During my senior year of high school I had the opportunity to read WITNESS: A civil war through the eyes of a child, a memoir detailing the escape of young Quanuquanei “Q” Karmue’s and his family’s escape from the Liberian civil war. When then offered the opportunity to travel to Liberia during my upcoming spring break, become a Witness firsthand, and see the impact of Save More Kids (the nonprofit Q and his wife Wendy started,) I did not hesitate for a moment.
Save More Kids was built on a promise, one that Q’s mother, Momma Neyor made to god when she was about to be killed at the hands of a child solider. She pledged that if she lived, she would become a mother to a child just like the one about to end her life. Her prayer was answered, and her family was able to escape to the Guinea border. She returned after the war ended, and soon after began CCH Orphanage Home, where 44 kids who were lost their parents during the war are nurtured, and given opportunities to grow and succeed.
Before leaving, I made a promise with many of the kids at CCH, that it would not be my last time in Liberia. Since then I have returned multiple times, and alongside Tyler Papula, who was also on the initial trip, launched the Catching Light initiative, which provides solar electricity to orphanages, homes, and families in Liberia, and furthermore uses the technology as a catalyst to re-defining education, supporting career development, and encouraging community sustainability.
My current role in Save More Kids is serving as a Campaign and Project Coordinator, advancing Catching Light while also working on our organization’s other initiatives. While in country I additionally serve as our organization’s media producer.
Below is a collection of photos I have taken in Liberia.
Our First Harvest is a photo book Quanuquanei Karmue and I curated to showcase SMK's Agricultural Initative.