Gender Ministry Launches Girls Ebola Support Project
By R. Joyclyn Wea
The Ministry of Gender Children Social Protection with funding from the World Bank has for the first time launched the Girls Ebola Recovery Livelihood Support or (GERLS) project in the country.
The project will benefit 200 adolescent girls and young women in the three counties including Montserrado, Margibi, and Grand Bassa that are interested in improving and expanding their businesses.
One hundred girls and young women who are alumni of the empowerment project for adolescent girls (EPAG), while the other 1,000 will be the batch of EVD affected girls and young women.
The GERLS project will provide life and business skills training, as well as cash grants to support the re-generation of expansion of businesses of targeted adolescent girls and young women and will provide mentoring to beneficiaries to guide the growth of their businesses.
Delivering the keynote address at the launch of the project on Tuesday April 11, 2017 in Monrovia, foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara said it is widely acknowledged that full utilization of all of the potentials of women is critical to national development.
According to Ambassador, the challenge of empowerment for transformation must therefore be addressed forthrightly with today’s girls and young women. Kamara noted that the GERLS project presents an opportunity to continue process of shaping and equipping the next generation of leaders of Liberia saying “all who form part of this coalition for girl’s empowerment must be commended as it is the beginning of a process that will also in time touch the lives of young women in other counties, a seed that will eventually sprout in all fifteen counties of our country.
She explained that while there are compelling arguments for gender equality to ensure social, political, and economic stability, government should shine its eyes on some practical benefits of investing in women.
Kamara advises girls and young women selected in the three counties to be the pioneers to utilize the opportunities being afforded them under the project. “Through this assistance, you assume some accountability and responsibility for success. You are being given a second chance to recover from the disastrous impact of the Ebola virus; to sharp or reshape your destiny to become productive members of society and champions of the rights of girls and young women”, she further.
She stressed the need for the girls to strive to make positive impact in the lives of their family and community. In addition, the Minister of Gender Children Social Protection, Julia Duncan Cassell said the ministry is delighted to collaborate with the World Bank group, and the Liberia country office in the launch of the GERLS project.