1.0 EDUCATION FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT
Through GPFA’s 360-degree scholarship program, one hundred twenty-seven (127) students representing sixty-nine (69) local and international students plus fifty-eight local high school students continue to access education and healthcare. In some cases, other students who come from impoverished backgrounds receive financial assistance beyond tuition.
Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa's approach to girls’ education is more than just paying tuition for scholarship recipients. GPFA’s360-degree support to students means that the Programs Team ensures that each student’s housing, food, school supplies and uniforms, and health care are taken care of, as well as transporting students from their home communities to their school or university.
Since September 17, 2022, five (5) of our local university students graduated with bachelor's degrees; in addition, another graduate earned a diploma in Refrigeration Repair from the NetLib Vocational Training Institute after completing a year of study. Here is a list of universities, majors, and GPA earned.
University: Stella Maris Polytechnic; Course: Electrical Engineering; GPA: 3.65
University: Stella Maris Polytechnic; Course: Environmental Science; GPA: 3.45
University: Blue Crest University College; Course: Information Technology; GPA: 3.98
University: Starze; Course: Information Technology; GPA: 3.00
University: African Methodist Episcopal; Course: Economics; GPA: 3.31
2.0 TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP INITIATIVES (TLI)
TLI is one of GPFA’s core priority focus areas aimed at developing a generation of young African leaders committed to democracy and the peaceful transformation of their communities. Peacejam is one of the TLI.
PEACEJAM LIBERIA YOUTH LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa Peace Jam’s Youth Leadership Conference is a peace education curriculum based on the lives of 14 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including Leymah Gbowee. The 2022 gathering was the fourth year that GPFA hosted the PeaceJam conference, entitled “Our Peace, Our Future, Our Legacy” at the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary from December 1 through December 4, 2022.
Three hundred forty persons participated including PeaceJammers, mentors, and adult advisors from twenty-five (25) clubs and schools from Montserrado, Margibi, and Bong counties. The conference focused on small group discussions and service projects, featuring 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate and GPFA Founder Leymah Gbowee.
3.0 DRIVING INNOVATIONS THROUGH COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT
The strategic objective of Driving Innovations through Community Empowerment (DICE) is to empower local communities and improve women’s participation in private and public decision-making. In commemoration of International Women’s Day, GPFA hosted three different events: Festival of Women, Feminist Lecture Series, and the “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes” on March 2 and 4, 2023 respectively.
3.1 Festival of Women (Breakfast Walk and Talk) - January 7, 2023
Since its inception in 2012, BWT continues to serve as a space where women and girls from
different backgrounds can network and share personal experiences.
.This year’s Festival of Women brought together 218 women from different sectors of society including the Army Wives Association, Peace Brigades, and other women from the communities. There were several topics facilitated by our distinguished Board members: Financial Security (Ms. Abigail), Your Health, Your Wealth (Dr. Rose), Building Your Business (Ms. Eyvonne), Setting Goals: Making Plans to Succeed (Ms. Sara), and two other distinguished women: A Journey of Faith (Lady Della) and Be Youthful-Self-Care (Hon. Clara).
This event centered around women's empowerment and gave women an opportunity to come together as a community and learn about important empowerment tools, such as Financial Security, Business Management, Personal Health, and self-care. Since 2016, GPFA has been hosting Breakfast Walk N’ Talk events by creating networking opportunities for women and girls from different backgrounds.
On March 2, 2023, GPFA hosted its 12th Feminist Lecture Series (Her Story) under the theme “Voice Vagina Violence. Shut Up, Shut Out”, at the Bella Casa Hotel in Monrovia.
3.2 FEMINIST LECTURE SERIES
Beyond Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa’s scholarship programming, GPFA is committed to facilitating community conversations that challenge traditional gender roles and encourage women’s social and political participation and leadership through the Feminist Lecture Series. The 2023 conversation began with Ms. Thomas asking Madam Gbowee to share her experience with Voice Vagina Violence and how she handled the issue. Madam Gbowee shared heartfelt stories on how society uses violence to address a woman whenever she is outspoken and stands out. She explained how society tends to attack a woman’s vagina (verbal abuse) or physically attack a woman whenever she speaks out concerning the icky truths of society that are ignored.
