The girls of Cycle 9 at the THINK Rehabilitation Home and the staff are progressing with planned activities as stipulated in their work plan for 2011/2012. The girls are doing very well in their academic work as well a in their vocational skills training classes. Many of the girls have expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to sit in a classroom and learn how to read and write or for those who are school dropouts for the chance to sit in a classroom again. After the first evaluation tests were conducted, 2 girls were given a promotion to the next ALP Level. One girl, Grace started in ALP Level I and was promoted to Level II in the mid term evaluation. At the end of the term, she was again promoted to ALP Level III and Rena was promoted from Level I to II at the end of the first evaluation.
The girls and staff went for their first field trip on November 19,2011. They went to the Unity Conference Center in Virginia that had been built especially for the hosting of the 1989 OAU conference. The Centennial Pavilion was under renovation so we couldn’t take them there this year to have a tour and listen to the history of the arrival of the pioneers and to see the original signatures of the 11 men that signed the Declaration of Independence on July 26,1847.
As part of our Youth Networking Activities, 3 girls were selected to participate in a dramatic dance group with girls from high schools and colleges around Monrovia. The young women and girls including 3 THINK Home girls performed during a honoring program for 3 Distinguished Liberian women:
- H. E. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2011
- Madam Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2011
- Hon. Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture, Prize for Ending Hunger in Africa 2011
The 3 THINK Home girls danced with precision and grace while Oretha portrayed Leymah Gbowee in a dramatization act as an excerpt of her book was read to the audience. The program was hosted by a group of women called Women of Purpose at the Empowerment Temple of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Congo Town, Monrovia on November 26, 2011.
Two (2) of the triplets that graduated from THINK Home on May 29, 2011, Faith and Success ---- died on December 6, 2011 after they were stuffed with some mixture of herbs by a women that rents in the same house as their parents. The survivor, Courage, was sick but has recovered but misses her sisters. We brought Courage and her mother Annette to the THINK Home for two weeks to get counseling, spiritual and psychosocial support. THINK is supporting the family as they have sought legal redress. The case has been placed on the docket of the County Attorney and will undergo the due process of the law.
The THINK Home celebrated Christmas with a dramatization of the Christmas story. Former Miss Liberia for 2006, served as the Key Note Speaker. The program was attended by community members, SPIR Child Protection Staff, staff of other THINK projects, and Ms. Charlene McGee and her brother---- McGee, who were here to spend Christmas with their sister Ms Annette McGee, of the Juvenile Division at the Ministry of Justice.
Ms. McGee gave a donation of baby and toddler size Nike sneakers she received from a department store in the United States. The THINK babies and little kids also received sweets, sun glasses, and toy cell phones from Helping Our People Excel (HOPE). THINK received 100 care Packets from AVON through the instrumentality of Mrs. Beverly Goll Yekeson of the Liberia Crisis Center for Women and Children. Mrs. Yekeson has two shelters in Monrovia that she organizes fund raising events for including a “Run For Shelters” that she did from Buutuo to Monrovia to raise funds for Ivorian Refugees. Mrs. Yekeson lives in Maryland, USA with her two little girls, 7 and 5 years old.
Business Development Skills (BDS)
To improve the business qualification of THINK Home graduates this year, the girls will be taught BDS using the curriculum we use for the market women project that THINK implements in collaboration with UN Women and the Ministry of Gender and Development. The BDS training is designed in a way that the trainees have classes for1 ½ hours 2 days a week for three months.
I am the only child of my mother. My mother died while I was about 7 years old. I lived with her until her death. When my mother died, her older sister brought me to Monrovia to live with her. Since my aunt brought me to live with her, I have never been sent to school. Before the death of my mother, I was attending school.
My aunt did not abuse me verbally or physically. The only problem I had with her is that she did not send me to school. She made no effort nor encouraged me to go to school. All I did was to work in the house doing chores and sometimes washed her clothes when she went to work. She worked as a domestic worker (house help) on the A.B. Tolbert Road in Paynesville. Whenever I told her about my desire to go to school, I got the same answer, “I do not have money to send you to school.” This always made me sad and I would sometimes cry and miss my mother.
I am presently at the THINK Home receiving psychosocial support and counseling. I am so happy that my dream of going to school is a reality now. I am doing academic work in ALP level I and in vocational skills training am in Pastry making. My prayer is that after my graduation in June 2012, I will continue my education and use my skills to support myself.
I was born in 1993 in Nimba County. My parents are from Nimba. I am the third child of my mother’s seven (7) children, five (5) by my biological father and two (2) by my stepfather. I am a 2nd grade drop out and have one child, a girl.
