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SURE-Liberia: Quality Education Saves a Nation

Monrovia, LiberiaMonrovia, Liberia
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Liberia is the oldest country in Africa with an illiteracy rate of 80%. There is an urgent need to motivate the young people to go back school. Civic education is just one of the ways to motivate young people to go to school.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

Liberians must act now as the only way we can rebuild our nation is through the provision of quality education to the young generation which normally saves a nation.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There is a high rate of illiteracy in Liberia. Most of the government institutions have been destroyed while most of the child soldiers are now grown up thus making it very difficult for them to go back to school due to age factor. To address the issue of illiteracy which was a major contributing factor for the war in Liberia, SURE-Liberia has embarked on a civic education campaign to encourage the youths to go back to school.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The proposed solution to this problem is to elevate the hope of the young people to go back to school. This can be done through an intensive civic education program where there will be drama performance to clearly send out a true meaning of education to those disadvantaged youths. Additionally, the Government of Liberia must encouraged each parent to send their child or children to school with some level of compensation for teachers. To make this dream of reducing illiteracy in Liberia become a reality, parents must first be encouraged to send their children to school and be made to understand that without education, their children will not succeed. This can only be done through civic education which the government needs to support now.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

This solution makes a difference in that it helps sensitized people on something they do not know about. In 2004 when we launched SURE-Liberia academic awards and civic education program in the schools to encouraged students to be studious, we realized that academic competition increased amongst the students in academic schools where we were operating. We are also sure that once the government gets involved in this civic education process, most parents will be encouraged to send their children to school. Currently, the African Sande and Poro societies are taking most of the young girls and boys from school. What could be done is through this civic education process where parents will be encouraged to first prioritized education.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

From 2004 to present, SURE-Liberia has managed to get about 25,000 young people in school through civic education and about 3,000 of them receive scholarship and financial aid to further their education successfully. Additionally, most of the young people who never had the thought of going back to school gradually began finding their ways to school as the civic education intensifies in their communities. About 50% of the parents we dealt with especially in encouraging them to send their children to school are now proud of their children as most of them are now college students or have graduated from vocational schools and are giving them assistance at them moment. About 46% of those who were not interested in education given their old age for academic purposes are now professionals in several disciplines and more youths will be encouraged and educated in the future.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The main spread strategies moving forward is encouraging people to get involved into voluntary activities where they will take voluntary initiatives to serve as a motivation for young people in their communities. I am confident that once consciousness is built among the people, it will become a national awareness and many persons will get involved and together the society will grow positively. There is a need to adapt an idea of civic engagement in academic institutions and communities where citizens will will be encouraged to prioritized education.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

What we have done in the past is to first get the people involved into volunteer activities. Besides that, we lobbied with eminent people in the communities to make contributions to continue the process. Community members have also been encouraged to task themselves for the implementation of the program. Additionally, community leaders are normally encouraged to write proposals for onward submission to donor agencies for support.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Currently, the Government of Liberia is trying to address similar problem. However, the government only targets bigger institutions and not the communities where vast majority of the young people reside. In order words, government work only in urban areas. As for SURE-Liberia, we work with community dwellers and campuses-based organizations to get the ideas across quickly and we have been very successful in this drive. Most of the young people and community dwellers feel a part of the process and they have on several occasions taken ownership of the programs in our absence.

Founding Story

Having seen the kids rooming in communities without education, I thought wise to come out with this ideas to assist the future generation of my country. I first began soliciting funds from my colleagues at the University to sponsor a children and when it worked very well, I extended it to some faculty members at the university in which they were approached to commit at least 3% of their salaries to educating a child around the community in which the University was situated and we succeeded. When I graduated from the University in 2008, we also extended our lobbying to other organizations and corporate entities who have also been doing a great job in supporting some of our initiatives mainly in education.


The current composition off my team members is 12 full-time employees and they played administrative, accounting, managerial, and socio-economic roles in the organization. 6 of my staff are master degree holders while the other 6 are BSc holders. There are 25 part time employees and 9 board members. The team members will be given tasks and deliver on time. The team will comprised of experts in M &E, finance, administration and project planning.
About You
SURE-Liberia (Campaigners for Change)
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name

SURE-Liberia (Campaigners for Change)

How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, MS, Monrovia

Country where this project is creating social impact

, MS, Monrovia

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals.

Primary Target Age Group

13 - 17.

Your role in Education

Administrator, Social Worker, Teacher.

Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with (if applicable)

Private (tuition-based).

Intervention Focus

Professional Development, Policy or Analysis, Financing.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Putting Children in Charge: Giving children a voice and cultivating agency via experiential learning, project-based learning, and civic engagement.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

One size fits all fits none: Students are disengaged and not being prepared for "real life."

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?
Secondary Form
PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?
IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time
IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?

Other (please specify)
Number of Employees:

Number of Volunteers:

APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.

Other (please specify)
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.


Your interest in education is a principal focus of the Youth Alliance for Democracy and Development (YADD), Buea-Cameroon. We have recently published a storybook, "LUM BECOMES HAPPY," that dwells on child development, self-esteem, civic education, and more. AurthorHouse did the publication.Youths of 12 to 17 can benefit from this. The ability of the main character can encourage others, particularly the girl- child.The story is intersected with pictures to ease understanding. Such stories could be used to support learning at home and in schools if its multiplication is funded.

Eugene Atabong atem
Coordinator of YADD
Tel: (+237) 74505995

Jeff Nelder's picture

I respect your goals and very worthwhile project. From a solution standpoint, your description under 'team' seems to point towards structuring people the kids and parents respect into the program as evangelists. I think it would strengthen your submission if you were to make a more formal description of how you do this in your 'solution' section. From a sustainability standpoint, I wonder if you have considered incorporating the graduates of your program into a structured financial development program in the future? It seems to me that it will be difficult to sustain without formalizing an alumni program. It would also be interesting to understand who else in the way of other organizations and corporations are supporting the program- and would strnegthen the submission.

Vandalark Patricks's picture

Thanks so much Nelder for your comment. Sincerely speaking, my description under " team" is not really pointing towards structuring people and parents respect into our program not just as evangelists but as mentors and volunteers. However, I take your recommendation very seriously and will expand on what you mentioned.