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...
Feb 2, 2016

Closing Out 2015 on a Very Good Note

Graduates Patience (R) & Nowoe (L) w/Program Staff
Graduates Patience (R) & Nowoe (L) w/Program Staff

Introduction

We are so excited to present our last quarter successes in 2015. During this quarter, three beneficiaries of the African Girls Leadership Initiative (AGLI) graduated with their Bachelor degrees in Biology (2 scholars) and Public Administration (1 Scholar). In addition, the Foundation held her last “Breakfast Walk and Talk” session, bringing together women from different works of life.  We were also able to host our Segal Ambassador for Family Planning workshop with students and beneficiaries from all of our local universities and two of our high schools in Liberia. After nearly four years of being in existence, we successfully conducted our first parental engagement meeting with parents and guardians of our many beneficiaries. Finally, our international students returned home for a visit and to also give back to the community.

Our Success, Our Pride

The last quarter of 2015 was really the time to celebrate the AGLI. This quarter saw three of our local students obtained Bachelors in different fields. Patience and Nowoe graduated from Mother Patern College of Health Sciences with Bachelors in Biology; while Carenether completed the United Methodist University earning her Bachelor in Public Administration. Carenether and Patience were part of the first group of beneficiaries recruited from Grand Bassa County; they were moved to Monrovia to attend the universities of their interests. Nowoe was transferred from our one time assistance grant program (Our Children’s Fund) after one year because she still couldn’t afford the tuition to complete her last year Bachelor program. GPFA provides educational, financial, social and relevant opportunities to especially, vulnerable and less fortunate women and girls across Liberia; therefore, Nuwoe’s situation met the criteria for her acceptance into our AGLI program. 

Presently, Nowoe and Patience are preparing to attend Medical school; GPFA will continue to support them to achieving their goals. These many achievements inspire us to celebrate our girls.

 

First Parental Engagement Meeting

GPFA held its 1st Parental engagement meeting after months of coordination between parents, scholars and staff alike to ensure the meeting took place. The meeting brought together 25 parents and guardians from both urban and rural Liberia. The meeting was held on December 3, 2015 at GPFA head office in Congo Town, Montserrado County.

 The meeting served as one of the means of directly engaging parents to discuss some of the challenges AGLI’s beneficiaries are faced with. Additionally, the meeting created a space for parents to understand the importance of AGLI. It is equally an opportunity for GPFA to work with parents/ guardians  in allowing her vision to be brought to light  while  also serving as an opportunity for GPFA to understand some of the  methods and formulate parents are using in helping us reach our scholarship goals. It is also one of the means to formulate new ideas for development and progress for AGLI. The meeting is a platform for GPFA to directly understand some of the difficulties faced by parents.  The Parents expressed heartfelt gratitude to GPFA and explained how the scholarship program has brought relief to the entire family, especially where some of them are unemployed and/or are low income earners.

Break Fast walk and talk

On October 31, 2015, GPFA held its regular and final Breakfast Walk and Talk (BWT) under the theme, “Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Based-Violence against Women and - Honoring the Girl Child.” This event brought together fifty (50) women and men from different parts of Monrovia. Due to the huge awareness about gender issues especially in Liberia, we at GPFA believe the fight against gender-based violence could be done if strong solidarity is built among women.

 

Our 2nd Annual SEGAL AMBASSADORS FOR FAMILY PLANNING TRAINING WORK SHOP

GPFA held its 2nd Annual SEGAL Ambassadors Family Planning Training Workshop at the Golden Gate Hotel in Montserrado County on October 10, 2015. This year’s SEGAL Family Planning Ambassadors training brought together 19 AGLI beneficiaries from the African Methodist Zion University, African Methodist Episcopal University, Smyth College of Nursing, United Methodist University, University of Liberia, Mother Patern College of Health Sciences, Cuttington University, Starz College of Technology, and Nathan E. Gibson High School. Facilitators for this year’s SEGAL workshop were drawn from Liberian Girls Guard Association, Medica Mondiale, Planned Parenthood Association, and Community Health Initiate. This training provides education and tools to our beneficiaries to planning a health family and living a healthy life.

