Dawn of a New Era for Young Women and Girls of Liberia

Have you read about Liberia lately? I mean after the 1990s and early 2000s when BBC, CNN and other media outlets around the globe carried headlines of a bloody internal conflict—a Liberia in which young women and girls dare to believe in themselves, to never give up and to dream big.

Well, it seems there’s a dawn of a new era in Liberia. Thanks to the (relative) successful presidency of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2004 - 2017), combined with the unwavering efforts of Liberian women-trailblazers, the hopes and dreams of Liberian young women and girls are on the rise. They are now seeing themselves in President Sirleaf, Nobel Laureate Leymah Glowee, U.N. Diplomat Angie Brooks-Randolph, University President Mary Antionette Brown Sherman, and many others. 

Probe this statement from Ms. Gbowee about her own daughter, for example: “Six months after Ellen’s election, the elementary school where she went had an election for class officers. The children went out and did their campaigning and they got elected. They had 12 elementary classes and so you had 12 presidents—and 11 of them were girls! Here was the most amazing thing for me: When I was growing up, girls aspired to be the chaplain or the treasurer of the class. You really didn’t see them stepping up to say, ‘I want to be president.’ But immediately after the election of this woman, you had all these little girls saying, ‘If Ellen can be president, I want to be another Ellen.’”

Although Liberian young women and girls still faced enormous challenges, things are looking up! More Liberians and fellow Africans are realizing the importance of educating the GIRL CHILD than ever before. But there’s a problem: Parents inability to pay. 

Run for Africa (2018) hope to change that in a tiny way. We are running/walking on September 23rd in Philadelphia, to extend the privilege of education to many more underprivileged girls as possible in the Todee region of Liberia.  

Eighty-three years old, Stephen Akintoye writes,

"I’m delighted to contribute to this project so Liberian girls with less means have access to high quality education." Stephen Akintoye, PhD, former Senator of Nigeria and Retired Professor of Eastern University.

James Kerkula