Liberia is a developing country located between Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa. Liberia is known by many for its destructive Civil Wars that raged from 1989 until 2003 and for the tyrannical rule of its former leader Charles Taylor
Liberia was founded in 1822 by freed American slaves. Liberia is very "Americanized" and is often called "Little America."
By the mid 1900's, the Liberian economy was the second-fastest growing economy in the world and Liberia continues to develop at a fast pace.
Liberian development came to an end in 1980 when President William Tolbert was overthrown by Samuel Doe and killed in a military coup.
Doe ran the country very harshly and by the end of the decade, a faction led by Charles Taylor led an insurrection and the country fell into a violent Civil War.
Liberia was known for the child soldiers that roamed the streets with machine guns and rocket launchers. The Civil Wars devastated the people of Liberia and there are hundreds of thousands of orphans and disabled people in Liberia now because of the wars. In fourteen years, there were an estimated 350,000 killed in the fighting, out of a population of less than 4 million people. Therefore, Liberia lost one-tenth of its population and hundreds of thousands more were gravely injured.
In 2003, the United Nations sent a large peacekeeping force to Liberia to stabilize the country. For all practical purposes, the effort has worked and Liberia is much safer than it was ten years ago.
Although the country is now safer, it is very poor and most of the infrastructure that had been developed prior to the wars was completely destroyed.
Liberia is very rich in natural resources but many people are starving. Food prices are high and electricity is a luxury. What electricity is available is intermittent and not available on weekends and the wealthier citizens use generators for more reliable power.
Clean water is only available in certain areas and many people drink from the same rivers and streams where they wash and bathe.
Here are some great articles with history and information regarding Liberia:
Bill Rogers Youth Foundation Mission Statement: To help youths who lack educational opportunities find and share their talents with the world by creating a self-sustaining education system that fosters self-sufficiency, understanding and respect while encouraging positive, productive interactions in society.
"When I was there, the kids were naked; and when I go back, they will be clothed." Bill Rogers.
The situation in Liberia did not worsen on the back of a single person, and so change will not happen with just one person. Only when we come together to support this cause will we be able to enact real lasting change. The Bill Rogers Youth Foundation needs your help to further its mission of helping the youth of Liberia look to a future that is as bright as their past is dark.
Please browse the links across the top to learn more about our Foundation, current projects, and ways you can help the youth of Liberia.