What started with one box of old books on a classroom floor... a student Liberia, Africa who wanted to send books to a struggling school in Liberia... and a teacher who asked, "How can I help?" ...evolved into an important humanitarian gesture.
When Darius Ricks told his teacher Veleta Jenkins, that a public library did not exist in Liberia, Africa (his native country), she vowed to help him work towards his dream of getting a library built in Liberia. A former English teacher at Dayton Job Corps, Ms. Jenkins taught American and African students. She had never taught culturally diverse students; and initially had difficulty figuring out how to include students who came from 13 African countries in her classroom. Gradually, she connected with the students from Africa. She listened to them, learned about their plight, their culture, and vulnerabilities. She realized that although many of the African students lacked English literary skills – they were focused and wanted the opportunity to receive a quality education. Shortly after Darius graduated, he reached out to Ms. Jenkins and asked her if she would still help him to try to get a library built in Liberia (the future library will be named “Library for Liberia”). She kept her word that she would help. In 2019, Ms. Jenkins and Darius founded Library for Africa (a non-profit charitable organization).
Veleta Jenkins | Darius Ricks
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- Received Dayton Peace Committee “Humanitarian Award”
- Received Liberian Young Achievers (LYA) “Humanitarian Award”
- Distributed Education Care Packages: IPads, bookbags, school supplies and books
(to youth in Dayton, Ohio & Liberia, Africa)
- Donated books and built bookshelves in schools Liberia
- Ship school supplies, books, and furniture to school in Liberia
- Installed hand pump on water well in Liberia
- COVID-19 distributed rice, hot meals, sanitizer, facemasks (Liberia)
- COVID-19 Vaccination Awareness
- Sponsored “Say No to Drug Abuse” Awareness Program (Liberia)
- Sponsored Soccer Tournament (Liberia)
- Plan to build the “first” 21st technology-focused public library in Liberia