I’ve Never Experienced Anything Like Rochas Foundation – Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf


President Johnson-Sirleaf who is in Owerri the state capital, visited the Rochas Foundation African College, where she met with the students, among whom were five Liberians.

She was accompanied by the State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and signed a Memorandum Of Understanding between the Liberian government and the foundation.

In her address she recounted how much things have changed from previous years especially in her country and how initiatives such as this one have helped to improve the lives of less privileged children.

“I’ve never experienced anything like the Rochas Foundation.

“I could do no less than reflect to 25 years ago, in my country when children like them couldn’t go to school because there were no schools.

“Children like them were conscripted into the army, where they held guns that were bigger than them.

“These ones can now have an opportunity to learn, to excel and to be what they want to be. It is an opportunity that not so many children around Africa and the world have, to come together as children of the global family, to share experiences, diverse but unified, there’s nothing more than that.”

According to her, the experience has birthed in them, new hope for the future.

“I see in each of their faces and as I listen to their voices, determination to build upon from where they have come.”

The Liberian leader is the third African President to visit Imo State in the last 2 months.

The governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha, in his address, narrated how the foundation came about and what inspired the initiative.

“When I started this foundation 20 years ago, it was a miracle. This foundation started in Jos, at a mosque where we went every Friday to help feed indigent children.

“We kept on giving alms, but the population kept increasing and later we decided that rather than giving just food and cash, we could empower them by building schools.

“Today we are proud to have 10 Rochas Foundation Colleges across this nation with over 15,000 children. 75% of them are orphans and that is the qualification with which you can come to this school,” he stated.

The governor also explained that he never really had it rosy while growing up, so he understood what suffering feels like.
“It was spiritual and contractual, and it was an oath I took – Remembering that I wouldn’t have gone to school, if it wasn’t for the mercy of God upon my soul.

“I know what it means to suffer, so what I do today is not a dramatization of affluence. Today, we have decided to take five children every year from each of the African countries.”

Speaking further, the governor expressed gratitude to Mrs Sirleaf, for honouring the invitation, while also being optimistic about her decision to become a member of the Rochas Okorocha Foundation board.

“We are calling all Africans to support this vision, we are lucky, and we are happy that President Olusegun Obasanjo is the Chairman of the board of this great institution and President Obasanjo personally was the one who nominated you, Madame President, as a member of this board, for which today I would want your acceptance or otherwise.

He also requested that the Liberian President spreads the word and supports the foundation in bringing in more less-privileged children from across the world.




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