GRAND KRU COUNTY, Liberia – More than 200 students in Wedabo-Gbanken Community and its surroundings are enjoying a modern elementary school recently constructed and dedicated by Southeastern Liberia’s biggest oil palm company, Golden Veroleum Liberia. The four-classroom elementary school is part of GVL's ongoing commitments to support the development of local communities in Grand Kru through education and other basic social services.

With the construction of this primary school, which is the first of its kind, the kids are now provided the opportunity to attend classes in a modern building instead of under dilapidated makeshift structures in the area. Prior to the school dedication, the company donated 40 pieces of modern school desks to the Gbanken community and thereby rescued students from sitting on concrete blocks and baboon plated chairs.

Speaking at the brief dedication program, GVL’s General Manager for Sustainability, Flomo Molubah, said the project fulfilled a key commitment set out in the Memorandum of Understanding and Social Agreement signed between the Gbanken community and Golden Veroleum Liberia.

Mr. Molubah said “we see this as a key part of our relationship with you our partner community. The company will continue to work with local communities to improve social and economic opportunities."

Presenting the keys to the community, Mr. Molubah urged the school’s administration and the community to take good care of the building. He noted that the company has constructed the school, but it is now up to the community to encourage their children to attend and manage the school in order to maximize the value of educating future generations of the community.

Receiving the keys of the building on behalf of the community, Johnson Nyanneh, Chairman of Community Representative Committee (CRC), lauded GVL for the project, admitting that the project has brought reliefs and new hope for the Gbanken community’s children and youth. Chairman Johnson Nyanneh disclosed that, since 1947, this is the first modern school structure constructed in the Gbanken community, and described the project as being a blessing to the community.

“We are more than happy to have this modern school building for the first time in life in our community. GVL as a company continues to demonstrate its commitments to supporting development and improving our livelihoods. With the new building, our children are happy to come to school and learn under a conducive atmosphere,” said Johnson Nyennah, Gbanken Representative Committee Chairman.

In Grand Kru, GVL has constructed a total of five elementary and junior high schools inclusive of the Piddy/Nyanbo, Po-River Big Town, Belloken, Gbanken and Ylatwen schools. It has also rehabilitated 14 other elementary and junior high schools including the Zoloken, Kayboh Geneken, Gblabroken, Ylatwen, Garraway Weteken, Garraway Down Beach, Nemiah-Andrewville and Wilsonville, Po-River Middle Town and Waterside, Sorroken, Wutuken and Newaken schools in Wedabo, Garraway and Trembo Districts.

The company also operates one of the largest elementary schools in Butaw District, Sinoe County with over 500 students benefiting from it, most of whom are its employees’ dependents while the rest come from surrounding communities. GVL also constructed the Sonuhn Town elementary school in Tarjuowon Saturday District and rehabilitated more than 6 schools in Sinoe County.

Under its Concession Agreement, Golden Veroleum Liberia is providing an annual scholarship fund of US$100,000 to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture to support deserving Liberian students in the study of agriculture at the William V.S. Tubman University, University of Liberia, Cuttington University, Booker Washington Institute (BWI), and the United Methodist University Agriculture College operating in Gbazon town, Sinoe County. From 2010 up to date, US$700,000 has been donated to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture.

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