The west African nation of Liberia, founded by freed American slaves in 1847, has been wracked by civil wars and disease in recent years, leaving thousands dead and a generation of orphaned children throughout the country.
Scattered about the U.S. are pockets of Liberian refugees with ties to the home country. Among them are the family of Nets guard David Duke Jr. whose parents escaped and settled in Providence. And this past weekend, Duke’s foundation opened a dining hall for children in a suburb of the capital Monrovia.
As Front Page Africa reported Sunday...
The David Duke, Jr. Foundation, which is run by his family, dedicated a hall over the weekend that was built by the foundation and turned over to the Rescue for Abandoned Children (REACH)...
Duke’s grandmother, Mot. Marjorie Mitchell, officially turned over the hall to REACH and expressed heartfelt gratitude to God for the multiple blessings in the life of her grandson to always help the underprivileged.
“We thank God for David, considering the children’s welfare, that we are here today in the dining hall built by David where the kids now have a better place to sit and have lunch every Saturday,” Duke’s grandmother said.
The head of the program noted how the dining hall, located in Paynesville, had helped the local children.
“No more sitting under the sun or running away with their food in their hands when it starts to rain. We now have a Dining Hall built by David Duke, Jr., a professional NBA basketball player who for almost two years has partnered with REACH to feed our kids, and every year, he gives a purse of US$1,200.00 to pay the school fees of some of REACH Scholarship Students under the REACH Scholarship Program for underprivileged kids and orphans,” said REACH head Madame Ne-Suah Beyan-Livingstone.
In Liberia, that can go a long way. On the REACH Facebook page, Livingston posted a video of what the hall looks like when children arrive for meals.
For Duke Jr., feeding the hungry is something he has done since his college days in his hometown of Providence where he played four years for the Friars. His work both while a student and as a Nets player has drawn praise. As a student, he raised $14,000 for Crossroads Rhode Island, the leader of homeless services in the state of Rhode Island. In recent years, he and his foundation have run programs that combine basketball clinics, youth games with free food, back-to-school giveaways.
“I just want to create environments where it’s positive,” said Duke last August at a community day in Providence’s Fagnoli Park. “Kids growing up in the city can attend so many things that help them, have fun.”
On Wednesday, the Nets offered their congratulations to Duke...
A full circle moment for @daviddukejr— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) May 2, 2023
Working with his foundation, David recently dedicated a dining hall to underprivileged kids in Liberia, giving them a safe space to eat while also providing a Scholarship Program for kids in the community. pic.twitter.com/LZWFYbaC6c