Westminster Sending Team to Liberia to Evaluate Success of Mission Investments (April 26-May 7)
Westminster is sending Elder Felicia Kollie Gambles and volunteers John & Lyn Kucij for a second visit to Hope Mission School in Bernard Farm, Liberia. Our congregation has been involved with supporting this school and the greater Bernard Farm community for more than a decade. We have provided educational scholarships for girls and kids orphaned by Ebola; made significant contributions towards the construction of new classrooms and school furnishings; partnered with FACE Africa to provide clean well water and education on public sanitation, and provided textbooks, hygiene supplies and sports equipment for the student body. The last mission trip to Liberia was in Spring 2016.
In March 2017, Westminster received a Presbyterian Women’s Thank Offering Grant. The grant has provided funds for additional classroom construction, the purchase of a generator and large freezer, and enabled us to contract to provide vocational training in the areas of both beekeeping and snail farming. Both vocational projects are intended to provide work skills for some students and a source of revenue for the mission school.
A key focus of the trip, which is planned for April 26 to May 7, will be to evaluate the success of the investments made by both Westminster and the PW grant. The travel team will talk to students, staff and community members; visit the sites where vocational training has been initiated; and work hand-in-hand with the Hope Mission leadership to chart a course for future cooperation.
Your support is crucial to our success. Individual contributions to Westminster Presbyterian Church in support of our important work in Liberia should include a note identifying as “Liberia Project Donation.” You can make a donation online at: http://www.wpcalbany.org/give (Select the African Missions Fund and add "Liberia Project Donation" in the optional memo field.)
Members of the travel team and their friends are donating money to cover about half of the costs of the trip. The balance of the costs for travel and mission projects at Hope Mission during the trip will come from the free-will donations at the March 24 African Spring Dinner and at a May 23 evening program, from 7 pm to 9 pm at Westminster. The program on May 23 will highlight what Westminster has learned about effective capacity building in its work at Hope Mission. We can assure you that the money we raise is well spent and has a significant positive impact on the children of Liberia.
The Westminster group will be joined by Adama Diggs (Felicia's nephew) and Alfred Fullwood － two African-Americans from New York City eager to visit Liberia.
John Kucij authored the successful grant application for funding from Presbyterian Women and is overseeing the implementation of grant activities and management of grant funds. John is a Schenectady resident who volunteers at Westminster on Liberian Projects. He has 45 years of experience with Liberia and has chaired numerous US-based Liberian activities and organizations.