Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa

The mission of the Foundation is to promote holistic transformation in Africa by facilitating equal access to opportunities in all spheres of influence. Its vision is a peaceful and reconciled Africa that recognizes and utilizes the skills and talents of all, regardless of gender and ethnicity. How GPFA Got Its Logo: The Unity Circle sculpture is a traditional West African wood carving of three intertwined figures holding up a shared bow.. It symbolizes community, cohesion, and cooperation. These values underpin the GPFA's efforts to build a peaceful, reconciled Africa through the inclusive efforts of men, women and the youth. GPFA focuses its efforts by empowering women and youth--tr...
Mar 16, 2015

EDUCATIONAL POSSIBILITIES in POST-EBOLA LIBERIA

Program Officer Johana & Boarding Student Musu
Program Officer Johana & Boarding Student Musu

EBOLA IN LIBERIA

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) furiously threatened the very existence of Liberians. It crippled our already weakened health structures, policies, and practices. It claimed the lives of thousands of our mothers and children. And it took away our regular, every-day way of life – case in point is the one clear distinction we have as Liberians - hand-contact greetings. Over the past months, the virus curiously stigmatized the nature of our society; our way of life. Nevertheless, we have persevered and we continue to work with community based organizations to help eradicate the virus out of Liberia.

EDUCATION AFTER THE EVD FIGHT

On the last rung of this pyramid of suffering are our young girls and women. Schools were closed in the midst of the health crisis brought on by the EBOLA Virus Disease and their very survival was on the line. As health workers and the international community arrived with major support, local and rural communities were already at the mercy of the virus. Thanks to you our Globalgiving Partners, and other international, regional and national actors, including local and rural health care workers and women and young girls serving as community volunteers, we have turned a page on Ebola in Liberia.

The reduction of Ebola cases in Liberia has been followed by the reopening of schools.  This development, while worth celebrating, necessitates the need to continue to push the message of non-complacency about the virus, and fight post-Ebola struggles of ordinary families living in marginalized communities. Schools are now reopening across the country. The economic hardship created by the Ebola Virus further pushed poor families to reconsider education, NOT as a priority for their children -  the primary challenges being: the very high cost of living, tuition, transportation, school supplies and uniforms, etc. And this is a fair argument for an underpriveledged mother with three girls to feed and take care off. We say it is unfair to assume nothing can be done about this on the part of civil society and international partners, and, with your support, we continue to take action to help where we can.

1st POST-EBOLA BWT

GPFA conducted its first post-EBOLA ‘Breakfast Walk ‘N Talk’ (BWT) in commemoration of International Women’s Day on March 7th, 2015. BWTers donned special colors for the day as we fired up our very own Stop Rape Campaign in honor of Rape Victims.  Under the theme, ‘554 Cases! Enough! Stop It!’ the Foundation brought together human rights and civil society groups, women-led organizations, youth activists, lawyers, leaders in governmental circles, students, community-based organizations, and well-wishers.  The participants all agreed that it was past time to end the silence and help transform the culture of rape that has become prevalent in Liberia, especially looking at the 2014 statistics of 554 total number of Rape Cases in the country, with 428 being the total number in Montserrado County alone; Montserrado being where the capital sits – the political capital of Liberia’s National Government. The scarier statistic is that 512 of this total number, signifies Rape Crimes perpetrated against children 0-17 years old (http://allafrica.com/stories/201501231792.html).  BWTers came either in their BWT tees or came rocking these colors for the following reasons: Baby Pink & Baby Blue -  as a show of support for the countless, helpless little girls and little boys that have been abused; RED - for the real danger in Rape situations which at times ends in death; WHITE - to symbolize the hope we carry in our hearts that one day - AND ONE DAY SOON – we shall be able to say we made history and helped bring pervasive behaviors to the light and put perpetrators to shame! This was the first BWT ever since our last one in July of 2014, due to the overwhelming unsafety of the EVD crisis.  It was a success and our young scholars used this occasion to participate in issues affecting them as they prepared to return to the classrooms.

POST-EBOLA EDUCATION

Over the last two months, with support from you our donors, GPFA began footing the education needs of young girls across the country. Ebola is on the run and the need for education, especially for young girls in post-Ebola Liberia has never been more relevant. With the complete breakdown of most infrastructures, GPFA is very cncerned about being able to help get girs back in school and alleviate the additional stress from the shoulders of the families whose lives we will be able to touch.  The Foundation continues to offer holistic scholarships ithat cover tuition, uniform, transportation, and other school-related cost for high schoolers and university students.

APPRECIATION

All the wonderful progress and issues GPFA continue to champion on behalf of the girls, women and youths in local communities would not be possible without the generous support of our many sympathizers and donors like you all in our Globalgiving network. We want to express our heartfelt appreciation of your humanity that stretches across international borders. We say than you - for standing with us as we stand for girls’ rights to be educated, for community development, for social justice.


On behalf of our girls whom you continue to cater to and educate, girls whom you may never meet in person but still graciously owe their educational stability in a troubled society to you, we say thank you. We would also like to know what you think. Are there other prevalent issues that you would like to see us continue to address in post-Ebola Liberia? As a global civil society, we would welcome any suggestions you may have that could assist and protect, the needs of young girls and women.

Boarding Students Supplies Ready to be dropped off
Boarding Students Supplies Ready to be dropped off
Flomo Theater Performing at Stop Rape Campaign
Flomo Theater Performing at Stop Rape Campaign
Kemah, Musu & Helena -GPFA
Kemah, Musu & Helena -GPFA's Boarding Students
BWT Int
BWT Int'l Women's Day -"554 Cases!Enough!Stop IT!"
Jan 14, 2015

Food Drive:Ebola Survivors & Female-Led Household

Ebola survivor children happily collect food
Ebola survivor children happily collect food

Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA) continues its campaign to provide direct community support to those affected by Ebola. In addition to funding community-based organizations' health awareness campaigns, contact tracing and outreach, GPFA provides direct support to those most vulnerable. 

