The Geography of Africa/Liberia Liberian climate is tropical and humid Avg. Temperature is about 81 Degrees F. Constant coastal breezes temper the heat on the coast Avg. rainfall ranges from 200” on the coast to 80” inland – mostly falling between April – Nov.
Liberia is bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast
The country of Liberia is just a tad smaller than Ohio at 43,000 sq miles. The population is about 3.5 Million people. The capital is Monrovia. The country has 15 counties.
History of Liberia The Republic of Liberia was founded by the U.S. as a sovereign state for African- American Freed Slaves in 1820 and was a colony until 1847 Independence was celebrated on July 26, 1847 The capital of Monrovia was named after American President James Monroe who supported the colony
“The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here” Official Language is English Over 30 Indigenous languages are spoken Colonists were called Amercio-Liberians and ruled the country and suppressed the 95% majority of indigenous peoples
Americo-Liberian Culture Encouraged Protestant Christianity Garnered an attitude of superiority regarding European skin color and hair texture Created social and material facsimile of southern America which included architecture and clothing styles Promoted a racist caste system Some locals assimilated by marriage Some tribes learned English and attended Protestant Churches, and some didn’t
Beginning of Rebellion In 1980, there was a coup which ousted President Tolbert and put rebel leader, Master Sergeant, Samuel Doe in power He represented Indigenous people and a party called the People’s Redemption Council (PRC) Tolbert and 26 supporters were murdered 10 days later 13 cabinet members were publicly executed
Charles Taylor and the NPFL Taylor was a member of Doe’s government until 1983 when he was accused of embezzlement and fired. He fled to the U.S. and was arrested in 1984 and jailed in Massachusettes. He escaped in 1985 and went back to Africa where he organized the opposition groups Formed the National Patriotic Front of Liberia
The First Civil War In late 1989, Charles Taylor led a group into Liberia to topple the government of Samuel Doe The group splintered over the next few years into 4 or 5 groups, representing tribal groups. This was a full blown civil war, the First Civil War. In 1995 a ceasefire was brokered. No definite solutions to the real and perceived issues were defined. In 1996 fighting broke out again. New peace accords were signed in 1996 after Taylor’s group captured Monrovia. In 1997 Charles Taylor was elected president. The other warring factions disbanded or moved to the countryside.
A Second Civil War In 1999 the Second Civil War started when new warring factions attempted to overthrow Charles Taylor’s government. In 2003 a cease fire was brokered.
The Civil War is OVER! In 2003, peace was finally declared Thanks in large part to an organized, sustained protest by the Women of Liberia Their leader was Leymah Gbowee In 2011, she won a Nobel Peace Prize for her work
Mighty Be Our Powers “General” Leymah tells her powerful story of surviving the wars and leading a revolution in this gripping memoir.
New Leadership In 2005, democratic elections were held Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf was elected the first female President in African history. She also won the Nobel Peace Prize
Progress is Slow – Help is Needed Largely due to destruction of the country’s infrastructure during the 14 year long war, much help is needed to rebuild. An entire generation of young people lost the chance to go to school. Most schools and libraries were destroyed. The people of Liberia are working hard to rebuild, but help is needed.
Liberian Natives Want to Help In an effort to help provide books and computers to the children of Liberia, Local Westerville resident and Liberian Native, Zuulu Cooper has stepped up and formed The Libraries for Liberia Foundation
Friends Stepped Up with Zuulu Fr. Himi-Budu Shannon, Sr Clifton Flemister
First Came the Book Drives In 2011, Zuulu and friends starting collecting books locally.
Books Arrive in Monrovia In April 2012, Zuulu sent the first 20’ shipping container to Monrovia.
A School Accepts the Shipment He delivered the books to St. Peter’s Lutheran High School
Next came the plan for a library Brent Foley of TRIAD Architects in Westerville Designed a Library Model for Monrovia
Unveiling and Fundraiser On October 23, 2012 the LLF welcomed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee as the Keynote Speaker for the Launching of the $1.2 Million Model Library Fund Drive.
2013 - New Project Clifton and Abeoseh (Abby) Flemister have donated their home in Caldwell, a suburb of Monrovia, to be a Reading Room – to hold the book donations while money is raised for the public library. Some renovations need to be done.
Book Drives Continue Groups at The Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, and The University of Toledo have committed to helping the cause of book collection More colleges will be on board in the fall of 2013.
How Can You Get Involved? Spread the word to family and friends Collect unused books from your home Set up a book donation box at your workplace or school Donate valuable dollars through the LLF website to the Library Building Fund Participate in LLF Fund-Raisers Sign up for our Mailing List to stay informed Like us on Facebook
Stay In Touch with LLF www.librarariesforliberia.com
We are the Libraries for Liberia Foundation Board Members Zuulu Cooper – Founder, Executive Director and President Amy Birtcher – Secretary Nadya Richardson - Treasurer Brent Foley – Architect Peter Tenny – Consultant – Library Construction Clifton Flemister – Advisor Clara Nyambuya – Advisor Contact Us 5919 Dakar Road West Suite 100 Westerville, OH 43081 Email: info@librariesforliberiaf oundation.com Tel: 1(800)-253-1272 LLF is a 501(c)(3) organization Donations are tax deductable