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About the Finalist:

"Founded in 1985, IMANI HOUSE (IHI) is an award-winning nonprofit organization headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, and in Liberia, West Africa. Our mission is to work with marginalized women, youth, and families to alleviate poverty by providing educational programs and support services that help residents take responsibility for their lives and surroundings and build viable neighborhoods. 

In Brooklyn we offer GED Prep, ESOL, Math Classes and Information & Referrals. In Liberia we offer Adult Education in the form of Literacy and Math Classes and a Maternal & Child Health Care Clinic, which in addition to medical care also provides public health information campaigns and training. 

Most recently IHI worked with Proliteracy to produce and disseminate the Women’s Health Education Manual (a public health information clinic and surrounding areas. In addition, Proliteracy has provided financial support to our Adult Education programs in both the U.S. and Liberia for many years. IHI is a 501(C)(3) Nonprofit agency."

Website: www.imanihouse.org/



Oumou moved to New York from Guinea, W. Africa over four years ago. She could speak a little English but had never learned how to read and write. Since enrolling in our Brooklyn program, she has achieved adult-level literacy and has successfully gained US citizenship, with assistance through our Information and Referrals Program. With the support of her tutor, Emily, Oumou continues to grow in confidence and, as an active student in the program, is still building and expanding her grasp of the English language.

As a single mother and immigrant from Ecuador, Irlanda had passed all other parts of the GED test—except for English. After failing the exam twice, Irlanda joined IHI’s Adult Education Program and was paired with two tutors to provide her support in essay writing and in reading. Within six months, she successfully passed the GED, and today, Irlanda is majoring in computer science and finishing up her studies at Staten Island Community College.

Jamaican-born plumber, Bervan, successfully passed his GED with our program’s assistance and is now completing his studies at City College of Technology, majoring in construction tech with a specialty in civil engineering.

Najwa, from Yemen began at Imani House as a pre-GED student, is now in her third year at Kingsborough College.

Rebecca is 54 years old Liberian woman living in Monrovia. She started with our Literacy program in 2002, but because of illness and family issues had to drop out and return several times to complete her education. In spite of this she persevered and is still a student in our program. She had this to say: “I feel very happy about Imani House School. It makes me feel like somebody now. I can read and write which I did not know before. I learned plenty things at Imani House. I can see my alphabet. I can write my name and read to my grandchildren a little. I never went to school because my father told me my husband will take my trouble, but I see it is important so that why I am here with Imani House.”

Patricia is another of our students in Liberia. Patricia never went to school because as a child she was sent to live with family in the country side where only boys were allowed to go to school. When she returned to Monrovia as a young adult in 2010 her sister enrolled her in Imani House. This is her testimony: “when I first came back to Monrovia I could not read. Did not even know alphabet self. My first lesson was to learn my letters and numbers and in 4 months I was able to read the Level One Book (Proliteracy). I no longer have to ask someone to write my name or read things for me. I don’t know it all but at least now I can try and even words I don’t know I can sound out. I feel very proud of myself and my husband and children are too.”

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