By: Trokon Wrepue – [email protected]
“I want to further my study after graduating from high school but the future looks bleak for me. I have lost my mother. There is no one to help me and I am about to graduate from high school. For me, I want to study Public Administration at any higher institution of learning if anyone can help me.” Said Venus Chukue Kumeh.
Monrovia – According to the population census performed in Liberia in 2008, people with disabilities represent 14% of the country’s total population. They are often marginalized and discriminated against, making it hard to access the education system, the job market, and health services.
This number may have increased significantly by now but there is no new statistic to point to and that may be due to the country’s failure to conduct a new census over the last decade as enshrined in the 1986 constitution of Liberia.
Liberia is a signatory to many international protocols and the United Nations Convention on Human and Peoples Rights.
Unlike those with huge family support, many of the disabled people in Liberia are seen in street corners, at major intersections, entertainment places, among others begging for handouts to survive despite the Liberian government continue boost of setting up institutions to cater to the welfare of these people living with disabilities.
These challenges that continue to confront people living with disabilities are not just seen in the nation’s capital alone but almost all across the county.
As many of them only think about getting handouts daily for survival some have and keep challenging the odds in their quest to obtain higher education to serve their native Liberia.
In Harper City, Maryland County which is one of several counties located in the Southeastern part of Liberia, a disabled female student Venus Chukue Kumeh is asking for help to forward her study at any institution of higher learning.
Ms. Kumeh is currently a 12th Grade student of the Catholic-run ‘Our Lady Fatima High School’ located in Harper City, Maryland County. She is currently writing this year’s ongoing West African Senior Secondary School Examination.
“I feel good sitting here today because it has not been easy fighting to be with this group from the binger level to this high level. It has not been easy competing with the guys and even my fellow females.”
“I want to forward my study after graduating from high school but the future looks bleak for me. I have lost my mother. There is no one to help me and I am about to graduate from high school. For me I want to study Public Administration at any higher institution of learning if anyone can help me” said Venus Chukue Kumeh.
Ms. Kumeh dream is to read Public Administration at any university in or out of Liberia if she receives the necessary support from humanitarian, the government of Liberia or non-governmental organizations.
“I want to do Public Administration at any university in the country or outside the country if the support is given me. As you can see I can’t walk. I am disabled so to succeed in this, it will take the collective efforts of everyone. With that I will be able to achieve my goal.” said Ms. Kumeh.
According to the disabled female student, since she has lost her mother, it has been very difficult especially to support herself at the high school level.
Even doing these days all along with the high school level, I will always have to ask goodwill people to help assist me with tuition. Sometimes I can find it difficult to even pay when things are tough on those who sometimes help. She noted.
“Sometimes it feels like you do not live in this world. Why your friends are doing everything they can for themselves even in the absence of parental and other support I am unable because of my current state.” She mentioned.
OK FM Maryland County Correspondent Johnny Nagbe contributed to this story.