This Too Is Liberia

A person in yellow trunks surfing on a blue board with an island in the background

"This Too Is Liberia" is feature length documentary with the intent to amplify the voices of Liberians by discussing an unlikely topic, surfing. Through the eyes, Melvin S. Kabakole Jr. and his friend Philip Banini Jr., we are transported into Monrovia and Robertsport, Liberia.

We follow Melvin as he tries to maintain Waves For Change Monrovia, one of the only surf therapy programs in West Africa. Although Monrovia is by the sea, most of the community doesn't know how to swim which results in drownings. Due to issues with governmental greed and infrastructure, most of the community also does not have access to professional therapists.

This also reigns true for in Philip's hometown Robertsport, Liberia. However, unlike Monrovia, Robertsport is a local fishing port where most children learn how to swim from a young age. Philip tries to encourage Melvin to keep striving to help the children and parents in Monrovia overcome their fears of the ocean.

Through the journey of trying to build the program, Melvin and Philip both grow in incite to their community's need for council.

Grants Awarded to This Too Is Liberia

$25,000 - Awarded December 2021

Focus areas
Immigrant Voices

The 2021 film grant will support "This Too Is Liberia," an immersive documentary that follows Liberian surfer Melvin Kabakole Jr. and his friends as they heal their traumatized communities in Liberia through surf therapy.

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