Anne Rosenblum started traveling the world at two. Her father worked for the United States Agency of International Development and so relocated the family to South America, the Far East, and Africa, all before she turned 17. It was in her youth that she began her love affair with Liberia, where she attended high school.
“There’s something very magical about Africa,” she told Girls Education International on a recent phone interview, just before leaving for her second 2012 trip to that country. “I always wanted to go back, but didn’t have the opportunity. The war started, and as soon as I would think about returning, things would get worse.”
But then Rosenblum discovered the nonprofit, Liberia Now. Not only did she finally get a chance to visit Liberia, but she now also works directly with the organization, training teachers and helping them grow their scholarship program.
“I am a very strong proponent of public education,” she says. “I’ve lived in countries where they didn’t have it, and when you do not have public education you have serious social problems.” Liberia Now offers Rosenblum the perfect opportunity to express her passion and give back to the world community. In addition to providing underprivileged children in Liberian communities a chance to go to school, the organization also builds libraries, computer labs, trains teachers, selects and works with students, and advances the schools. Plus, she recently facilitated the new partnership between Girls Ed and Liberia Now.
“I’m very excited about working with Girls Ed. I think what Girls Ed is doing is so important and so needed in this world,” says Rosenblum. “I’m especially excited that they are doing this work in Liberia.”
When Rosenblum first returned to Liberia in 2010, she was stricken by the country’s demise. “It was eye opening,” she says. But her love for the land and its people was strong as ever.
“I love having the opportunity to learn about and to work with a different culture,” she adds. “The Liberians very much want to rebuild their country and to give their children better lives.” And Rosenblum is going to do as much as she can to help them do just that.
A retiree who spent her years working in IT in Colorado public schools, Rosenblum is intent on helping the country she cares so much about, and she knows she can do so through education. She is currently in Liberia training teachers. This is her fourth trip back with Liberia Now, and her second this year.
Story by Eve Hersh