Girls from the SOS Children’s Villages Liberia and P.E.A.C.E Summer Program held at the SOS National Office in Matadi. The SOS Children’s Villages Liberia in collaboration with students from the University of Pennsylvania in the United States concludes a one-month summer program aimed at empowering adolescent girls to be confident leader in their communities.
The forum, held at the SOS Children’s Villages Liberia National office in Matadi, Monrovia under the theme “promoting education and cultivating leadership” brought together over 30y students from various high schools in the capital and its environs.
Speaking at the official closing ceremony, one of Liberia’s youngest female Policy Analyst at the Governance Commission, Janice C. Pratt encourages girls to go out to know their values and strength, noting “life is a game and we all are players on the field.” She cautions the girls to take charge of their lives.
Serving as guest speaker, Miss Pratt, Founder of Storm Cashia Venture and Consultancy, continues, “If you want to succeed, you should go out to grow, especially those of us who parents are not Bill Gates”, and adds, “Winners never quit, therefore, you should not be a quitter.”
SOS Children’s Villages Liberia National Director, Augustine A. Allieu says reasons why girls should be empowered is as the result of the United Nations and Partners October 11, 2015 gathering which highlights the importance of girls achieving the global goals for sustainable development. He notes, “to reach our global goals, we have to reach girls.”
“When girls are educated, healthy and empowered, families are healthier.” He says the summer program is very much in line with the SOS global theory of change for youth development, which has “life skills development” as a key component. “It is also in line with the SOS Care promise framework, part of which is about child development.”
Mr. Allieu explains equally important also is the fact that the summer program which also includes vacation basketball clinic contributes very well to the SOS Liberia Youth Empowerment Porgramme.
“Part of the activities of SOS Youth Empowerment Programme is to provide life skills education and confidence-building to young people as a way to ensuring that they succeed in life.”
The SOS Liberia National Director says he feels proud to partner with students from the University of Pennsylvania through the Promoting Education And Cultivating Empowerment project or PEACE.
In brief remarks, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Andy Kwamie urges the girls to be ambassadors of change, asking them to share the knowledge learned with their friends and communities.
The Director for Adolescent Girls at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection Madam Hawa Dunor Varney thanks SOS Liberia and its partners for organizing the program. She admonishes the students from “PENN State University” and other partners to always collaborate with SOS Children’s Villages Liberia to reach more children.
For their part, students from the University of Pennsylvania extol the SOS Children’s Villages for the support to P.E.A.C.E to facilitate such an important girls’ empowerment program and appeal to the organization through its head for more collaboration.
-Editing by Jonathan Browne