Further into the discussion, other panelists also shared their experiences on the topic in their professional fields and their personal lives. They all agreed that violence doesn’t only pose a threat to themselves but to their families as well. After an hour and thirty minutes of panel discussion, the conversation was then opened to the audience for questions and inputs. In Madam Gbowee’s concluding statement she listed three major things that should be done to stop the issue of voice vagina violence.
3.3 WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES - MARCH 4, 2023
Under the Driving Innovations through Community Empowerment (DICE) program and in commemoration of International Women’s Day 2023, GPFA hosted a solidarity men's march titled, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”. This campaign aimed at raising awareness about all forms of gender-based violence and other issues affecting women.
The men walked in solidarity with women while wearing signs that each represented a different hardship that women face. Male participants were required to carry 2kg bags l with inscriptions such as Rape, Female Genital Mutilation, Sex for Grades, Femicide, Domestic Violence, Unsafe Abortion, and Labor.
3.4 FEMINIST POLICY LAB-FPL
The FPL focuses on improving the capabilities of young feminists from grassroots organizations in three of Liberia’s fifteen counties: Montserrado, Margibi, and Bong. The ultimate goal of the Feminist Policy Lab is to influence the Liberian government’s agenda on all issues related to gender equality. This pilot program targeted 12 Liberian female activists between the ages of 21 to 27 who are seniors in college or have earned a bachelor's degree and are now finalizing their research work.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUOUS SUPPORT TO GBOWEE PEACE FOUNDATION AFRICA.
Making Youth Realize their Dreams
A few months ago, GPFA launched its “Dollar for Peace Campaign” hoping that with the support of generous donors, we could provide 200 scholars with quality education and leadership training.
We have entered 2023 with even more optimism that even though we have not reached our targeted goal, this year will be a year to celebrate as we look beyond our ten years of existence since our founding in 2012. We continue to fulfill our mission through our three priority investment areas of intervention.
Because of your generous supporters like you, we have provided over 948 direct scholarships to women and youth as of December 31, 2022
1. Education for Peace and Development
Between September 17, 2022, and January 4, 2023, we have awarded full scholarships to 14 students. 13 of those students are in Universities while one of them is in high school.
Ten of those students were awarded on the same day, on October 14, 2022. They came from several colleges and universities in Montserrado County (Stella Maris Polytechnic University, African Methodist Episcopal University, United Methodist University, Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary, Monrovia Bible College, and Bong County (Cuttington University).
In addition to full scholarships (from the beginning of the scholarship through graduation), that GPFA provides to its recipients, it also grants and arranges internship opportunities for its university students with partner organizations. This program seeks to provide an opportunity for on-the-job experience and to serve as a means for young people to give back to their communities.
This year, GPFA provided internship opportunities to 29 University scholars. These scholars served in different communities in Bong, Lofa, and Montserrado counties, and each of them received a stipend of $100 at the end of the one-month internship
We celebrated five graduates in the space of three months, four with Bachelor's degrees and one with a Diploma. Claudius was one of the graduates. He was the highest-performing graduate with a 3.98 GPA from BlueCrest University in Monrovia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information & Technology.
2. Transformative Leadership Initiatives
A. 10th International Day of the Girl Child
On October 11, 2022, the GPFA celebrated the 10th International Day of the Girl Child at the Christian Community Institute with about 60 female students and GPFA female staff and scholarship students who served as volunteers. The theme for this year was: It’s Her Time- Listen to her; Let Her Speak. The day began with a grand march and climaxed with an indoor program where the following topics were presented commemorating the day: The Rights and Responsibilities of a Girl Child
B. PeaceJam Liberia Annual Youth Leadership Conference
PeaceJam Liberia hosted its Annual Youth Leadership Conference to give students the opportunity to share, learn, and be inspired by a world leader for peace. Our very own Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee passed on the spirit of peace and hope to our young people. This year’s Youth Leadership Conference was held under the theme “Our Peace, Our Future, Our Legacy” from December 1st through December 4th, 2022. 340 people participated including PeaceJammers, Mentors, Adult Advisors, GPFA staff, and Guests from 22 schools and clubs. Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee closed the ceremony with a word of inspiration “Never Give Up”.
