The following letter was written by a sponsored†youth in Liberia.†He writes about the challenges he has overcome after 14 years of civil unrest in his country and about how CFCA has been a constant†source of hope in his life. We hope you’ll read his letter to you.
My name is Nyankoi. I was born on Sept. 9, 1986. I am a Liberian. As most Liberians, I have had my share of trauma, challenges and difficulties in life.
After 14 years of civil unrest, I am happy to be among the living. During the years of civil war, my mother and I went to the hinterland along with my brothers. We went to our village from Monrovia where we lived prior to the war. We returned to Monrovia in 1991 and I started pre-school, which was at first free. I attended for a year and could not continue because of financial reasons. My late father was not working then and hence things were very difficult.
It was there and then that CFCA came in with HOPE. It is often said that a man can live without food for seven days, without water for three days, but no man can live without HOPE for a second. It is in this light that I can never forget the pit of sorrow CFCA took me from.
I became a part of the CFCA program in 1994 when I was 8 years old and in the second grade. I was accepted into the program when my father asked the priest at our parish for assistance in getting me to school. It was then that Father Jackson decided that I should get on the program because of my financial status. Since then there has never been a turning back because I took it as a challenge and never repeated a single class throughout my entire school year.
Today, I am proud to say that because of CFCA, I am who I am. My entire high school and even to some extent my college fees have been paid through the service-scholarship by CFCA. Throughout my high school years, I had many tough times but I believe that tough times donít last but tough people do. This has moved me to persevere in all I do. …
My first sponsor friend was Mrs. Ann C. Raffetto, who helped me with encouragement and motivation and this greatly helped me to continue. I was happy that I was again benefiting from the program. My father was now relieved a bit because he had my brothers and cousins to attend to because CFCA had already offered HOPE to the family again.
Then I had the greatest challenge so far in my life, the death of my father on Jan. 10, 2005. It took me a long period to get over it. After my graduation from the 12th grade Aug. 1, 2005, not having the slightest thought of going to college because of financial problems, CFCA stepped in again with sponsorship and service-scholarship programs.
At this point in time I had a change of sponsor which made me very sad at first. I had already established a closer relationship with my first sponsor and I felt a part of her family, too. After some time I got a new sponsor, Joseph and Pat. It was just the matter of time and I was not sad anymore because my new sponsors made me to feel a part of their family as well. They encourage me like my previous sponsor, and today I have an extended family far away from home.
I had the chance to tell my new sponsor friend about college life in Liberia and how it differs from that of the Western world. I made them understand that unlike Western countries that charge so much for universities and colleges, in Liberia, colleges are not very expensive. They got to understand that the same amount they contribute to grade school students could also do something significant in Liberian universities. Many teens can do a lot with sponsorship funds in universities if they decide to only use it for that purpose and forget about other benefits. Education is paramount among the youth of postwar Liberia, and I am certain that every child wants to get a career and be independent one day.
My sponsors got to know that I am studying electronics engineering in a Catholic university and they continue to encourage me. They are always happy with me and they feel proud of me because for five semesters I had scored three points and continue to do my best. I admire my sponsors so much because of their pieces of advice.
I am now a senior student at the university and will hopefully be graduating with a bachelor of science degree in electronics engineering in two semesters. I am proud to be a CFCA beneficiary in Liberia with the greatest CFCA experience. Also, I hope my academic achievements will serve as an encouragement to the younger beneficiaries with very poor beginnings to forge ahead. What the sponsors are giving us (no matter how small or big) is our inheritance for the future. That assistance is purely silver and gold in my heart.
I can now say that I am part of a big familyóCFCA. There is no way I can divorce my achievement and where I am in life from the help of CFCA. No way! I am grateful.