Nelly Cooper, President of West Point Women and her team of dedicated women hosted philanthropist Abigail Disney and Kennedy Odede, Co-Founder & CEO of Shining Hope for Communities, a Kenyan organization focused on girls education, health, community empowerment and health and sanitation.
The goal of the visit was to share strategies and explore opportunities for learning. Similar to WPW, SHOFCO is based in the largest slum in the capital city of Nairobi so both organizations were able to share challenges and barriers to improving the quality of life in their communities, as well as stories of success. Both communities have made great strides in bringing successful projects to their communities: West Point Women in the areas of sanitation removal and SHOFCO in the area of clean water and alternative energies. During a tour of the West Point community, which is home to over 60,000 families, leaders were able to discuss the potential for replication of projects, as well as the promising aspect of creating a movement among urban slum communities, and how that movement could bring powerful outcomes for their citizens.
Thank you for your support, which allows exchanges like this to happen!
West Point Women for Health and Development Organization bought seven machines from Guinea with funds from the Global Neighborhood Fund (GNF) through GlobalGiving.
During the months of January, February and March, massive awareness on Gender Base Violence (GBV) in the West Point communities was carried out. Also in March, awareness on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and violence against women were carried out in the seven zones of West Point which now results into the minimizing of all kinds of violence against women in the Township of West Point. Since the inception of our awareness campaign, violence against women is reduced a bit. This has become a major milestone for our work in the township.
The West Point Women for Health and Development attended the International Women’s Day celebration on March 8th 2012 in Bomi County. This program was attended by almost all women groupings from all over Liberia; Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also attended the program.
On March16, 2012 a rape case involving a 5 years old victim was attended by the West Point Women for Health and Development. The case was closely followed by us, the victim received medication from the Redemption Hospital and the perpetrator was apprehended by the Police. On May 2, 2012 we also attended to a rape case involving a 16 years old girl bringing the perpetrator to justice. All of these rape cases; the family looked to us for transportation to the hospital, feeding as well as the little fees that needed to be taken care of.
A woman by the name of Mary Sack was abandoned by her fiancé Kojo. Mary with her daughter was encouraged by her fiancé to move to Liberia. After been in Liberia for few years, she had the second child by him, a boy. Few months back while Mary was pregnant with the third child, she was severely flogged by her fiancé nearly losing her child when he refused to contribute to the welfare of the family. Kojo finally left the house leaving the family vulnerable and striving on their own without support. He has refused to identify with them in any matter of support for their well-being. After the flogging which resulted to several bruises on her body, the West Point Women for Health and Development was contacted for assistance. Mary was taken to the hospital for medical checkup. We provided the medical expenses and helped with the feeding and clothing for her children. To date, the fiancé is nowhere to be found for clarity or apprehension.
When Mary had given birth to the third child; we took care of the medical bills and clothing’s for the baby as well. We then linked her with a partner organization who helped us took care of the delivery bills and the responsibility of transporting her back to her homeland Ghana.
We want to appreciate the GlobalGiving Family and the many contributors for the support to West Point Women; we wholeheartedly appreciate our donors as well for their kind donations in helping us help humanity.
Thanks ever so much to you all.
We want to thank the GlobalGiving Family for the support to the West Point Women; we wholeheartedly appreciate our donors as well for their kind donations to help us help humanity.
During the period under review, we were faced with electoral problem in our country Liberia, most especially the West Point community was faced with many challenges during this period, October and November. We were caught up with cases of mediation and conflict resolving with family members as well as community dwellers.
We had this case where, the clinic in West Point called us the Women’s Group to attend to this case of a woman who gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, stating that the lady needed help. They are asking us if we could take the initiative keep her with us while we can find her parents because according to the clinic director, they cannot locate any one from the woman end, she had been in the clinic for days and no one had come to claim her and the children. We went and took the woman in along with her twins, kept them for three days while trying to locate her family, we located her relatives in the Borough of New Kru Town on Bushrod Island and later they took her home. We named the twins, Ellen and Joe because we had just finished with our election and the President and Vice President had just won the election just within this time the twins were born. This took place in early December 2011.
In March last year a woman told us from Bomi county how she was forcibly initiated into FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and had come to us seeking redress in this case involving two women who got her forcibly initiated into. We (West Point Women for Health and Development Organization) embraced her and decided we will help her by taking up the case of this sister because this was first of a kind in Liberia where a woman was willing to speak out on FGM.
The WPW took the woman to hospital along with her twins who are a boy and a girl, when the woman came to us along with her children we make sure they seek medical attention because at the time, we found them to be in a deplorable condition and needed immediate medical attention. We also make sure we got a medical document indicating that she indeed underwent the process of FGM.
We helped her through the process until early July this year when the two women involved were indicted by the Criminal Court- A at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia for the crime of kidnapping because this lady in question was indeed kidnapped by these two women who went to Ruth house entered and forcibly took she and her twins away to an unknown destination until after a month Ruth was found to have been taken to the Sande bush where she was found to be initiated into FGM. This case became a talk of the towns which got the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia, the Ministry of Gender and Development, Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia along with other international and local NGOs helping us to press forward on the case.
After about a week the case came to climax where the two women were sentence to prison three year each for getting a woman initiated into FGM against her will. FGM in Liberia is a taboo to speak about because when you do so, you may risk been initiated yourself therefore it is hard for just any one who is not a member to speak about. People are living in fear of been initiated into FGM but this case brought a little relief about the so called taboo, many people are found to be talking about FGM lately the danger it poses to women and its effects on their children.
