Meet a Few of Our Students
Roseline is 6-years old and has two brothers (Winston, age 8 who also attends GLTC and Rickie, age 13) and two sisters (Cecelia, age 11 and Remember, age 3). Her mother, Abigail, is a good cook and has a small garden. Her father, David, works at a rubber farm where he cares for the rubber trees. She sleeps with all four of her brothers and sisters, sharing a single mattress under a mosquito net.
She attends the K-1 class and walks to school with her brother, Winston, and other friends from Deanville who also attend GLTC. One of her favorite things to do at school is writing. One of her favorite games is called “touch”. To play this game, a large square divided into a set of four squares about 3-4 feet each are scratched into the dirt ground. Two players stand at one end, each on the outside line of one square. Two “defenders” are placed at key points along the center line and a third defender stands on the perpendicular line opposite the two players. The object of the game is for the two players, working as a team, to cross the field of four squares and reach the opposite side without being touched by any of the three defenders.
Her favorite meal is beans “toboggi” (pronounced “tow-bah-GEE”) over rice.
She wants to work in agriculture when she grows up.
Banison is 12 years old and enrolled in the 2nd grade at GLTC. With little food available at home, he heads to school without breakfast but looks forward to the rice and “soup” lunch provided at GLTC. Although it’s not served at school, his favorite meal is pumpkin soup (over rice), “because it helps to clean out your system.” He also likes pineapple. Around 6:00pm in the evening his family shares a small rice meal.
Like most Liberian boys his age, football (aka “soccer”) is his favorite game. He also likes a game called “labber”. To play labber, two children place a random pile of about 6 pairs of flip-flops (aka “slippers”) in the middle as each child stands approximately 6 feet away from the pile on opposite sides. A third child in the middle tries to avoid being hit by a small ball thrown at them by these two opposing players as she attempts to find the matching pairs of slippers and neatly line them up in a row. If she is hit, she’s out and switches spots with one of the two opposing players. If she catches the ball, she can kick it which gives her more time to try and line up the slipper pairs before possibly being hit.
Banison also likes to play volleyball which he tried for the first time at GLTC.
He likes to study math and definitely does not care for science or social studies. His favorite subject is studying the Bible. He wants to become a pastor when he grows up, “because if you become a pastor, you do the will of God and you’ll be blessed.” During the interview he proceeded to recite several scripture passages from memory: 1 Peter 1:25 (one of his favorites), John 3:16, and Genesis 1:1.
Moses is 16 years old-- by his best estimates-- and enrolled in the 2nd grade. When Moses first came to Gbarnga Lutheran Training school, he was enrolled but not attending school. At public schools in Liberia, the yearly fee is 1,500LD (about $17US) and he owed 1,000LD plus money for a uniform and books. To help pay the fees owed for his schooling, Moses completes chores in his neighborhood such as digging stumps.
At one time, both of Moses’ biological parents separated and found new significant others. Neither wanted to care for Moses so he was raised by his grandparents who struggled to support a multi-generational household. Over the past year, his Old Ma and Old Pa Sibley died. There is now a loosely knit cluster of relatives inhabiting Moses’ family home, including Moses’ biological father and his “new woman.” All would seem positive for Moses as he now has a dad back to care for him. Unfortunately, this is not the case. His father has no work and can’t support him with food, clothing or school fees. Moses says the new wife dislikes him and has made life difficult, and he now lives with a friend.
At school, Math is one of Moses’ favorite subjects. He enjoys learning about life in other countries and is trying hard to learn to write well. In his free time, he also enjoys playing football (soccer) with friends.