MONROVIA – Sara Beysolow Nyanti is the current Deputy Special Representative, and Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan (UNMISS). Her role is an Assistant Secretary General, leading the UN’s efforts in recovery and stabilization in the world’s newest country. But despite all that big portfolio which keeps her busy around the clock working with the international community, Sara always finds time to do what she loves best – ensuring the education of girls’ children in her residential Brewerville Rainbow Community and other communities in Liberia. She was again at her best on Thursday, during the reopening of the Rainbow Community Learning Hut for Adolescent Girls where she enjoined parents to be more committed to the education of their girls’ children.
“I call myself a migrant worker. I live here in Brewerville and work outside. The Learning Hut was established in 2020 to serve as a safe house for adolescent girls to engage in after-school studies. Talking to some friends here, they told me about the high incidence of rape, and it really bothered me because I know that when parents are at work, the children are in the communities, becoming vulnerable to rape,” Sara said to the parents gracing the occasion.
“So, I thought, we need a safe place for girls after school – a place where no male will be present; where a woman will teach the girls and help them with their lessons. Oftentimes in school, when the girls don’t understand their lessons and ask the male teacher for help, they would be pressured to give something out.
“The reality and data show that boys succeed in education more than the girls. The two issues that keep the girls out of school are menstruation and early pregnancy. So, I decided to tackle this problem by working with communities to build these Learning Hut where a female teacher will help the adolescent school-going girls with their work and help them with their lessons and counsel them about their bodies and give them supplies,” she said.
Further enjoining the parents to engage their children into learning activities, Madam Nyanti frowned on the challenges in her own community wherein some parents go to the extent of demanding to be paid or that she pays their children school fees before they can send them to the Learning Hut.
“We will never get to where we are supposed to get as a nation if the girls do not get educated and take their rightful place in the nation. We will never grow, because 60 percent of our population will be left behind.
“I want the next generation of our girls to stand up and be proud to say I became like Mrs. Nyanti. Liberia cannot depend on one person; this community cannot depend on one person.
“I wish there were more parents here, because the parents do not put time into their children’s education. When the child leaves the house, goes to school and returns, you don’t know what has happened to that child during the whole day. I take God to beg the parents,” she pleaded.
“There has not been proper engagement with the parents as they thought there was. But it’s okay. When you are implementing, you learn. But if I don’t get commitment from the parents, I also will not be committed,” she cautioned.
Regarding the decision by the Social Movement for Change (SM4C) to have a three months break, Mrs. Nyanti said it was necessary to review their own curriculum.
“We have decided to only help the girls with their homework, the challenges they face in school, and with the psychosocial part of the program,” she said.
“We feel proud hearing the success stories of double promotion from some of the parents about their children. We want to thank you very much. To the parents that have not been engaged, we want to encourage you to do more. Our girls should be given opportunities to learn; they shouldn’t be mothers as teenagers. When you educate a girl child, you educate a whole community,” Mrs. Nyanti stated.
Responding on behalf of the students, little Henrietta Marshall showered praises on the SM4C Change Leader.
“On behalf of the Rainbow Community and the kids of the Learning Hut, we want to say thank you to Mrs. Nyanti for your kind gesture. May the Almighty bless you,” Henrietta implored.
As for parent Vivian Doe, Mrs. Nyanti is doing for the community what many have not done.
“We want to thank Mrs. Nyanti for making our children know about themselves, the importance of education, and for putting some of our children on scholarships. She has done well. She has transformed our children’s lives. Now our children know about studying and they are improving in their lessons in school. The best part about this Learning Hut is that it is free; we are not paying a dime for our children to come here. It is because of this Learning Hut that our children are getting double promotion in school,” she stated.
Rainbow Community Chairman Clive Tubman also praised Mrs. Sara Nyanti for the intervention.
“We want to say a big thank you to Mrs. Nyanti for this Learning Hut. What she is doing here means a whole lot for us. We promise to put our hands behind you to support this project,” Chairman Tubman promised, while beseeching the organization to provide another teacher to assist the increasing number of students.