 

GPFA INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS BACK FOR A VISIT

Our international students (Georgia and Yvonne) pursue graduate and undergraduate studies in the United States of America returned home for visit. Whist in Liberia, Georgia, our graduate student of the University of Arkansas - Clinton School of Public Service (Arkansas, USA) will be conducting an impact assessment with beneficiaries of the AGLI. This impact assessment will be the first since the assistance of GPFA AGLI. Yvonne, our undergraduate student at Cedar Crest College in the USA has returned to renew her I-20 Visa. Both Students will be volunteering with the Foundation until their time of return.

 

APPRECIATION

As we end this successful 2015 annual year, we extend our warm gratitude to all you many good and caring donors who have seen the need to brighten our future. You have helped us to make our dreams real and have given our beneficiaries and their communities reasons to celebrate. We wouldn’t have been successful without your many contributions.  The very growth and development of our beneficiaries depend on you.  Through your donations, you have helped change the lives of many women and young people. Thanks for a year full of hopes and successes for our program, we look forward to even more collaborations in 2016.

 

Our Graduate Carenether
Our Graduate Carenether
Segal Family Planning Ambassadors Training
Segal Family Planning Ambassadors Training
GPFA Parental Engagement Meeting Group Photo
GPFA Parental Engagement Meeting Group Photo
International Scholars Georgia (R) & Yvonne (L)
International Scholars Georgia (R) & Yvonne (L)
Nov 17, 2015

KICKING EBOLA OUT - SECOND TIME AROUND

Thermometers Giveaway to Beautiful Elem Students
Thermometers Giveaway to Beautiful Elem Students

On May 9th, 2015, Liberia was initially declared EBOLA free by the World Health Organization (WHO), after one year of serious health emergence due to the outbreak of one of the world’s deadly virus, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Liberians were very exhausted as the result; they celebrated in churches and other places of worship to give thanks to God. Not with standing, lots of people wept as they retrospect on the trauma they went through over the period due to the loss of their entire family members and friends.

Unfortunately, by the end of June the same year, a new case of Ebola was pronounced.  The medical alert in Liberia went back to square one as foreigners and citizens expressed disappointment and wonder at what was happening again. Our regional and international students, who had planned to come back home and serve their communities, could no longer come home. Nevertheless, we did not give up; we held ourselves together and continued the fight with courage that we will finally be declared free after completing the ensuing 42 days toward being declared EBLA-free once more.

THE SECOND FIGHT TO FINALLY ELIMINATE EBOLA

The second emergence of the EBOLA Virus resulted to more solidarity between communities. This solidarity led to the active participation between community members and community based organizations in the fight of the endemic. The overwhelming belief was that people had been too relaxed about the prevention protocols on keeping the EBOLA Virus Disease out after we’d been declared free of the EVD the first time.  As such, GPFA went back to work along with our partner Community-based Organizations and Media Institutions to continually preach the non-complacency messages on how to continue to prevent ourselves from catching the disease and help our communities in eliminating EVD.

During our interaction with communities, religious groups, medical groups, and media institutions, we reminded them that our neighboring countries - Sierra Leone and Guinea are still affected with cases of EVD, a fact that places us at a continued risk due to poor Border Control measure by the Government. We encouraged our communities to continue the daily washing of hands and utilizations of other EVD prevention control methods. With the good work from communities and other organizations, Liberia reached a point of being free at last.

 

WOMEN IN THE FOREFRONT: RURAL, RELIGIOUS AND MEDIA GROUPS

WE were excited to host visitors from other organizations in and out of the country, who sought to understand how GPFA worked specifically with women Groups in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.  Some came to hear of some accounts of how women effectively used their status as daughters, mothers, wives, sisters, leaders teachers, etc., in society to help combat the EVD. GPFA invited women groups to share their experiences with our visitors concerning the role their organizations played during the EBOLA Endemic. Women groups from the areas of health, religion, media and local community based groups who benefitted from the small grants were present to give their thoughts.

