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Institute For Patriotism Honors Change Agent
Network For Patriotic Duty Promoting Education

The Liberian Institute for “Growing” Patriotism (LIGP) has honored Change Agent Network (CAN) /Opportunity Network Liberia (ONLIB) and its CEO, Mr. Eric Willise Wowoh, for his patriotic role he continues to play in building schools for the education of Liberians aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty through education across the country.
The ceremony, which took place in the hall of the AME University Graduate School, was the Award of the Judge Emma Shannon Walser Medal for Rule of Law; Good Governance and Patriotism.
Eric and his CAN/ONLIB have built over 18 schools. Only five campuses belong to (CAN/ONLIB) and are under the direct leadership and management of Mr. Wowoh. The others are owned and managed by Eric’s partnered organizations and individuals in both Liberia and overseas.
The five high schools that are directly under the supervision of Eric and his CAN are: Heart of Grace School, encompassing Nursery through grade 12. The school is located in Jacob’s Town Rehab Community, Lower Johnsonville; CAN Leadership Academy operates from Nursery through grade 10th. It’s located in Fissibu Town, Zorzor District, Lofa County; and Alexandria A. Andrews Academy, which runs from Nursery through grade 12th is in Gbarnga, Bong County, Central Liberia. The last two schools are Wyatt Leadership Academy encompassing from Nursery through 10th grade. The school is in Neegbein Town, Gompa (Ganta) City, Nimba County; and Mississippi Leadership Academy is in the works. It will run from Nursery through grade 12th. It will be in Holder’s Farm, Kakata, Margibi County. Wowoh’s CAN also runs the first privately-owned indigenous university in Fissibu, Zorzor District, Lofa County.
Before Eric, who is visiting Liberia along with his CAN-USA Board Chair, Dr. Stefania Forte, had mounted the podium on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, former Foreign Minister Olubanke King-Akerele, who is Executive Director of LIGP, said that Sister Mary Laurene Browne, OSF, had spoken of all the good deeds that Wowoh and his CAN are engaging in in educating Liberians at both the primary and tertiary levels.
“This is a Liberian, who was a refugee; but who didn’t allow that to define who he is. He has managed to build several beautiful schools that are being used to educate Liberian kids in the counties,” Madam King-Akerele, who is also former Commerce Minister of Liberia, said.
When it was time for him to make remarks, Eric narrated that before he relocated to the USA in 2006, after being a refugee, he came to Liberia in 2005 and purchased one acre of land to build his first computer school in the country. In 2008 upon his first return home from the US, he donated 17 computers to the Liberia National Police (LNP), yet he was still a refugee. He thanked God for continually using him to contribute to the rebuilding process of his country, Liberia.
Even though Eric arrived in the US with no luggage, no passport, no ID, no phone, no money, no home, and no friends, by the grace of God and with the help of many, he established Change Agent Network (CAN-USA), an international nonprofit organization, that is contributing to the world in big ways and massively transforming Liberia through education.
“We don’t do it for recognition or benefits. We believe that the destiny of Liberia will be shaped in the classroom,” he said.
He also told of how when he was in the refugee camp, how a Nigerian friend had gifted him a computer. From the origins of that single desktop computer, Eric and his organization have built over 18 schools in six counties in Liberia, educating over 5,000 underserved and vulnerable children, over 300 employees on payroll nationwide and graduated more than 2,000 students, many of whom have become meaningful contributors to society. One such former student is Mr. Jerolinmek M. Piah, the former Presidential Press Secretary to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.
Also speaking, Dr. Forte told the audience, which included some of Liberia’s eminent sons and daughters, that after working 12 years with Eric, she now sees him as a brother not only as a professional. “He is a Liberian that is doing the work. A lot of times, we see people who have the visibility but don’t have the credibility. Mr. Wowoh here has the visibility and credibility,” she said of her colleague.
Dr. Forte, who did her doctoral research in Early Childhood Education, disclosed that CAN has the first classical music program in Liberia. “Our children from the hinterland are learning how to play the violin, piano, cello. So, we call ourselves the ‘hardware’ and ‘software’. He builds the schools and I come in and turn it into a quality space where every child has a robust and quality education.”
Wowoh and Dr. Forte were accompanied by three of their wards, who graduated from their school system but are still being supported throughout their higher education. Favor M. Paye and Giftee K. Toe are students of Cuttington University while Lawrence J. W. Sergbou is at the University of Liberia. Each of them spoke of the tremendous, positive impacts that Eric is making in their lives.
There were five posthumous recipients of the Award; while there were eight living recipients, including Eric.
About LIGP
The Liberian Institute for “Growing” Patriotism was established in recognition of and as a tribute to the memory of Liberians through the nation, from all ethnic groups and those of settlers or emigrant origins as well as Liberia’s sung and unsung heroes and heroines from all works of life.
The institute was launched under the auspices of the Angie Brooks International Centre for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security (ABIC) at the AME University on December 12, 2013 by the Chair of the Board of Tax Appeals, Ambassador Charles Minor on behalf of Liberia’s First Female Judge, Her Honor, Judge Emman Shannon Walser.
LIGP’s governance structure includes, Madam Olubanke King-Akerele, Sister Mary Laurene Browne, OSF, Vice Chair; and Cllr. Yvette Chesson Wureh, Secretary. Other board members are Dr. Augustine Konneh, Dr. Romelle Horton, Ms. Miatta Fahnbulleh, Rev. Rita Townsend, Pastor Wah Wallace, and Rev. Emmanuel Z. Bowier (Emeritus and recently deceased).

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