By Priya Patel
Ever since his friend, sophomore Allissa “Alli” Kizer, asked him this summer to help her out, sophomore Eric Lawler has been really excited to get to work helping her fundraise to build a school in Liberia.
“I asked Eric to help because we both had the same pictures and goals in our heads- of helping those who need it most; and for both of us, Africa has been the place that has drawn our interest. I know it is something that he really cares about and someplace where he really wants to make a difference, just like me,” Kizer said.
Kizer’s family friend wanted to create an organization to build a Christian college in Liberia. However, it was not to be just another Christian college in Liberia, it was going to be different.
The Liberia International Christian College (LICC) aims to “offer a breadth of opportunities which are uncommon among Christian colleges in Liberia; including accessibility, affordable tuition and fees, and work study programs.”
“The main cause is to help train Christian leaders in Liberia and since education is such a rare thing over there, it’s something I feel like it is an awesome concept being done for a great reason; this school is really going to help Liberia,” Lawler said. With Lawler and Kizer’s help, their friend is now well on his way to successfully building a school.
According to the LICC website, the college began its first full semester of classes in March of 2009, offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Pastoral Studies, Theology, Christian Education, Business Management, and Missions. The website also said that the school plans to offer classes in technical skills for students who choose not to enter in the college-level program.
“So far, the first floor of a three-story building is finished, but the building isn’t nearly close to completed with supplies,” Lawler said.
They are going to work to raise money to focus on one aspect of the school’s needs, and then move on to other needs as they are completed then more come.
Lawler said that as far as fundraisers go, they have hosted specific fundraisers to raise money, but are also brainstorming new ideas that may help bring in some more money.
“The first thing we did was raise thousands of dollars by attending a walk in Indianapolis for the cause, and we got many sponsors and walked along the canal in a 5k walkathon. We’ve also been thinking of bake sales, benefit concerts, and the like to help raise money if different ways,” Lawler said.
Lawler believes he could confidently say he is a changed man because of this project. He said he never really paid attention to Africa, but now that he’s helping, he’s fallen in love with it.
This introduction to a whole different world has inspired Lawler to incorporate helping people and traveling to Africa into his future plans and goals.
He said, “Helping out has made me want to, someday, go to Africa and help out directly with the project; it has made me want to do something that will not only benefit me, but help others as well.”