In October 2014, GPFA partnered with STARZ College of Science & Technology to distribute $1000 USD worth of bags of rice and cooking oil to families in the Airfield community in Monrovia.  Over 20 families received food emergency packages.  Families patiently lined up to receive food allowance to help offset the challenges the health crisis has placed on marginalized families as STARZ facilitated the disbursement process.  

In December 2014, GPFA ramped up its food drive to focus on two vulnerable groups: Survivors of Ebola (particularly children) and female-headed households of young children.  GPFA partnered with Amos Sawboh of Orphan Concern Liberia, a Liberian-led youth initiative to support survivors of Ebola, to identify persons in need of aid in the Banjor area in the Virginia community of Monrovia. GPFA distributed $4000 USD worth of care packages of rice, cooking oil, beans, Quaker oats, sugar, canned milk, seasoning cubes and health kits of chloride, soap and hand sanitizers to over 30 families who had survived Ebola.  An additional 20 families of elderly female-headed households caring for dependent children received care packages and health kits in the Clara Town, Topoe Village on Gardnersville Highway, Matadi, and Morristown comunities in Monrovia.  As caretakers, girls and women are particularly at risk during the current health crisis according to a Dec. 14, 2014 Voice of America article. To ensure that care packages and health kits went to the most vulnerable, GPFA hand-delivered supplies to families.

Over 70 families received care packages and health kits. GPFA's partnership with Kids Engagement Project--which provides books and educational materials to children at home while schools were closed--and Orphan Concern will continue to monitor their progress. 

With your continued support, GPFA will continue to support local Liberian efforts to end Ebola, and keep children healthy, safe and engaged. 

A survivor of Ebola carries a care package home
A survivor of Ebola carries a care package home
Dec 11, 2014

Making Learning Happen at all Levels

GPFA Scholar Yvonne at Cedar Crest College
GPFA Scholar Yvonne at Cedar Crest College

GPFA is excited about  being able to continue to make learning happen at all levels during even trying times.  The Gbowee Peace Foundation has been able to stay true to a mantra of educating wonderful girls and giving them the opportunity of a life time, with support from wonderful donors like you. To date, our international students have all fitted into life on campus at their various schools in the US. Yvonne’s happily making new friends at Cedar Crest College whilst working to acquire her first degree in Social Work; Delight’s getting into the work force at Eastern Mennonite University and Anita’s assimilating into college life at Barnard; Delight and Anita both are our grantees from Ghana.  Georgia, who’s enrolled at the Clinton School of Public Service, studying for her master’s - is making strides at the University of Arkansas. With your help, we were able to get these students ready to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities afforded them through these scholarships.

The rest of our AGLI grantees have been out of school due to the outbreak of the deadly EBOLA Virus Disease (EVD) that has killed so many people in Liberia since February 2014 to present. Being innovative, GPFA espoused the idea of getting our students safe, whilst getting them trained to take part in the Foundation’s Ebola Outreach Initiative.  With that in mind, a one day EBOLA Outreach Awareness training with 9 of our Scholarship recipients from different Universities. These scholars were trained via our partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Work, by Registered Nurse Gloria Wayne – Davis.  At the end of the training, they were set to go out in their various communities, do awareness on how to prevent oneself from acquiring the EBOLA disease; they were also tasked with carrying out a survey of health facilities that are having medical supplies to protect themselves when attending to sick patients.  Our Grantees who got trained came from five of our partner Tertiary Institutions, namely Starz College of Technology, Tubman University, African Methodist Episcopal Zion University, Smythe Institute and e University of Liberia

Ebola Prevention Community Outreach by GPFA Scholarship Recipients

Through the support of you all our GlobalGiving donors, GPFA was able to provide small grants to Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Media Institutions in Local and Rural communities. Four of our scholarship recipients, Becky, Vaiba, Gwendolyn and Grace are actually the leaders of four of the CBOs and they have been very active in helping to kick EBOLA out of Liberia.  GPFA’s Scholars also did outreach with staff and they conducted a three days EBOLA Outreach Awareness with commercial drivers at public parking stations; they also assisted in educating Motorcyclists plying the targeted routes.  All of this community awareness work was done to help stop the spread of the EBOLA Virus in Liberia. The need for contact tracing, the promotion of the regular washing of hands; Our awareness team made sure to share the Ministry of Health’s preventive measures and to talk about the reintegration of EBOLA survivors in their respective communities.

As we await the re-opening of schools, our GPFA AGLI scholars are actively involved in educating their communities on ways to stop the prevention of the EVD, giving awareness about contact tracing, and striving to carry out validation in their communities.  The Foundation will continue to keep them engaged, innovatively making learning happen at all levels.  GPFA will keep our AGLI Scholarship recipients involved in this fight to eradicate this deadly disease, whilst ensuring that they are themselves following the preventative measures as announced by the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and the Liberian Health Ministry, and keeping safe.  

GPFA Scholar Georgia at University of Arkansas
GPFA Scholar Georgia at University of Arkansas
GPFA Scholar Anita at Barnard College, NY
GPFA Scholar Anita at Barnard College, NY
GPFA Scholars EBOLA Awareness Outreach
GPFA Scholars EBOLA Awareness Outreach
Training GPFA Scholars on EBOLA Prevention
Training GPFA Scholars on EBOLA Prevention

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