Building the first sustainable school in postwar Liberia
In October 2018, our founder Akshay Nanavati travelled to Liberia as a part of a global delegation filming a documentary reality TV series. While there, he ran 167 miles across the entire country from the Guinea, Liberia border to the capital city of Monrovia to help bring clean water to those that need it, raise awareness for notable projects on the ground and build the 1st sustainable vocational training school in postwar Liberia.
Here is a video Akshay filmed about the run before leaving for Liberia...
Liberia is one of the poorest country's in the world that is still rebuilding after 15 years of a brutal civil war. Most of the population is under the age of 30, teachers make less than $30 a month, and there are many without access to clean drinking water or proper education.
The Fearvana Foundation partnered with acclaimed child rights activist, and winner of the World Children's Prize, Dr. Kimmie Weeks, who launched the Child's Disarmament Campaign and is credited for freeing 20,000 child soldiers by the age of just 15.
He has been likened to iconic leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Dr. Weeks has been the honored guest of kings and queens, and is a frequent speaker at the World Economic Forum and Harvard Business School. He has directly impacted the lives of more than 200,000 people in ten post war African nations via education, micro-finance, clean water and empowerment and academic training.
In partnership with Dr. Weeks, we worked with Jeremiah Burgess, a Liberian civil war survivor, who found a copy of Napoleon Hill's, Think and Grow Rich while living in a refugee camp in Ghana. Jeremiah applied the book's principles when he returned to his home country after the war to build a vocational training school from the ground up.
250 students graduated from Jeremiah's school in 2017 with skills in architectural drawing, auto mechanics, carpentry and more. He also successfully trained and graduated 9 teachers.
However, later that year, Jeremiah lost his major international donor.
One of the key problems in charitable giving is that it doesn’t create sustainable change. The Fearvana Foundation seeks to reverse this trend by supporting projects that become self-sustaining, thus guaranteeing a long lasting impact for generations to come.
With the support of the Fearvan Foundation, Jeremiah was able to build the first fully scalable Agro-Business model in Liberia.
With chickens, fish farms and agriculture, he is funding jobs, creating needed food resources in the area, and a model for independent sustainability in a country that has traditionally relied on hand-outs.
This school is working toward:
Training and graduating 250 vocational students per year
Teaching up to 200 elementary students
Training up to 300 teachers per year in empowerment and leadership training
Jeremiah is now empowering his community to thrive in a country rebuilding after war and Ebola.
Having fought in the war in Iraq with the US Marines, and overcoming PTSD, depression and alcoholism that pushed him to the brink of suicide, Akshay has experienced first hand the destructive power of conflict, externally and internally.
Running brought him back from the darkest corners of his soul. Now he uses it as a vehicle of service to help our human family rise above their suffering.
In addition to being a platform to raise funds for the school, the run helped bring clean water to people that needed it across the country.
The run was just one mission on journey to realize our vision of uniting our human family to work together in service of the greater good.
AS ONE, WE ARE STRONGER
Akshay, Dr. Weeks, Jeremiah and the global delegation continue to work toward transforming a nation that has been through hell and back. Liberia is a microcosm of the power of humanity to rebuild from the ground up and create something beautiful together.
100% of all donations we received went directly to the people on the ground that needed it. Your support went towards creating the chicken, pig and fish farm, and building the Agro Business.
Although the political climate in Liberia and the pandemic raging across the globe has led to many setbacks, Jeremiah continues to provide vocational training programs and food to people in the community. In an area where it’s challenging to get nutritious food, even local eggs, his animal husbandry program and agricultural farm makes a monumental difference to many lives.
Phase 2 of the project will be vocational school funding for one year as the farm is generating year one revenue. This will be a 10 month teacher training program for 50 teachers.
The Fearvana Foundation continues to stay connected with Jeremiah to check in on his projects and support him as he works tirelessly to serve the people of Liberia.