Year-End 2017 SFJ Update and 2018 Fundraising Needs (Orphanage and Night School Update)

The following post went out to our ongoing sponsors regarding our 2017 work, 2018 fundraising needs, and plans for the next year- if you’d like any more information regarding our 2017 work, please feel free to reach out!

Orphanage Children on Their Way to School

Liberian Children’s Rescue Orphanage Update:

  • The new orphanage building is largely complete!  The tiling, painting, floormats, bunk beds, and windows are installed.  We spent most of our April trip putting the final touches on the house – building benches, chairs, and tables for the common areas, setting up the children’s rooms, and getting household supplies.  We also brought a number of books for the children – many of which were donated by our sponsors!  This year, we plan to plaster and paint the building exterior to finish the orphanage home construction. Though the building campaign will be soon drawing to a close, we will continue to fully fund all orphanage operations, including staff salaries, school tuition, food, medicine, clothing, etc.

  • We’ve established new community partnerships in a drive toward sustainability and increased impact.  We’ve been working in Liberia for over 10 years, and during this time our influence in the New Georgian community has increased dramatically.  We started by supporting a small night school of <50 students, and now the school has over 300 students and we fully fund an orphanage home of 43 children.   We are blessed and humbled to be part of this great work, but this growth has brought us pause – how do we continue to meet the myriad needs of this community now and into the future?  While we prayerfully consider the vision and long-term plan for SFJ, we also believe that partnering with established and trustworthy NGOs is a big part of increasing impact and ensuring the sustainability of our work.  Here are some examples:

LWI Orphanage Well Under Construction
  • We’ve partnered financially with Living Water International to construct a new well specifically for the orphanage building.   LWI provides hygiene education and maintenance for the well in addition to initial construction.  LWI provided 80% of the funds from outside donors ($16,000), while SFJ funding provided the additional 20% ($4,000).  As of early December, construction is complete and the well is now in use!

  • Starting in April, a local chapter of Young Life Africa has been meeting at the orphanage house and investing in the spiritual, mental, and emotional health of the children.  In addition to weekly meetings, the older orphanage kids had an opportunity to attend a YLA summer camp in June – because of this experience, some kids are in training to become the next generation of YL leaders.  These camps are similar to the camps some of our Ebola orphans attended last year.  Neither your donations nor SFJ financially support YL Africa, but if you feel led to contribute, please see the link above.
Older Orphanage Children at Young Life Camp

Mercy Night School Update:

Night School Seniors Celebrating their High School Graduation! (Principal Kiazah Sherman in Front)
  • As of summer 2017, we’ve been approved by WAEC (West African Examinations Council) to administer the West African Senior School certificate examination.  With this accreditation, our students can sit for this exam, the passage of which is a prerequisite for college admission.  Quite frankly, we were nervous when our first class of seniors took this test!  Fortunately, we had 40 of our 42 students passed the exam on the first try (95% pass rate!) This was a huge step for the night school, but also confirmation that our teachers and staff are doing an excellent job preparing our students for their future endeavors.  After the exam our principal, Kiazah Sherman, hosted a jubilant 12th grade graduation celebration!

  • Our partnership with the Method Church Board continues to be strong.  For 2017, we upgraded the electrical system of the shared night school/methodist school space as our special project in addition to paying the monthly rent.  We plan on creating a science lab in 2018 – the microscopes, slides, and other materials you donated before our trip will help make this happen!


What are our fundraising goals for 2018?

Finish Orphanage Construction: $5,000

  • $5,000 for exterior paint and plastering

Orphanage Operating Budget: $35,000

  • $21,000 to purchase one year of food, medicine, and household supplies

  • $8,500 to cover annual tuition, uniforms and school supplies for the 40 children

  • $5,500 for 11 orphanage staff salaries (director, 4 caretakers, 2 cooks, 2 security guards, 2 tutors)

Night School Operating Budget: $17,000

  • $11,000 for 16 night school staff salaries (principal, 13 teachers, 1 registrar, 1 janitor)

  • $1,500 for an annual school improvement projects (ex. electrical system upgrade)

  • $4,500 to cover night school operations costs (monthly rent payment, publicity, electricity, school supplies, final exams)

Night School Science Lab Budget: $1,000

  • $1,000 for supplies to outfit the classroom for laboratory work (googles, beakers, thermometers, etc.)

GRAND TOTAL = $58,000

Note: Detailed budgetary information is available upon request

How can you donate? 

  • Please send your donation via check or PayPal

    • If you prefer to use PayPal, use this link: http://schoolsforjustice.org/donate

      • The “Donate” button on our Facebook page will also take you to this link

    • If you’d like to write a check, please make it out to ‘Schools for Justice Foundation’ and mail it to:

Emily & Adam Witkop – Schools for Justice   

2001 California St #205

San Francisco, CA 94109

  • SFJ is registered as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and all donations are tax deductible.  All of SFJ’s projects are managed by local Liberians and overseen by volunteers here in the US, so 100% of donations go directly to the field.


Thanks again,

Emily, Adam, and the SFJ Team

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