Liberia's exploding youth population is ripe for leadership development and capacity-building. GPFA has a keen interest in Liberia's girls and women because their status is the linchpin to true reconciliation and development. GPFA inspires to empower with educational and career opportunities via scholarships, youth magazine employment and work as family planning ambassadors. When a girl or woman is educated, it radically transforms the trajectory of her own life and future family.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
The high rate of early marriage and pregnancy among girls continues to hamper development. Nearly 1 in 5 girls aged 15-19 are married and 38 percent of women aged 20-24 birthed their first child before turning 18 years old. Girls who marry early and/or have children before 18 are less likely to continue schooling and leave themselves and children vulnerable to poverty. This project will enable women to continue their education thereby delaying early marriage and unwanted pregnancy.
How will this project solve this problem?
Liberia provides free education for primary school. Yet, there are few opportunities for girls to advance in high education. Since 2010, only three girls achieved a Division II or better score on the regional end-year exam compared with over two dozen boys. The cultural pressure to engage in risky sexual behavior, enter into early marriage and teen pregnancy are obstacles to higher education. GPFA fills this need by providing girls and women the support they need to attend university.
Potential Long Term Impact
GPFA will fully support scholarships for girls and women both within and outside of Liberia. The high rate of early marriage and teen pregnancy is an outgrowth of the limited opportunities for advancement Liberian girls face. Strides have been particularly in increasing access to primary education. Access to higher education enables Liberian women to advance their educational and career opportunities, develop as community leaders, and better provide for their present and future families.
Total Funding Received to Date: $2,479
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $22,521
Total Funding Goal: $25,000