NGO Launches Scholarship Scheme for 100 Disadvantaged Women In Liberia

By Gerald C. Koinyeneh

 In an effort to empower disadvantaged women and girls in Liberia, a local Non-governmental organization, Sherah Young Women Initiative has launched a scholarship scheme for 100 of vulnerable girls and single mothers in Monrovia and its surroundings.

Young women read an educational book at an adolescent youth centre in Uganda. The government has pledged to inject up to $5m a year into family planning. Photograph: Neil Thomas/Getty Images
Photograph: Neil Thomas/Getty Images

Speaking to FrontPage Africa on Tuesday, December 18 in Monrovia, the Founder and Executive Director of the organization, Miatta Sonii Jarry indicated that under the scholarship program, the young women, mainly street girls and single mothers with two or three children will be afforded the opportunity to go back to school at some of the best private academic institutions; while others will be enrolled at the organization’s vocational training center to acquire basic life skills including sewing, cosmetology, catering and interior decoration and arts and crafts.

According to Mrs. Jarry, the 100 girls and young women do not have parental support and are mostly high school dropout; nothing that 80 of them were abandoned by their fathers and most of them already have two to three kids. She added that 20 of them live in the streets.

She further asserted that the condition of most young women across the country, especially in the urban areas including Monrovia is appalling; and as such it requires the intervention of both the government and private sectors including civil society organizations and private citizens to rescue them.

 She made a passionate appeal to the government to negotiate with each of the private schools operating in Liberia to provide at least ten scholarships to vulnerable Liberian girls.

Said Mrs. Jarry: “We are calling on the government to intervene because If you have girls who should be in school having babies, there is no way we can tackle poverty. It should be a serious concern to government. We need to do something about girls’ education we need to ensure that they succeed. If we empower women, we are empowering Liberia. We call on the Ministry of Education to please talk to these private schools for each of them to create ten slugs of scholarships where these vulnerable girls can be recruited.”

Madam Sirleaf encouraged the young women at the conference to “think big and dream big;” adding “if your dreams don’t scare you, then they are not big enough.”

Giving detail account of her book, the author, Mrs. Jarry noted that “Strength of A Woman” is a devotional book and a diary designed “specially to inspire and motivate women to be great and not to be complacent and limit themselves to housewives and baby machines; but to rise up and seek to contribute positively to Liberia’s growth.”

She noted that proceed from the book will be used to support the program and called on Liberians; especially women to purchase the book as a mean of supporting the initiative to help these vulnerable young women.

“We are calling on women to buy the book to raise fund and sustain the program. We will run a vocational school for the ones that have dropped out of high school and who have no intention of going back to school. They have children; some of them are so young and dropped out of High school because of no support.”


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