United Methodist Women in Liberia are investing in education for a brighter national future.
E. JULU SWEN
United Methodist News Service
United Methodist Women in Liberia is reaching out to rural children with a new scholarship program approved at the group’s 71st annual session in Tappita, Liberia.
According to Pastor Rose Farhat, director of women’s ministries, the scholarship will be given to students attending United Methodist schools in rural parts of Liberia, especially those in high schools.
“We have been giving scholarship to undergraduate students and just added graduate school students recently,” she said.
The rural children scholarship is a pilot program funded by United Methodist Women in Liberia.
Farhat stressed that the scholarships will be for scholars and that no child will be awarded the money based on sympathy. “Every recipient must earn the scholarship with good grades,” she said.
Farhat said women of the various districts will play a key role in selecting the students. The $10,000 (U.S.) scholarship is expected to benefit two students each from all of the United Methodist schools, excluding those in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.
“As women of the church, we want to play a meaningful role in shaping the lives of the Liberian children educationally,” Farhat concluded.
Muriel V. Nelson, new president of United Methodist Women in Liberia, told those at the annual session that women will be strongest when they are united. Nelson was inducted into office by Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. of the Liberia Episcopal Area at the Jan. 26-28 gathering.
“We want the leadership of The United Methodist Church in Liberia to know that without women, there will be no church,” said Nelson. “When we are strong, our family, community, church and nation will be united.”
She said women are the strongest supporters of the church and the highest percentage of members, “but when it comes to decision-making and leadership, we lag behind our male counterparts.”
She said she will take the women’s organization to the next level where faith, hope and love will characterize their activities by forgiving one another for all the wrongs they have done to each other.
“The elections are over; it is time for peace and unity. We must come together and unite our women and our church,” Nelson said.
Quire promised to work with the women to ensure that the programs and plans of the leadership benefit all the women in the church.
Prior to the elections, Quire announced that as an episcopal leader assigned to the Liberia Area, he was going to protect the rights of every church member. He made the statement dismissing speculations that he was going to interfere in the election process.
“If others interfered in your elections in times past, I am not here to do the same,” he cautioned.
Nelson won the election with 580 votes, defeating incumbent vice president Taryonnoh N. Doe, who collected 129 votes.
Nelson is the wife of the Rev. Julius S. Nelson who was defeated by Quire in the December 2016 West Africa Central Conference episcopal election.