3. Driving Innovation through Community Empowerment
Sixteen Days of Activism
Sixteen Days of Activism against women and children (November 25-December 10) is an annual awareness activity at the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA) and around the globe. Our 2022 activism centered on the theme “Femicide” saw our youth conducting extensive awareness in Bong County targeting men, women, and children.
More men were targeted because most perpetrators are male and needed to be educated and encouraged to join the campaign to protect their sisters and mothers. Some women were engaged as they were survivors; whereas children were spoken to during the campaign because they needed to be aware that all forms of violence against women/girls are crimes.
The campaign was carried out through several activities such as:
Grand Launch, High School Outreach, Community Engagement Talk Show, An Evening with the Boys, Umbrella Discussion, The Walk-A-Mile-In-Her-Shoes campaign and Say Her Name- Tribute to our fallen soldiers (mothers).
Thank you to all donors and supporters. We couldn't do this work without you. Thank you for your commitment to raising the next generation of peacebuilders and democratic leaders for Liberia and for the world!
IMPACTING THE LIVES OF WOMEN AND YOUTH TRHOUGH OUR THREE (3) PROGRAMS
1.0 EDUCATION FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT
Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa’s scholarship program is proud to announce once again an additional nine (9) female students who graduated from Cuttington University on June 17, 2022 with Baccalaureate degrees in their respective field of studies: Economics, Biology, Natural Resource Management (Agriculture) and International Relations.
As more students graduate and transition into becoming useful citizens, it provides an opportunity for new students to be recruited. However, in the midst of huge economic challenges, the number of those applying for our undergraduate scholarship this year is more than 180 students. Presently, we have 112 students on our 360-degree Scholarship in the following categories: High School=56, Local Universities=50 and International Universities=6. The 360-degree scholarship is our wholistic approach to providing scholarship which include; tuition, medical assistance, feeding, accommodation, transportation and leadership opportunities to our recipients..
GPFA’s seventh annual Peace Through Fair Play Youth Camp hosted the total of fifty (50) campers between 10-16 years of diverse backgrounds from Margibi from August 7-12, 2022 in Kakata, Margibi County. The theme of the camp was: “Inspiring the Future Leaders”. Participants were selected regardless of their religion, financial status, and physical or mental disability, amongst others.
The goal of the camp is to promote respect, tolerance, non-violence, integrity and accountability as basis for fostering peace among youths in Liberia. The campers spent five days interacting with key actors sharing ideas, listening and learning from panel’s discussions. During the session with the Chief Justice one of our visually impaired participants asked, “Why is it that people with disability are not treated equally under the law or is the law only meant for people who can hear, talk, see, or walk?”
3.0 DRIVING INNOVATION THROUGH COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT
The Feminist Lecture Series "HerStory" is a Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa event that creates an intellectual environment for women and men to discuss issues affecting society's peace and security. It creates a platform where women tell stories of how politics and injustice disrupt women’s peace and security in various communities.
The 11th edition of the Feminist Lecture Series - "HerStory" was held on July 8, 2022 and featured current and former women Representatives and Senatorial aspirants who discussed the dynamics of women and politics. More than one hundred women and men attended this edition of the Feminist Lecture Series in Monrovia. They included representatives from Government and Non-Governmental organizations and private citizens.
The forum aims to stimulate women's intellectual growth and capacity to be socially and politically active in society. It also enhances women's leadership capacity to advocate for all forms of violence against women and create an environment where women, men, and youth can dialogue on policies and support issues of gender concerns.
THANKS TO ALL OUR DONORS WHO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE WORK WE DO AT THE GBOWEE PEACE FOUNDATION AFRICA THROUGH OUR DOLLAR FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN.
Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa’s scholarship program offers 360-degree support to students. In February this year, three high school students were awarded with scholarships to attend Konola. Other GPFA scholarship recipients for 2022 include 62 university students and 55 high school students, making a total of 117 scholarship recipients.
Eleven of our local students will be graduating with undergraduate degrees in June, August and November 2022, nine female students from Cuttington, one male from BlueCrest and one female from the African Methodist Episcopal.
GPFA Scholarship Program has so much to celebrate this year; the graduation of the first scholar to graduate as a medical doctor. Patience graduated from the A.M. Dogliotti College of Health and Life Sciences, as a medical doctor on March 21, 2022 with a MD degree in General Medicine.