I was brought to Monrovia by one of my mother’s friends who had come to visit her during a business trip to Nimba. She had told my mother that she would send me to school but she did not register me when we came to Monrovia. A few months later, my mother joined us along with her husband, my stepfather. One relative of my stepfather joined the family and we all lived in one house in the Barnersville Community. The relative of my stepfather developed a close relationship to me and I felt like his own daughter. One afternoon, to my greatest shock, he called me to the guest room and raped me. I was a virgin at the time. As soon as my mother came home, I reported what he had done to me. She called the police and he was arrested and taken to jail. The police then took me to Benson Hospital for treatment. I was referred to the THINK Safe Home where I received counseling and psychosocial support. After staying at the THINK Safe Home for a few months, I was reunified with my mother who had relocated to the 72nd Community. My stepfather’s attitude towards me got worse and I could not stand living with my mother and him any longer. I moved from their house to live with my boyfriend in Thinker’s Village. I have a son whose name is George. I heard about the THINK Rehabilitation Home and went to register my name for the program. I did follow up and passed the interview. I entered the home and am pat of the ALP Level II Class and I am doing Tailoring in the vocational training. I am receiving counseling and psychosocial support. I really enjoy the life skills classes.
I was born August 27, 1993, the third of eight children. My parents are no longer together. I came to Monrovia in 2003 to live with my grandmother and attend school. My brothers and sisters and I could not live with our mother and stepfather because he was very abusive. My mother did not have the strength to protect us from him. Whenever she tried to stop him, she got the worst of the abuse. He would beat her up so badly that we decided that we could not live with her any longer and went to live with our grandmother who tried her best to take care of us.
When I came to Monrovia by the grace of God, I started going to school. In 2010, I got pregnant. My grandmother was very angry with me because she said all her effort to help me become somebody had come to nothing. She almost put me out of the house. The man that had gotten me pregnant agreed to support me during the early stage of my pregnancy (first three months). When the pregnancy was in the fourth month, he vanished. According to some of his friends, he left town in pursuit of a job. I have not heard from him since then. I gave birth to a baby girl. Her name is Marian. My grandmother covered the expenses of my delivery and has done everything for my baby me. I was recruited to enter the THINK Home and on September 26, 2011, my baby and I entered the THINK Home as part of Cycle 9. I am presently receiving counseling and psychosocial support, academic work in ALP Level III and Tailoring in the vocational skills training. Upon my graduation in June 2012, I will go to live with my grandmother. I pray to continue going to school and make the most of everything I have learned including the life skills training.
I was born October 20, 1992 in Bong County. I am presently 19 years old. I am a mother of two children. My parents are divorced. My mother re-married and I live with my mother and stepfather in Zubah Town.
I was attending the J.C. Goodridge School at ELWA Junction. One day in 2006, my mother asked me to escort her to the taxi station get a car to go to the market. Upon my return, my stepfather was in their room and I went to my room. After a short while, my stepfather came into my room and said he wanted to have sex with me. I said no. He told me that since I refused for him to have sex with me, he would not pay my school fess anymore and left my room. When my mother returned from the market I told her what had happened. My mother refused to believe me and said I was lying on her husband and did not say anything about what I had told her so I let it go. After a few months past, my stepfather paid my balance school fees. When it was time for payment of the second semester tuition, he refused to pay the fees. When I told my mother, she said she didn’t have any money so I should wait for the following school year. Around that time, I met a boy that attended the same school whose parents had money. I started an intimate relationship with him and he paid my second semester school fees and 6th grade West African Examination fees. Because he paid my school fees, I traded sex for his favors. I got pregnant as a result of the sexual relationship and dropped from school. When my parents noticed that I was pregnant, they threw my things out of the house so I went to my boyfriend to see if I could live at his house. His parents denied that I was pregnant for their son and refused for me to live in their home. My boyfriend accepted the pregnancy and both of us went to my big sister in Congo Town and she took me in. When I was eight months pregnant, my mother came to take me back home. I refused to go with my mother at first but my sister convinced me to go back home with my mother. Upon my return home, my boyfriend got sick and died. After his death, I gave birth to a girl and named her Secter.
In 2010, my stepfather put me out of the house again. This time, I took to the streets and lived out there for eight months. One day, my friends and I went out to a club and I met my brother there. He called me aside and asked me what I was doing at the club. I told him that our parents had put me out of the house and explained all that I had been experiencing on the streets. He took me to his house and I spent three weeks there with him. While I was at his house, he went to beg our parents for me to return home. They agreed and I went home pregnant with the second child. I delivered and had a boy. His name is Daddy Boy. I have not been to school until I came to THINK Home where I am presently in ALP Level III, doing Cosmetology in vocational training, receiving life skills training, getting psychosocial support and counseling and getting Biblical knowledge.
I pray for knowledge and understanding to learn all that I am doing so I will apply them to my life when I graduated from THINK Home in June.Attachments: