Liberia Institute for Girls - Todee
 
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What's LIG?

LIG is the acronym for Liberia Institute for Girls - Todee : An emerging applied poverty research and sustainable development platform for the Todee region of Liberia.  The foundation of the LIG ecosystem is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education environment for young women and girls. 

To begin with a K-6 STEM academy, LIG education is free-of-charge to all students and their parents; hence, freeing each girl to stay in school without eternal burdens, and thrive without fear of abuse and harassment. The story of Fatu is a classic example of the plight of Liberian women and girls: https://www.liberianobserver.com/opinion/commentaries/racing-against-time-saving-fatu-and-others-from-sexual-abuse-and-socioeconomic-vulnerability-in-liberia/:

The LIG project is informed and guided by human needs, environmental concerns and sustainability standards, in which sustainability is referred to as the ability of the LIG to evolve and thrive overtime. The LIG’s academic program will be complemented by ancillary micro-enterprise incubators such as a market garden that introduce students to entrepreneurship basics—empowering students to grow their own nutritious food and sell the excess produce to generate revenue. Consistent with the STEM philosophy, these activities would offer experiential learning opportunities to students, while promoting a sense of ownership and tangible accomplishment. 

Why LIG

The LIG paradigm is, perhaps what the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) called “conflict-sensitive development”[1] -  a long-term post-conflict development strategy that addresses structural causes of conflict, in tandem with short- to medium-term intervention mechanisms that foster peace-building and sustainable development. The Liberian Daily Observer newspaper article featured above highlights the significance of the LIG project.

 

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Making a Difference!

"My visit to the Todee region of Liberia several years ago made a profound impression on me. After many years of conflict and lost educational opportunities for the children of Liberia, the Liberia Institute for Girls - Todee (LIG) offers hope for future generations of young women who will become the country's thinkers, innovators, scientists, mathematicians, teachers, entrepreneurs, leaders, and peacemakers. The needs are great, but I am excited about all the ways in which the LIG will work to meet those needs."

— Kevin Zook, PhD - Dean & Professor | School of Education, Holy Family University (President, PA Association of Colleges & Teacher Educators)

Mission

Teach a Girl to Fish” -  By aligning her education with STEM-Careers and a habit of health, encourage her to strive for gender parity blended in Christ-like compassion, and connect her with exemplary global women-leadership. 

Vision

We envision a Liberia in which young women and girls will achieve socioeconomic self-reliance, fulfill their highest potential and contribute to Liberia’s prosperity.

Why Liberia

Founded by freed African Americans in the 1800s,  Liberia is struggling to recover from the devastation of a 14-year civil conflict (1989-2003), a deadly Ebola Viral Disease outbreak (2014-2015), and a culture of abuse and marginalization of women.  As the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) noted, “Long standing impacts from the war, compounded by the 2015 school closure due to the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) outbreak, continue to take a toll on the fragile education system.[3]

To mitigate some of these challenges, we have convened a broad-based coalition of Liberian and international partners, aimed at providing the space for Liberian young women and girls to thrive - and for the people of Todee to begin hammering out long-term solutions to the region's challenges.

Why Todee

  • Accessibility: Todee is a rural district endowed with diverse ecosystems about 45-mile from the nation's capital, Monrovia

  • Land availability: The LIG was able to acquired 300-acre of land for the LIG project on both sides of the Du River, bordering Montserrado and Margibi Counties

  • Indigenous Knowledge of the landscape: The LIG's Liberian partners understand Todee's landscape and people more than any other parts of the country. If successful here, the LIG paradigm could probably be deployed as a viable sustainable development model by other districts across Liberia.

    To get involve, contact one of our board members or project coordinator, James Kerkula: james.kerkula@communitycapitaladvisors.org; 267-344-9891.

[1] https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=undp+report+about+Liberia+inadequate+education+system

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_colonial_possessions

[3] USAID: Liberia – Environment – USAID’s Website, Updated Nov. 7, 2017. https://www.usaid.gov/liberia/environment