We have also celebrated the achievements of Emmanuel who graduated in March with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with great distinction.
We embarked on supplying all our 37 high school boarding students for the second semester at Cuttington Campus School (15), Konola (13), Camphor (7), and Bromley (2).
GPFA continues to train young people in Liberia to be committed to democracy and the peaceful transformation of their communities through the PeaceJam Liberia program. For this year's youth camp, we have identified the Margibi County as host for our Annual Peace Through Fair Play youth peacebuilding camp. This will be a great opportunity teach practical conflict resolution skills, community building and civics to the next generation of Liberian leaders. Although the Covid-19 Pandemic has prevented us from hosting this event for the last two years now. We have started recruitment for the camp which is expected to be held from July 19-23, 2022.
On April 27, 2022, Our Founder visited a few of our PeaceJam Schools in Monrovia, including the Tubman High School where she met with students and adult advisors/teachers to present the PeaceJam Curriculum.
GPFA starts 2022 with 114 scholarship recipients, with 62 university students and 52 high school students.. The new school year started in Liberia in November. It’s a busy time of year, with celebrations of Liberian Thanksgiving coinciding with the hustle and bustle of getting young people off to school. GPFA’s scholarship program offers 360-degree support to students in Liberia, which means that the Programs Team spend November and December ensuring that each student’s housing, food, school supplies and uniforms, and health care is taken care of, as well as transporting students from their home communities to their school or university.
Each year, just before school goes back, GPFA undertakes a Book Bag Drive which rewards high performing students across Liberia with a book bag, school supplies and a uniform stipend. While the demand for our scholarships is so high that we can’t possibly give a scholarship to every deserving student we meet, the Book Bag Drive is one of the ways that we fill the gap so that we are supporting a culture of academic excellence, and acknowledging the significant financial barriers that young people in Liberia face when returning to school. The Book Bag Drive has recognized the perseverance and achievement of more than 3,000 young Liberians since it started.
Unfortunately, the COVID19 pandemic has stopped our annual Peace Through Fair Play children’s peacebuilding camp the past two years. We are hopeful that we can update and reconvene this program this year as a way to teach practical conflict resolution skills, community building and civics to the next generation of Liberian leaders.
We continue to train young people in Liberia to be committed to democracy and the peaceful transformation of their communities through our PeaceJam Liberia program. In December, we hosted a PeaceJam Slam, which brought together a total of three hundred and thirty (330) people including students, adult advisors/teachers, mentors, mentor volunteers, volunteers (power house members) workshop facilitators and guests. This years’ service-learning project presentation was on the 16-Days of Activism against Sexual & Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) awareness campaign that the PeaceJammers had carried out from November 25 to December 10, 2021.
We continue to work with the women of Liberia to build peace and security for women across the country. Through our Sustain the Peace initiative, we have supported and trained one hundred fifty (150) Peace Brigades from communities in Montserrado, Lofa and Grand Gedeh. The members of the Peace Brigades includes women drawn from all sectors of society: traditional leaders, teachers, health practitioners, civil society actors, traders, farmers, and civil servants. The 150 peace brigades reached out to 5380 women and girls. Peace Brigades conducted weekly door-to-door outreach in one hundred (100) violent-prone communities in Lofa, Montserrado and Grand Gedeh counties. Women created early warning systems by sharing information of any conflict to prevent it from developing into serious violence. The youth were targeted and engaged in discussions about sustaining Liberia’s peace. They hosted massive awareness in their respective communities and encouraged partisans from Liberia’s leading political parties to have a talk about political differences, while they preached peace messages. The political environment in Liberia is increasingly tense, and it’s more important than ever that women and youth have the skills and networks to promote peace and security.
COVID19 prevention and awareness continues to be necessary. GPFA staff, students and volunteers undertook a massive public awareness campaign, speaking to community members about the symptoms of COVID and the health protocols to keep communities safe. The team also distributed thousands of face masks and hand sanitizers.
Thank you to all donors and supporters. We couldn't do this work without you. Thank you for your committment to raising the next generation of peacebuilders and democratic leaders -- for Liberia and for the world!
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