 

Health Partners

Our health partners explained that during the EBOLA outbreak they were mobilizing and creating awareness as her institution trained local structure within the communities in order to be knowledgeable about the EVD due to it being a new phenomenon to Liberia. She highlighted that in the beginning, people were unaware of the effect of the disease and how to manage it but despite them not knowing how to manage the virus, they were enthusiastic in working in their communities. The women groups carried out sensitization Jehovah witness-style. The Health Practitioners explained that people obtained knowledge in the washing hand procedures which resulted into the decrease of EVD.

 

Religious Groups

The representatives of religious groups shared that the church had prayer time by organizing seminars and inviting other partners, an act in itself that was intended to educate their members about the disease as well as to encourage them to go out and spread the message on how to avoid contracting the EVD within their. Gatherings like revivals and crusade where church leaders carried out deliverance service (lying of hands on people) were mandatorily cut off until Liberia could be declared EVD free.  They noted that their members were sent out to clinics to educate people about the disease and spread the message of the EVD prevention protocols.  It was further shared that the church also extended their campaign to their Muslim religious leaders and partners to ask all who follow the tradition of bathing dead bodies to cease and desist from said practice as the EVD is spread via that means also. 

 

Rural CBOs

Representatives from our Rural Community-based organizations stated that they were happy to report that because of the training and process of outreach on EVD prevention protocols, their communities had been successful in establishing a new and continuous behavioral change: the washing of hands.; During their EVD prevention awareness campaign, they made sure to carry the message of-no handshakes, no hugging, no new visitors from out of town or other communities, certain areas became no go zones.  They were able to ensure that sick people were been quarantined and a contract tracing process established to avoid the spread of EVD.  

 

The Media & EVD

Our Media representative shared that the media played a significant role in both the urban and rural areas as they helped spread EBOLA prevention messages in the many different Liberian vernacular so that those who cannot speak English could also understand the EVD prevention protocols.   She further explained that the  media was not only limited to covering events at GPFA but also working with the CBO-partner groups around communities as a follow through from their end, thereby enhancing and helping to spread the message through widespread coverage and ascertaining that EVD got kicked out of Liberia.

 

Overall, our outreach work was embraced in some communities while other communities rejected them.However, community inhabitants were convinced that it was everybody’s business to ensure that the virus was eradicated from Liberia, especially after seeing the high death toll.  As some Liberians put it,  it was not the amount of ETUs Unit that were built or the amount of Health workers in it, it was just about people being sensitized about EVD and taking it into their own hands. And with our committed partners in the fight against the EVD and the decisiveness of the Awareness and Outreach Campaigns, we are happy to report that finally the fight against the deadly EBOLA Virus Disease was successfully handled and we are now trying to pick up the pieces and get back to our normal everyday lives.  We are hopeful that henceforth, the preventive methods still play a major role in the lives of Liberians;

 

 

HELPING CHILDREN ORPHANED BY EBOLA

The recovery period in every crisis, is a period to take seriously, because during this period, infected people are traumatized and children are left as orphans with no hope for a better future. During the EVD crisis, children lost both parents. With the death of both parents these children are left in the wilderness without knowing their way out. At present, we have incorporated eight EBOLA orphans into our program, four of which have been sent to boarding schools while the others remained with family members.  GPFA has taken the responsibility of sending them to school in Montserrado County where there continues to be no new cases to date.  We continue to spread the non- complacency messages and care for those being discriminated  against due to the implications of being surviving orphans and the negativities that linger on with the communities and how people think about the virus.

 

WE HAVE MADE IT AGAIN

On Sept 3, 2015, after forty two (42) days period with no new case or trace of EVD, the World Health Organization again declared Liberia a state free of EBOLA. With this new development, many Liberians accepted that we still continue our message of Non-complacency since in fact our neighboring countries are yet to be freed from EVD. GPFA is committed to continuing to give our support in any way possible. Presently, we are giving support to some Ebola Orphans as mentioned above this demography presents one of the most challenging realities that Liberia is faced with during this post Ebola recovery period.

Considering the effect that the crisis had on our already poor health system, GPFA also continued our support to schools and health facilities in Liberia. We distributed Non-Contact Thermometers to 46 schools in and out of Monrovia, as well as medical supplies to some of our bigger hospitals that fought to save EBOLA affected people lives during the entire EVD crisis.

