed out of my experience and desire to see more kids like myself given opportunities to help make the world a better place. I gathered a team of like-minded individuals who bought into the vision, and together, we became the founding members of Organize For Liberia (OFL), Inc. with the goal of regaining the future.
P. O. Box 2673
Germantown, MD 20875
Tel: +1 (202) 430 – 6708
19th Street Sinkor
1000 Monrovia, 10 Liberia