James Cooper Orphanage
Paynesville – Liberia
Liberia totals about 450 orphanages and that the number of parentless children is estimated at 240.000. Many of them are the victims of the civil war that raged for nearly 15 years (and finally ended in 2004) but a lot of them are also the result of unwanted teenage pregnancy.
The James Cooper orphanage, founded by the late James Cooper, offers shelter to about 14 children and is run by Mrs Cooper, a Liberian resident of New York City. She collects funds via her church in the Bronx and is also allocated a monthly sum of 100 USD by the Liberian government to feed the children and 3 adults that live with them.
The children’s age ranges between 4 and 14 and there are both boys and girls. They are being educated by one godmother who lives with them and 2 adult students who provide for a male presence in the compound. The building is located in Paynesville, in the outskirts of Monrovia in a quiet and rather safe community.
The kids attend a nearby school, also run by Mrs Cooper, together with children of the surrounding community. The education they receive is a Christian one and rather strict; they can be considered as lucky compared to many other Liberian children who live in extreme poverty.
Brussels Airlines who operates to Monrovia since 2002 has been supporting this project for the last 5 years, providing clothes, toys and various items collected among the company employees. Also beds and matresses and some basic furniture have been bought.
But what the house of Mrs Cooper really needed were basic renovation works in order to replace the asbestos roof that was leaking in numerous places (the rainy season here lasts 7/8 months) and install running water in the bathrooms and kitchen. We also had the yard partly paved and this prevents it from becoming flooded during the heavy rainfalls. All these works have been realized in the year 2012 with financial support by HelpAlliance.