Alexander H. Jeffy and Yogie B. Jeffy have lived together for over 30 years now in challenging and good times. The couple has five children and the entire family has been in the United States since 1985. Prior to leaving for the United States, Mr. Jeffy worked as a Managing Director for the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation (LPMC). Also, before becoming the Managing Director of LPMC, he worked as an Assistant Manager under former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai in Voinjama, Lofa County. In 1985 when Liberia was gradually becoming unstable and insecurity was growing overwhelmingly high, he and the family left Liberia for the United States.
Since that time, the Jeffy family has been in the land of opportunity that almost every Liberian yearns to go, but now the couple, having spent these long years in the United States, has now happily returned to the original homeland with the goal of helping in the way they can to impact people who may not have the privilege to travel to the United States.
“Before leaving the country in 1985, we built this house in 1983, but could not live here because of the disturbances in the country at that time. Since 1985, my family and I have been in the United States. I am retired and my wife is retired, and we are happy to be back home,” said Mr. Jeffy.
Living in that land of opportunity could not be wasted especially when it comes to the development of the Jeffy’s family. The last of the five children is working on his doctorate degree. One of their daughters, Louise Jeffy, has completed her Doctorate Degree.
“Our kids are all doing well; we are happy for them, but it is regrettable that we have to leave them behind to come here and resettle. It was not by our will to leave Liberia by then, but the situation at the time dictated for such a departure. In spite of mixed emotions, we are happy to be home. We have been here since March, and we just feel good being home,” Mr. Jeffy added.
As part of the many opportunities in the United States, retired old folks have a welfare home where they are taken care of and Mr. Jeffy agrees that this home is there, but they decided to return home to give back what Liberia has given them by contributing in the Advisory or Consultant capacity, noting that “Being retired does not mean one is tired.”
The family, without any procrastination, has begun providing support to a school in Lofa, the county from where Mrs. Jeffy hails, and they are liaising with the Messiah Lutheran Church in the U.S. for support to the school. In the mean time they have brought books and computers to the school and are contemplating doing more, though they are not sure that they can meet all the needs the school has in their lifetime.
Mr. Jeffy is of the view that “Home is home,” and being in the United States is being in another country. “You may become a citizen, yes, but being in your own home is an opportunity. We could have remained there to live all our life, but it is better to be home to live in our own house we built 35 years ago.”
Mr. Alexander H. Jeffy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the Cuttington University College (now Cuttington University) with long years of managerial experience in his professional area.
His years at the Liberia Marketing Produce Company has brought him close connections to people in Agriculture and this business area. Liberia has a unique climate that influences the growth of crops of all kinds, but it is yet to feed itself with the long history of Agriculture. In response to a question about why Liberia has not been able to feed itself, Mr. Jeffy said while with the LPMC in Liberia years back, they were interacting directly with the farmers and encouraging them to produce crops such as cocoa, coffee and rice, but cannot say exactly what the situation is now as LPMC is being dissolved. With the active role of LPMC in forming coorporatives among farmers to produce cash crops, Jeffy said things were moving well and he would like to see the same if asked what he can suggest for Agriculture in Liberia.
He said America where he lived is a world power, and one of the things making it a world power is that it feeds itself and food is plentiful everywhere and every time there, and he wishes that Liberia can place a premium to Agriculture to be self sustainable.
Mrs. Yogie Jeffy feels that being in Liberia is more rewarding than she thought. Her joy for being home especially arises from the fact that she sees people of the same color, same structure and identities as hers. “It is just wonderful being a Liberian and returning home,” said Madam Jeffy.
In the United States, Madam Jeffy says when you are there for education it is great, but being there with a family is quite challenging as meeting family needs takes much of your time, and she prefers being in Liberia than in the United States.
Leaving Liberia to go to the United States is an opportunity that cannot be tampered with. Madam Jeffy, explaining why some do not want to return to Liberia, said “When you come from the slum and go there without anything back home for you, you are happy to be there, but anyone from other parts of Liberia with houses and other properties will always like to return home despite the beauty of America.”
In the United States, Madam Jeffy was working as a Child Care Provider and had her own Child Daycare. She shut it down to return to Liberia after reaching her retirement age.
While in Liberia, Mr. Jeffy was also interested in sports and was involved with supporting soccer players. During this time, he and late General Kolako also assisted and encouraged President George Weah in his Soccer career.
Since he returned to Liberia, he has not met President Weah, and would be happy to pay a visit to him after staying away from each other for a long time.
“The late General Kolako and I had assisted some potential players here in building their football career, and President Weah was one of them. I have not had an opportunity to meet with him since my return, but hope to eventually do so.