 

Appreciation

We extend our thanks to you our many partners who have given us enormous support. Your generosity has reached us to where we are as a nation free of EBOLA. Your contributions have given hope to our communities and our nation at large. How else do you think we can help with your support? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and, we thank you on behalf of all of our beneficiaries, for your continued support.

Program Officer Handing Over Thermometers
Program Officer Handing Over Thermometers
Women CBOs & Media Re-hashing Awareness Outreach
Women CBOs & Media Re-hashing Awareness Outreach
Handwashing continues...
Handwashing continues...
Oct 8, 2015

Graduations, Internships, Master Students, New Recruits & A Successful 2015 Youth Camp

PTFP Youth Camp Participants @the Liberian Senate
PTFP Youth Camp Participants @the Liberian Senate

ACHIEVEMENTS!

Summer has come and gone and we are again rendered proud as we celebrate the successes of our Scholars benefitting from our African Girls Leadership Initiative (AGLI).  This is because, several of our students are expected to complete High School and attain undergraduate degrees in different field of studies. We have new students recruited into  AGLI, while six of our beneficiaries are serving as interns with us. GPFA also carried out programs under our Leadership track this summer, such as our Peace Through Fair Play Youth Camp, which was conducted in three counties.  We are now in preparation mode for our last quarter of the year, starting with the hosting of our 2nd Annual Ambassadors for Family Planning Training Workshop the second week of October, in Monrovia.

 

Our Beneficiaries are Graduating

We are so very excited to share that the month if September saw us graduate one of our first rural recruited beneficiaries. Wanita came to us in very low spirits feeling like her world had come to an end with no hope of ever being able to become someone who could be educated and gainfully employed.  On September 26th, we saw her proudly march up to the podium of the Cuttington University in Suakoko, Bong County, to receive her Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture. Considering the main goals of the AGLI which is to provide educational, financial, social and relevant opportunities to underprivileged females, especially, vulnerable women and girls across Liberia, Wanita’s success has brought us much happiness as she leaves University and breaks history in her family – being the first of her generation to attain such educational status. Additionally, four of our beneficiaries are expected to leave University this year: Patience and Nuwoe will both be acquiring individual Bachelor degrees in Biology in November, from the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences, Carenether leaves the United Methodist University in December with a Bachelor in Public Administration, while Becky will be leaving the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University with a Bachelor in Accounting. The accomplishments of each of these students are no small feats and means a lot for us at GPFA, for their families, and most importantly for themselves. This is because, they are now empowered to continue on the pathway of being inspired to do great things in life.

 

Meet our Newly Recruited Students

 In achieving the goals and mission of GPFA which is to empower disadvantaged and less fortunate women, girls and youths, every year GPFA recruits new beneficiaries into its AGLI program with approved funding allowance. This year, GPFA recruited seven new beneficiaries.  Promise, Benson, Ruth and Emmanuel who have been enrolled at the Konola SDA Mission School in Margibi County; Faith and Sandra are enrolled in the United Methodist University in Monrovia, and Jenneh is now joining other GPFA beneficiaries at the Cuttington University in Bong County. The four Konola SDA Mission students are orphans whose parents died during the deadly Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in Liberia.

Master Students: Ireland and Arkansas

Tennen, the lucky young woman who was vetted, shortlisted and won the Leymah Gbowee Scholarship at the prestigious Dublin City University, finally left for Ireland for her one year graduate study in International Security and Conflict Resolution at DCU. She came first out of a line-up of nine applicants in a rigorous, 3-tiered competitive selection process in June 2015. Tennen is excited to be at school and starting a new journey that will get her closer to her dream of becoming an expert in her career field.  We now move away from continental Europe into the great land of the US, where our Master’s program senior Georgia has returned to the Clinton School of Public Service after a very busy summer internship served in Liberia. Georgia who will be graduating in the summer of 2016 spent her time working with us and the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Liberia. She carried out an Impact Survey for MOYS and served as GPFA’s Camp Coordinator for this year’s PTFP Youth Camp. She did a wonderful job.  To see her bloom and appreciate her education and the doors being opened to her, personifies the reason why we invest in scholars such as herself.

