Children of Hope: The Liberia Mission Story - Hope vs. EbolaSee More Videos
We Are Franciscan Works
Franciscan Works is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty for the poorest of poor children in developing countries through education rooted in Gospel values in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.
We develop the individual potential of children living in poverty so that they can live as God intended, making full use of their talents and abilities for the common benefit, in communion with God, nature and all humankind.
Franciscan Works currently supports Liberia Mission, Inc. Located in West Africa, Liberia Mission is a community of love, learning, work and prayer, providing education, life-skills, faith-formation and opportunity to 400 children and youth.
"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and
suddenly you're doing the impossible."
- St. Francis of Assisi
Chicago Tribune Praises!
Chicago Tribune interviewed our very own Merrill Kenna and praised Liberia Mission for its success at keeping kids safe from Ebola. View article here!
Live on NPR!
In case you missed it, click here to listen to our executive director, Merrill Kenna, speak about Ebola and the Liberia school system on NPR's Worldview program, which aired Monday, February 2nd at 12 pm.
School Reopens Feb. 16
With a steady decrease in Ebola outbreaks, the Liberian Government announced in early January that schools will reopen February 2, 2015. Liberia Ministry of Education then delayed the re-opening until Feb. 16. Our Mission students will return to campus Feb. 14. What a Valentine's gift!
For Liberia Mission, this transition is a blessing and a challenge. Most students' parents are unable to afford tuition becuase they have been out of work since July when Ebola reached its peak.
Please consider a charitable donation to foster our reopening of St. Anthony de Padua school at Liberia Mission. Your prayer comforts. Your donation empowers.
Liberian President Visits Mission
Students and staff at Liberia Mission received a surprise pre-Christmas present in the form of a visit from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Accompanied by a small security detail and several of her Ministers, she spent several hours at the Mission meeting with Director Joseph Sehnert, speaking with students and listening to staff as they took her on a guided tour of the mission's facilities, including St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, St. Anthony of Padua School, the piggery and farm. The President was full of praise for the Mission saying, "I just want to say how pleased we are to have a group of young people like you that have come together and are applying your time learning a profession and doing well; being able to prepare yourself for leadership of the country; and the way you are doing it is so different and so pleasing."
A few days before the President's visit, Dr. Gwenigale, Liberia's Minister of Health and Social Welfare, stopped in at the mission during a trip through the neighborhood. He took a tour around the Mission, stopping in at the kitchen, farm and piggery, and left after placing an order for a roast Christmas pig and promising a return visit to the mission. Shortly thereafter, word reached the Mission that the President herself would be visiting. She had been told of the Mission's dedication to raising and educating poor and destitute Liberian children to become future leaders and wanted to see firsthand the good work being done by Liberia Mission staff and volunteers.
Upon arriving, President Johnson Sirleaf washed her hands in bleach and had her temperature taken, necessary precautions that ensure the safety of those who reside on the mission. In St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, she received a detailed report of the successes of Liberia Mission including: a 100% WAEC pass rate of the students; a 7% improvement in reading scores; a new library and science lab; and the student work program. After the assembly, she was taken on a tour of the grounds where she had a chance to speak with program managers about the mission's activities such as the agricultural and animal husbandry programs.
Students were overjoyed with President Johnson Sirleaf's visit and gifted her with baskets of okra, eggplant and eggs as well as a duck and a pig. While the President spared the duck by setting it free on her farm, the pig received the honor of becoming the main course for Christmas dinner.
Before departing, President Johnson Sirleaf gifted the mission with $500, 2 bags of rice and t-shirts for the kids. Her visit brought much joy to the staff and students at Liberia Mission.
Please continue to pray for the students and staff at Liberia Mission. To donate please go to www.franciscanworks.org/donation-content.aspx or call us at (773) 809-4008. All donations made to the Ebola Emergency Fund by December 31 will be 100% matched by the Dewan Foundation.