By: Jerromie S. Walters
Bushrod Island, Liberia-WTVNEWS: A cross section of Liberian students boarding the Logos Hope, early Tuesday, March 29, 2022, under the sponsorship of the Gbowee Peace Foundation, hailed the institution for what they termed as a ‘great experience’, boarding a book fair for the very first time.
The students who are all direct beneficiaries of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA) scholarship from four elementary schools across Liberia, characterized the trip as one of its kind, especially on the Logos Hope, which is also considered as the world’s largest floating book fair.
Penneliah Victor, a sixth grader at Cuttington Campus School in Suacoco, Bong County, said Logos Hope was her third field trip with GPFA. The scholarship program also took her to Peace Jam and Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County.
“This trip opened my eyes to a lot of new things, she said. “I have not seen so many books in my life before. Thank you, Aunty Leymah”, Penneliah Victor acclaimed.
The remarkable trip at the bookstore was conspicuously an awesome one for 12 years old Patience Kaifa, as it was her very first trip to a bookstore on Tuesday (March 28, 2022).
Patience was one of the 14 students, from four elementary schools that boarded the Logos Hope, at the National Port Authority. As they were also encouraged to select books of their choice with funding provided by the Foundation, O’Neil Lathrobe, a fifth grader at Konola Academy, bought a crossword puzzle book.
“This is a great experience,’’ said Lathrobe, 13. “This puzzle book will help me learn new words.’ ‘O’Neil Lathrobe lamented.
The trip was sponsored by the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA), the organization created by Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee. The students are among 118 students on the GPFA scholarship program. The participating schools on the Logos Hope trip included students from Konola Academy, Cuttington Campus School, Cathedral High School and Crystal Foundation School.
Kaifa, a fifth grader at Konola Academy, has been on the GPFA scholarship for four years. “The Gbowee Foundation pay my school fees and also takes me on field trips, so I can meet other people and learn new things,’’ Kaifa said. “This is my first time on a ship and going to a bookstore. I enjoyed myself.’’
Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee said the core of the foundation’s education program is to expose students to experiences outside the classroom.“We are interested and invested in the wholistic education of all the children in our program and beyond,’’ she said.
She further noted, “We believe that exposing our students to worlds beyond their realities is the best approach to mentoring the next generation of leaders in Liberia.’’
On the ship, the students watched a brief video about Logos Hope before touring the bookstore where they were excited to see a wide selection of books. They checked crossword puzzles, dictionaries, Disney books, books on science, math, English, Bible stories, coloring books and much more.
The Logos Hope docked in Monrovia on March 19, 2022 and is expected to depart Liberia on April 5, 2022.