Graduates and relatives of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) living in the United States have identified with their school back home in Liberia, donating Ten Thousand United States Dollars to help repair damages the Institute suffered recently due to a violent rainstorm on May 16, 2021.
Under their umbrella association the BWI National Alumni Association of North America (BWINAANA), the graduates reached the decision after getting a detailed briefing from the BWI Principal, Attorney Harris Fomba Tarnue, about the extent of disaster.
A release from the BWI administration says places destroyed included dormitories, trade shops and central main library; and since the disaster happened, there has been no national intervention after numerous media awareness, official communications and SOS publicity.
The President of the BWI Alumni Association in the US, Mr. Eric Harris, had earlier called to express the association’s concern and assure the administration of effort to do everything to help bring relief to the school in the wake of the destruction.
BWI Principal Harris Fomba Tarnue confirmed receiving the donation when he addressed a cross-section of selective invitees, BWI family and Liberian-based graduates at the occasion marking the 92nd anniversary, Founder’s Day held Saturday June 26, 2021 on the main campus in Kakata, Margibi County under the theme “BWI @92: Shifting the State of TVET towards 21st Century Skills Acquisition”. The 92nd Founder’s Day was a low-key event due to the prevailing Corona Varius pandemic in Liberia.
He said the donation was going to go a long way in relieving the Institute of the shock of the disaster in the face of a dire national economic situation.
BWI alumni in the United States have over the years undertaken numerous projects on the campus including the renovation of the school clinic, donation of a prototype mini ambulance, scholarships for needy students and development of agricultural programs.
The BWI Alumni Association in the US is one of the strongest Liberian associations anywhere outside the country.
With some of its members aging, the association has embarked on a farsighted program to encourage and recruit children of BWI graduates in the US to participate in the activities of the association with the view to getting them fully involved in its running.
Each year during the last weekend of June, BWI graduates and their families in the US gather to commemorate the Institute’s founding anniversary which is a big event in Liberia itself.
Since its founding in 1929 during the administration of President Charles D.B. King, BWI has produced a Liberian vice president in Bennie D. Warner, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Ministers of government and some of the country’s best technocrats.