“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question that every child is accustomed to answering. Some kids want to be pilots, nurses or teachers while others are a bit more adventurous in their dreams of becoming trapeze artists or reality TV stars. But at 9 years old, Togar Saye Tarpeh had a very simple dream. He wanted to:

His dream may have been ambitious, but it was definitely achievable for a child living in Liberia in the late 1980s.

But when a bloody civil war broke out in December 1989, his dream became seemingly impossible overnight.

Togar writes, “Because my father’s tribe was being hunted and killed, we fled to his native hometown for safety. We lived there for the next five years as the war raged on. I did not see the doors of a classroom for all of those years.”

In 1994, as the war hit a brief lull, Togar’s family moved back to the war-ravaged capital of Monrovia. There his father pleaded for school officials to allow Togar to return to school.  They finally agreed to allow him in. Togar was almost 15 years old, but he would have to start back where he left off — 3rd grade.

The next few years were very difficult for Togar. His father passed away following a brief illness and his mother moved to the United States to be with his older sister.  As Togar turned 18  and entered his first year of middle school, he had no parental support. He felt alone in the world.

But that is when Togar found his way to Ford Madden Christian Academy (FMCA) — a CRF sponsored school. Togar was quickly sponsored by the Dale family who offered endless encouragement as well as financial support so Togar could attend school, receive adequate nutrition, and grow into a healthy, thriving adult.

In 2005, the first piece of Togar’s once-impossible dream came true. He graduated with his high school diploma from FMCA.  And then, through his sponsor’s continued support, Togar earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology and public administration. 

Togar at his college graduation.

But Togar didn’t stop after realizing the second step of his dream. He got a job working directly with the Liberian Government through the President’s Young Professionals Program! Through this program, Togar worked with the UN / Liberian Peacebuilding Office — striving every day to rebuild the bonds that had been torn apart by war.

In 2012, the final pieces of Togar’s childhood dream came together when he married his loving wife and later had a son. And then they took in three other children who needed his family’s support.

But Togar didn’t stop there. Fueled by years of encouragement from his sponsors and his community, he decided to dream even bigger! Togar enrolled in the University of Liberia and has just graduated with his Master of Arts in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation. He now works as a Peacebuilding Project Officer and supports community restoration initiatives across Liberia. 

Civil war deeply affected Togar’s life, but he turned that pain into action. He has become an agent of peace and hope to everyone around him. Togar’s dreams weren’t beyond his reach. He just needed to stretch.  And he needed a little boost.

That’s what CRF sponsors do — they give a small boost of support and belief to a child who is already stretching to reach their goals. That boost changes lives and has the potential to change the world.  

“I know the person I have become today would not have been possible without the support I received through CRF sponsorship. I remain so grateful for your contribution to my success and pray that God repays you in unexpected ways.”

Watching Togar grow into the man he was created to be is repayment in full.