Liberia: Humanitarian Kolu Sokodolo Walters Bags Six Awards in Two Years In the US

Mrs. Kolu Sokodolo Walters

MONROVIA – A Liberian humanitarian residing in the United States Kolu Sokodolo -Walters has been honored and awarded by the Liberia Initiative for Transformation and Enlightenment (LITE) for her unwavering humanitarian support to the education of hundreds of children in the country.

By Obediah Johnson

Madam Sokodolo-Walters is the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of the Kolu Sokodolo Foundation operating in Liberia. The foundation runs a tuition free school in Smell No Taste, Margibi County for over 300 hundreds underprivileged and less fortunate Liberian children.

The Liberia Initiative for Transformation and Enlightenment (LITE) is a nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonpartisan, nongovernmental, development and social service organization committed to helping needy people of Liberia to improve their lives and achieve better living.

LITE recognized and honored Mrs. Sokodolo-Walters at a gala event held at the Stockton Memorial Auditorium Center in the United States recently.

Mrs. Walters was presented the Community Service Award for her immense and untiring contributions to ensure that underprivileged kids have access to quality education in post-conflict Liberia.

Speaking shortly after receiving the award, Mrs. Walters disclosed that her decision taken to regularly extend helping hands towards providing quality education to underprivileged children is intended to alleviate some of the constraints their parents and guardians are faced with.

She observed that most parents, especially single mothers, cannot afford to send their children to school as compare to their neighbors, friends and relatives residing in their communities and are financially strong to do so.

She added that many single mothers, who have either loss their partners to death or who are not working, are going the extra mile to single-handedly put food on the tables for them and their children and as such, their efforts must be supported by those in the position to do so.

Mrs. Sokodolo-Walters said struggling Liberian children that are being supported and provided the opportunity by others to acquire education would become productive citizens and compete with their counterparts from other countries across the African continent and the world at large in the future.

She maintained that these children are the future leaders of Liberia and as such, they must be empowered academically if they must positively contribute their quotas to the rebuilding process of the nation.

“We all should rally around parents, particularly our single mothers who are struggling to provide for their homes because their husbands are not working due to the lack of jobs; or they do not have a relationship. They cannot sit and see their children fanning around in the communities during school hours while their friends are going to school. Because of the lack of support, many of our mothers are engaged into negative acts just to send their children to school. We need to discourage that and chip in with the little we have by also empowering them. ”

“With our widow’s mate, we all can make the difference by making sure that our kids are not seen in the streets and risking their lives selling between cars just to get daily bread. We can make meaningful impact in the lives of underprivileged children by sponsoring or supporting their education.”

She added that children of less fortunate Liberian parents must be afforded the opportunity to acquire quality education in a conducive learning environment as compared to their peers who parents can afford to send them to school.

Madam Sokodolo-Walters, however, pledged her continuous support to citizens, especially children and struggling mothers that are in need of help in the Liberian society.

“We are delighted to honor Mrs. Kolu Sokodolo Walters for her selfless service and commitment to improving the lives of children in Liberia. Her dedication to education has made a significant impact on the lives of many children, and we are proud to recognize her efforts,”  Mr. Darh Borh, President of LITE stated during the gala event.

The Kolu Sokodolo Children Foundation previously commenced operations in August 2016 in Montserrado County with a scholarship scheme.

A total of 243 students benefitted from the scholarship scheme between 2016-2018.

In 2018, the educational initiative was extended to Unification Town, Margibi County with a feeding program launched for kids. After three months of the initiative, the foundation got involved into youth empowerment program.

Considering the huge number of registered kids for the feeding program, the Administrative Board of the Kolu Sokodolo foundation decided to run a tuition free school in the county-a move that gave birth to the Kolu Sokodolo International Children Academy in 2019.

Based upon the unavailability of many classrooms at the institution, the school commenced operations from kindergarten to the primary levels, registering the total of 350 students from the communities that were already registered for the feeding program. Currently, the enrollment at the school has quadrupled.

The school has been providing educational materials, including book bags, uniform, copybooks, pencils and pens, amongst others to the students.

The latest LITE award won by Mrs. Walters brings to six the number of prestigious awards she has won from reputable organizations based in the United States for her consistent advocacy and untiring supports towards the improvement of the wellbeing and dignity of thousands of less fortunate Liberians, including children and old folks in Liberia and other parts of the world.

In November 2023, she received the United States President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to community development and her tireless efforts in promoting hope and healing in the US and globally at the 10th Year Anniversary of the African and Carribean International Leadership Conference

She was the only black among 60 persons who received awards from The Gawad Amerika Awards on Saturday, November 19, 2022.  The Gawad Amerika started in 1996 as a civic organization called the “Gawad Amerika Foundation”.

She also received the Dr. Nina L Meyerhof Leadership Award at the 3rd Award ceremony of the Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies in the US.

The award was presented at an event ceremony held at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Centre, in USA on November 12 the same year. The Jacobs-Abbey Global Institute for Leadership Studies is a research, teaching, training and leadership institute that critically provides strategic transformational thinking as a philosophy designed to help anyone who applies it to improve their current and future reality with the premise that, if we want to change the world, we must first change our thinking.

Madam Sokodolo-Walters shared the award with Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, who was represented at the occasion by Madam Sarah Fyneah Dorbort, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Liberian Embassy in Washington, DC. VP Howard-Taylor received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the group.

Early in April, Madam Sokodolo-Walters won the Virtuous Woman and Most Respected Individual Awards from the I Am Magazine based in the United States.

Mrs. Sokodolo-Walters, however, sees the accolades, not as an accomplishment, but a motivation to exert more efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the needy, with no expectation of getting something in return in the future.

“I believe that giving is my biblical responsibility. We should always give or support initiatives that will put smile on the faces of those who are downhearted and have nowhere to twist or turn for help. We should continue to give to inspire others to do so.”

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