Flashlight #13 – View of the year past


View on the year past

Dear valuable Reader,

The entire team of Helog Academy in Germany and in Liberia wishes you a healthy and successful year 2019 in which as many wishes as possible will be fulfilled.

We are personally grateful to each one of you for your tremendous efforts made in glancing through our website almost regularly, and we wish everyone a rewarding, joyous new year.

Moreover, we look forward to a much more cooperation with you in 2019.

This is the fifth year now since we officially commenced operations in Liberia, with the aims and objectives to breed up a new workforce especially in the technical and vocational fields thereby, create an environment that will match up with the standards required by today’s global competing market. As you can imagine, we hope and wish that our solid cooperation will enhanced the values needed for us all to form a strong force in continuing with this successful lighthouse project.

It has been a while now since we last sent our Flashlight and unfortunately, for technical reasons, we could not keep them up to date in the last few months.

However, we have good news for you because a lot has happened in the past year. Last year was most probably a successful year for us and we a proud of what we achieved in 2018.

Due to a mishap, almost all images which give you the impression are no longer usable. It is unfortunate that we can only recite our annual review textually.

It was for sure the most successful year of our organization. It began with the commissioning of the new training hall, which was built in the shortest possible time with the support of Engagement Global, a BMZ program. The generous space allows us to run several courses at the same time. In addition, a solid cooperation with GIZ / Endev, enables us to hold instructional courses in renewable energies. At the end of the year, we conducted a six-week course on behalf of GIZ for various parts of the National Transit Authority’s (NTA) workforce. This was a prelude to another commitment in upgrading the large NTA workshop, in which state-owned buses being repaired and serviced, to a new state of the art buses.


Specifically, we conducted the following activities in 2018:

  • The twelve-month training course with essential elements of the German dual system for Maintenance Engineers which was successfully completed in November. Of the original 27 participants, nine have held their own and can now receive their certificates in a small ceremony in January.
  • We have conducted four times ten-day welder courses with a total of 46 participants. Here the basics of electric welding were taught.
  • In October 2018, we started to offer IT courses in which we teach the basics. By the end of the year, 31 participants received basic computer training on our own laptops in three courses.
  • For MedLife Ltd, we have introduced a technical introduction to simple rice-growing machines for 22 rice farmers. Due to the success, a larger project is planned for the year 2019.
  • We have continued our efforts to find companies with whom we can implement the German dual System. This is a difficult undertaking and a lot of persuasion has to be done because at the moment the economic conditions in Liberia are unfortunately not very beneficial for the companies. Nevertheless, we have again managed to get agreement with six companies, so that we can send students to fill in internship positions in the future.

We are very proud to have completed the training projects mentioned above, which is certainly not easy in these conditions in Liberia. Therefore, we would like to thank all supporters, sponsors, helpers and those who meant well with our projects once again.

Unfortunately, there is another page that we do not want to leave unmentioned. We have the experience that the young lose their enthusiasm very quickly and after a short time they no longer or almost no longer participate in the courses. Although we require an attendance of 80 %, we must be happy when only few individuals of the entire course reach 60 %. The average attendance is below 50 %! We regard this as a disinterest, unfortunately, which is also criticized by Ministry nothing but called Liberian culture. It is for all of us, sponsors, teachers and helpers; this is very frustrating to have to complete the lesson in front of only a few participants. For these reasons in the first place, we will therefore no longer offer twelve-month „Maintenance Engineer“ courses where private sponsors and HELOG pays most of the costs. Unfortunately, this student attitude and behavior is not negotiable with the sponsors.

The public-tolerated lowering of norms and rules in the education sector leads for many young people to a denial of performance and ultimately to a level of education which does not allow them to survive in the fast-growing technical world. Not at all!

Another reason to change our approach is the fact that we are not getting a penny from the generous resources provided by the EU, the AFdB and other large donor organizations. Due to bilateral agreements, these amounts always go directly to the government and it is their responsibility to use the funds.

Still, we will gladly accept orders from companies and organizations to offer courses in all technical areas. The development of individual curricula is an important part of our offer.

Thanks to our modern training concepts, the modern tools and teaching aids and the good contacts to the industry, we are sure that we will be able to successfully offer and to conduct vocational training again in 2019.

We will already report about this in the next Flashlight.

Best regards,
your HELOG Academy e. V. team







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