In photograph: A Bridge Liberia classroom with millions raised
With top global donors like Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook owner, Bill Gates, Microsoft giant and UK Department of Finance amongst others, Bridge International, a global educational company raises millions with an intent to change the lives of impoverished students in striving African and Asian nations.
The resources are stuck in foreign accounts with the owners living large while conditions remain the same for students despite the company operating for years. Its owner Dr. Shannon May has a private chopper in Kenya with other huge interests according to reports.
Foreign governments are lured into the belief that gains are being made, some get to be paid off to support the program unknowingly while absolutely little is done to change lives. In Liberia, with millions raised in kids’ name’s not a quarter of said amount is in any bank. The company and has no vehicle in country and gets everything on duty free from the government though they are for profit.
Dismissed Bridge International Country Director, Griffin Asigo addressing members of the House of Representatives before his departure from Liberia said his entity has been able to invest five million in Liberia. The statement left doubts for many Legislators who wanted to see cash matched with impact.
Asigo fell short of narrating how the five million was used and which specific educational sectors benefitted from the fund.
Schools run by Bridge are in deplorable state, some still in mud building, others lack of benches and volunteer teachers hardly get paid.
Recently at a hearing where Education Minister, Prof. D. Ansu Sonii, Labor Minister Moses Mollie and Bridge Liberia’s current management were summoned, lawmakers then raised concerns over the reported five million usage as stated by Asigo, a Kenyan national who served as Country Director before being recently terminated on request of Liberia’s Minister of Education.
The Legislature at the same time requested Bridge through the Ministry of Labour to reinstate at least seventeen employees arbitrarily redundant by Bridge in contravention of the Labor Law of Liberia.
Reports have it that Labor has called for an audience of the redundant employees and the company before the commencement of duty probably this week.
‘We will head back to the Legislature if we are not immediately reinstated or continue our protest action at the company’s premises,’ some employees speaking on condition anonymity told Whistleblower.
With latest probe by the Legislature on Bridge operations, there is expected a dramatic change in the company’s operation if they will continue to operate in Liberia.