 

GPFA Beneficiaries on Internship at the Foundation’s Head Office

Over the years, we've realized that to grow the mind of our scholars, we need them to be able to practicalize the theories that they are learning in the classroom. As such, we have opened up spaces at the Foundation to accommodate six of our beneficiaries to intern with us at our Headquarters.  Stiffinnie and Ma- Hawa of the University of Liberia – who are supporting the Finance and Administrative Departments individually; Becky of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University who’s supporting the Finance Department, and Prince and Helen of the Cuttington University who are supporting Programs and Admin Departments.  These Student-Interns are giving back to the community through a Semester-long GPFA internship program – one that is normally carried out over the summer months only. . Every year, GPFA ensures that all of its beneficiaries serve as interns with various partners, but this year, we decided to extend the opportunity as we feel that by doing this, GPFA gives these students access to practical working experiences.

 

GPFA Hosts its’ 4th Annual Gathering of the Scholars

On July 8, 2015 we held our 4th Annual Scholars Gathering at Terra Cotta Restaurant in Congo Town, Montserrado County. This year’s Annual Gathering brought together 23 of our scholars from various Universities, Colleges and High schools in Montserrado, Bong and Nimba Counties under the African Girls Leadership Initiative (AGLI). We also had our international scholar from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Policy in-country and she also attended the gathering.  The Annual Gathering is one of the ways in which we allow our AGLI beneficiaries to understand the importance of that particular Initiative. It is also an opportunity for them to interact with each other and most importantly, with our President and Founder, Nobel Laureate Leymah R. Gbowee. The gathering also serves as an opportunity for GPFA to formulate new ideas for development and progress for our flagstaff program, while providing a platform for us to directly understand some of the difficulties faced by our scholars during the period of studies.

 

Our 2nd Annual PEACE THROUGH FAIR PLAY (PTFP) Youth Camp

We hosted our 2nd Annual Peace Through Fair Play (PTFP) Youth Camp and it brought together 37 boys and girls between the ages of 10 to 16 years from diverse background.  It was conducted in Montserrado, Bomi and Margibi Counties over a period of four days.  The premise of the camp is to give opportunity to young people to understand the Liberian Civil Conflict and, to discuss Peacemaking in the context of said conflict. This year’s Youth Camp provided a sensitization framework to increase awareness among camp participants on their roles and responsibilities in promoting respect for person, and law and order as a basis for responsible citizenship and peaceful social interactions. The camps agenda included a career day, learning about peacemaking from real-life activists, a Farm excursion to learn about farming, our culture and traditional values and a visit to the three branches of Government.  The children met with Representatives and Senators of the Liberian Legislature, the Chief Justice and his Associate Justices of the Liberian Judiciary and were able to see the Vice–President interact with visitors in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building.  As always, Madam Gbowee herself served as Camp Director with ensured the Camp’s objective of promoting respect, integrity and accountability as a basis for fostering peace among youths in Liberia.

 

APPRECIATION

As we move into the last quarter of the year, we just want to extend heartfelt appreciations on behalf of ourselves and our beneficiaries, to all of YOU - our considerate donors and partners in progress. Our success depends on your many contributions to the work that we do here at GPFA.  Through your donations, you have helped change the lives of many a disadvantaged and less fortunate person, via the programs we run, supported by your benevolence. Please feel free to definitely share with us your thoughts and ideas on ways you feel we can enhance our work to further benefit those in need. We look forward to a continued partnership as we all strive to do what our motto states: Empower to Inspire!

PTFP Youth Camp Prepping!With Leymah & Nurse Naomi
PTFP Youth Camp Prepping!With Leymah & Nurse Naomi
Boarding Scholars get taken to Campus
Boarding Scholars get taken to Campus
Career Day + Camp Finale at the Monrovia City Hall
Career Day + Camp Finale at the Monrovia City Hall
GPFA Interns Becky,Helen,Prince,MaHawa & Stiffinie
GPFA Interns Becky,Helen,Prince,MaHawa & Stiffinie
Graduate Wanita & our prospective 2015 Graduates
Graduate Wanita & our prospective 2015 Graduates

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