Great hope for the future
Liberia, a West African country, continues to recover from the ravages of a 14-year civil war in which children and young people made up the largest group of recruited fighters.
Although Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world and has been through many challenges, it is a country led by an inspiring female president, and there is great hope for the future.
Girl Up's Impact in Liberia
With support from Girl Up, the UN launched a new girls initiative in 2011. In the first year, the program will focus on adolescent girls in seven communities in Gbarpolu and Montserrado counties, reaching more than 10,000 girls. Here are some of the program specifics:
- The UN Development Program (UNFPA) has empowered 400 girls to stay in school through leadership training, livelihood skills training and apprenticeship opportunities.
- The Ministry of Health mapped adolescent sexual and reproductive health services in 4 counties in Liberia, some of which had no existing services.
- Working with Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to adapt existing educational materials on HIV to be adolescent-friendly.
- 688 people from target communities were sensitized to the negative consequences of harmful traditional practices like child marriage and gender-based violence.
- Mass media campaigns were conducted in target communities on gender-based violence and child marriage with T-shirts, stickers and calendars with the slogan, “Child marriage can hurt your daughter’s future.”
- 167 traditional leaders and government officials attended meetings to educate decision makers about child rights and the health and psychosocial implications of harmful traditional practices.
- 25 women were trained to mentor in and out-of-school adolescent girls on life skills in safe spaces created in 5 government health centres.
- Business skills trainers mentored 40 older adolescents in 2 communities with literacy skills and job opportunities.
- 20 “community champions” were trained to co-facilitate workshops on harmful traditional practices and address issues in their communities.