This project will provide school and after-school vocational training, mentoring, and support services for up to 500 girls in the 10-19 age bracket. West Point (our program's geographic focus) has the highest rate of child prostitution in Liberia. Most girls are expected to work from a very young age, and only if they are lucky do they avoid falling prey to sexual exploitation. This project aims to help them escape this awful fate.
73% of Liberian children are denied an education - over 80% of them are girls (UNESCO).
A girl denied an education, is a girl on the street. It's a girl who's exploited and condemned to underemployment. The ripple of effect of this denial of her basic right is seen in the stagnation of her wages, her susceptibility to exploitation and disease, and even her children's future education.
We will design and launch a strong all-day academic and training program that emphasizes marketable skills and psycho-social support. We plan to hire local trainees to work with international volunteers in the first year and provide the vocational training, mentoring, and emotional support required by the girls.
Educating one girl changes, well, everything. Here's why: When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children. An extra year of primary school boosts girls' eventual wages by 10 to 20%. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25%. When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90% of it into their families. When we invest in girls we all win.