Narrative and expenditure Report Six Months August 2010- 2011 February 2011 Gender Based Violence GBV and Abandonment Program in the West Point Community
West Point Women for Health and Development Organization received the total amount of five thousand United States Dollars ($5,000.00 USD) from Globalgiving, this amount was used to help combat the Gender Based Violence challenges, the high illiteracy rate and crime in our community, we have embarked on carrying out massive awareness on Gender Based Violence, due to the prevalent rate of this crime in the community we give our time to volunteering and carrying out awareness for total elimination of Gender Based Violence commonly known as GBV in the community. Under the six months period, beginning August 2010 to February 2011 the project take into account the following: Massive awareness on GBV, staff and volunteers stipends in the implementation process.
The staff and volunteers worker most often carry out GBV works in the community and some part of Monrovia especially the slum community’s areas, the women are often abandoned by their spouses due to joblessness of most male counterparts, because of these problems, the West Point Women for Health and Development Organization has been drawn into doing mediations to help patch up these family problems and help in finding solution and bringing peace to a torn apart family. The Mediation program is commonly named: The Walhalla Program.
Due to the humanitarian work carry out by leaders of the WPWHDO women and other volunteers members, to help encourage volunteers, the President receives a monthly stipend of sixty (60) United States dollars, Vice president fifty (50), Secretary fifty (50), Treasurer fifty (50), Walhalla Coordinator, fifty (40), Abandonment Coordinator (40) and a GBV counselor that received 30 United States dollars for the period of six months beginning August 2010 to January 2011.
During the six months period, 4 rape cases were taken to hospital and 3 cases of domestic violence (beating and burning) were taken to the hospital and clinic, while these victims were undergoing treatments, they were also been fed, some were fed for a week, some for 3 days and another for a week and half. When these women come to us battered and bleeding, we have to provide clothing for them and their children, we usually buy used clothing to help cloth them.
Because the work we do is so intricate, we have to make calls to victims spouse or family members as well as making calls to the police to help in a case, we sometimes used more than 1 (one) $5. Scratch card to make these calls in a day in order to have the perpetrator(s) apprehended and victims taken to hospital. During the six months period, we bought 3 phones, 1 (one) for the Abandonment Program and 2 (two) for the GBV program, used 10 scratch cards, 5 cards was used for the GBV program while 5 cards was used for the Walhalla and Abandonment Programs respectively. These programs continue due to the demand from the people who see us as a source of hope for them.
These are people who livelihood depends heavily on fishing and petty trade, the congestion of buildings and the over crowdedness are all contributing factors for these crimes, also being that West Point is closer to town, had made it why West Point is overcrowded and congested.
We therefore take this time to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our many donors who make contributions to us through the GlobalGiving in order to help our works in helping humanity, we are highly grateful to you and the Globalgiving family who are making the difference in the lives of our people. THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR YOUR KINDNESS TO HUMANITY.
Under the GBV Program: In late December 2010, a woman name Elizabeth was burned by her fiancé with hot water, the women took the initiative to help by providing medical attention for the victim and also help with her feeding for a month. She was treated and is now well and sound in health, she even celebrated the International Women’s Day with us yesterday.
In February 2011, a young woman name Linda was severely cut by her fiancé as a result of an argument that erupted between the two, she was then taken to the clinic by the women who paid for the treatment, she was given more than eighteen stitches on her two arms because of this, she refused to compromise the matter with her boyfriend, we then help her carry the case to the police and the man was apprehended and put in the Central Prison of Monrovia,
We have attended to more than four abused cases during the six months period, and have been receiving more cases on mediation, it’s like, every day we received two or more cases of mediation. During the three months period, we attended on two rape cases but the perpetrators escape and up to now we have not gotten any report on their whereabouts from the police, we still hoping that one day these wicked men will be caught. Can you imagine, a girl was left at home by her mother who went for a visit to her relatives for a week and left this fifteen year old girl at home, this girl was in her room studying at night and fell asleep, when this fellow tore away the zinc off the door and enter in the room, held the girl’s mouth and threaten to kill her with the scissors he tore the zinc with if she raise any alarm. This happen two weeks ago and the doer of the act is at large.
Walhalla (Mediation & Conflict Resolution)
A lady came to us for help when her two children father abandoned her along with the children, the Chief mediator sent for him , when he came , he told us that he needed to take the eldest of the children on which term the mother agreed and give the eldest to the father, after so doing, she requested for transportation to enable her go back to her parents in Maryland, Liberia, since indeed he had decided he don’t want her anymore and she didn’t have anywhere to stay, the man told us he did not have money, that he needed three months to transport her back to her parents, we told him three months was a long time because the woman said , she didn’t have any relative with whom she would stay with, he then said he was going to reach us within a week see about the woman transport, but never came back , the woman too without anywhere to stay, told us she really want to go home to her parents. We than decided to take her in with the hope of prevailing on the ex-spouse to see reason to transport her back home but to no avail, we therefore decided to transport her ourselves because keeping her and feeding her and the child will cost us more expensive.
We had this case about one Muslim Fulani woman and her boyfriend a Fulani Muslim too, this woman kept coming and we kept calling this man for more than two months we were on the case, with the man not wanting to help with the feeding of the mother of his son, according to him, he’s only concerned about his baby son and don’t care if the mother eat or not, we most times help the woman with food because she’s a nursing mother, she was also referred to the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) concerning her two other children who father, her ex-husband refused her custody of her own under age children, the matter was settled, she have custody of the little girl and the father takes the little boy with the agreement for both parents to have the children visiting each parent.
These are some of the things we do.
(for the full report including financial information, please see attached)
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