The Association of Evangelicals of Liberia (AEL) in collaboration with Tearfund, yesterday graduated 125 Ebola survivors in the art of soap making. At the closing exercise at the New Life Bible Church in St. Francis Community in Jacob Town, which included activities such as drama, singings and recitation of poems, some of the graduates walked away with several gifts.The Director of Banking at the Central Bank of Liberia, Richard Walker, who served as the guest speaker, described the training as a milestone that will help provide livelihoods for the beneficiaries and their families.“I want to appreciate you for taking advantage of this training opportunity to improve yourselves and become self sufficient,” Mr. Walker said.He admonished the graduates to take advantage of the training opportunity to explore other avenues that would help them create jobs for themselves and others.In remarks, Tearfund Country Representative, Tizazu Adamu, expressed appreciation for the hosting of such a training aimed at supporting Ebola survivors as part of the Association’s recovery initiatives.“Every long journey starts with a single step, and now that you have started the process we believe that you have acquired great skills that could transform you and your families to obtain a better life,” Mr. Adamu told the graduates. Tearfund, he said, is partnering with AEL in providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene education, confronting gender based violence, and reducing the prevalence and effects of HIV and AIDS.Reverend Dr. Nuwoe-James Kiamu, President of AEL Board of Governors, told the graduates that their decision to acquire additional skills shows that they are heading for development, adding, “You are a part of the solution to the country’s problems and not part of the problems.”Rev Dr. Kiamu said while others are sitting and complaining about opportunities that have not come their way, “you are standing and channeling your challenges into opportunities by adding beauty to life through the skill you acquired.”“I challenge you to remain intuitive, focused and industrious as you step out to change your life and the lives of many other Liberians.” Reverend Ebenezer M. Binda, Project Coordinator of AEL, said 18 communities are currently benefiting from the Ebola Recovery Project, which started in April 2015 with the aim of providing livelihood to Ebola survivors in Margibi and Montserrado Counties.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“It’s not unusual to have bumps along the way,” Castro said. “With human nature being what it is, and different groups having the vested interests they’re looking out for, what folks should be keeping in mind is that this is for the entire college and community. “It is for the well-being of the students and the college, not just any one particular group,” she added. Exacerbating the politics of the presidential search process is the shrinking number of candidates who can fill these kinds of leadership positions. There are currently 32 community colleges searching for a president, said Diane Woodruff, vice president of the Community College League of California. “We are seeing a much smaller pool of candidates, and we have an unusually large number of openings,” Woodruff said. “The baby-boomers are retiring but the pool of qualified candidates is smaller than it has been in the past.” Considering the good reputation that Rio Hondo has earned statewide, Woodruff was surprised that the search process had resulted in such rancor. “I think this may be a little unusual,” she added. “But I know that a lot of times, the board will go back out \ again. “Maybe Rio Hondo will decide to do that if the open forum doesn’t work out,” Woodruff said. “It is the board’s authority to make the final decision, but they should also want a candidate who will be able to work with the faculty and staff as well.” Coincidentally, Newman attended a conference this weekend that addressed the shortage of qualified candidates for presidents of community colleges. “It’s a horrible problem – people are getting fired at other colleges and then they’re showing up someplace else,” Newman said. “We’ve really got to stop that. The qualified ones are those who stay at a college for 10 to 12 years and then retire, and they aren’t leaving their jobs anytime soon. “We just are having a hard time finding quality folks.” So far, the RHFA, the California School Employees Association Chapter 477 that represents the campus’ classified staffers, the Associated Student Body and the Academic Senate have passed votes of “no confidence” in the ability of Rio Hondo trustees to choose a new president. None of those groups expect to participate in Wednesday’s forum. And the board has scheduled a special closed-session meeting after the forum to discuss the appointment of a new superintendent. “I just wish them the best of luck,” Woodruff said. “It’s a wonderful college, and I hope they find someone good who will be able to work with the board and the faculty and the staff.” email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It was demoralizing, and it invalidated the hours the committee spent poring over applicants’ qualifications, said Jim Newman, president of the Rio Hondo College Faculty Association. “All we asked for was to be included,” Newman said. “At first, they said they would include us, but in a typical smoke-filled, backroom-politics kind of way, they jerked it away from us. That’s why we’re upset.” And there was no indication the board could do such a thing, Newman said. But it is fully within the board’s right to do so, said Consuelo Rey Castro, board president at Pasadena City College, which is also searching for a president. That’s why she and fellow PCC board members said they have made it crystal clear to their search committee that its recommendations are just that – recommendations. Ultimately, the board will decide who will fill the post. WHITTIER – Between the increased numbers of California community college presidents who are retiring, the small pool of candidates qualified to replace them and the local politics of appointing a new leader, it seems Rio Hondo College already had two strikes against it when it started looking for a new president. And with just a couple of days left before the college holds an open forum Wednesday with its top finalists for president, three of the campus’s most important constituents – students, faculty and staff – have thrown in the towel and are refusing to participate in the process anymore. What went wrong? According to faculty, staff and students who were on the 20-member search committee, the process irreparably broke down when the board decided to interview an extra three candidates from the pool of people it had disqualified, along with their two recommended candidates.