Carla White Ellis, assistant professor in the John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences, traveled to Liberia this summer. She and her colleagues from SunRise Forever Inc., a non-governmental non-profit organization that prioritizes humanitarian, educational and developmental activities within Rhode Island and Liberia, delivered 750 backpacks filled with school supplies such as notebooks, pens and pencils to underprivileged children in five different counties and 10 different elementary schools. This is 250 more backpacks to five more elementary schools than she delivered in 2017 on her first trip.
Ellis said the Liberian people, yet again, showed their perseverance and consistent hope considering the overall poor living conditions, and why their hospitality is unmatched. “I'm Liberian at heart, for sure,” she said. “The children I met in school and in villages proved to be smart, curious and to have pure innocence. This trip confirmed for me that Liberian people love foreigners. In the villages, people wanted to wave, say hello, and start conversations.”
While there, Ellis gave a professional development workshop for the faculty at the Bomi Community College, focused on creating self-directed learners, and met up with three JWU alumni who live there.