A documentary that deserves to be made.
Liberia, a small country in West Africa, was devastated by a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003. Today Liberia faces many challenges, one of which is an inadequate public education system. While public schools do exist, they are underfunded and overcrowded. Private schools offer a better education, yet they charge tuition fees that most Liberians cannot afford. Students often face tremendous difficulty in the current education system, with common problems including money and sex for grades, unqualified teachers and teen pregnancy.
Liberian Education Fund was founded in 2007 in Belfast, Maine with the goal of giving high school and university scholarships to Liberian students. These scholarships allow LEF students to attend the best private schools in the country. Today, over 200 U.S. students from high schools and universities have raised over $25,000 to send more than 50 Liberian students to school. The scholarship recipients are also student coordinated and have formed youth groups to help support each other through their education.
Maya French, LEF program director, will accompany filmmakers Jesse Galkowski and Matthew Brady to Liberia this summer to film the story of the organization, while also illuminating the challenges that the students face in everyday life.
The documentary will focus on the stories of two students, Romeo Quoi, university student and organization coordinator, and Jessie Tarpeh, one of LEF's new high school scholarship recipients. We will interview their instructors, schoolmates, LEF peers, and families to provide a better picture of the lives adolescents lead in Liberia and to show the importance of a strong education. We will also interview two LEF student leaders in the US: Ari Snider, a high school student in Belfast, Maine, and Lila Carpenter, an undergrad at NYU, to see how being involved with LEF has affected their own lives.
The film will be premiered and released in the U.S. in autumn 2014. LEF will use the film to promote and involve a larger network of support. Your support will go towards purchasing film equipment, travel expenses, post production and distribution of the final documentary.
Thanks for your help!
Maya, Matt & Jesse
Risks and challenges
We hope to be able to tell the multi-faceted story of how LEF functions so that our audience can understand both the fundraising aspect here in the US, and how the scholarships are disbursed abroad. Capturing both sides of the story will inevitably challenge us.
Also, traveling and filming overseas in a third-world country will prove difficult in unforeseeable ways. However, with the funding that we're graciously receiving from our supporters, we have taken all precautions so that our creativity will be uninterrupted and our project will hit the ground running.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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