Youth Education and Humanity of Liberia (YEAH) has joined other organizations around the world to celebrate International Day of the Girls Child.
The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) on December 11, 2011, adopted resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as ” International Day of the Girls Child” which established a day to recognize girls’ rights and the challenges girls, young women, and adolescents face globally.
The observance of the day provides an opportunity for girls and youths to assemble and discuss key issues affecting them and to identify several pathways to addressing them.
Young women and girls continue to face issues that pose threats to their health and well-being especially, Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and harmful practices that lead to stigmatization and discrimination.
YEAH is a nonprofit community-based organization that was established on December 10, 2018. It also advocates for women’s rights as well as promotes the rights of youth including young women in Liberia.
The organization works towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly SDG#1 (End Poverty; SDG#3 (Good Health and Well-Being for all); SDG#4 (Quality Education); SDG #5 (Gender Equality) and SDG#17 (Partnership) which are intended to create opportunities to develop and empower youth and young women to serve as agents of social change in their respective communities.
YEAH has benefited over 300 young women and youths through different empowerment programs in eight communities within Montserrado and Margibi counties respectively.
Earlier, founder and executive director of Single Mother and Children Association (SMCA), Lena T. Cummings, stressed the need for the Liberian government to support young women and girls development through budgetary allotment.
Madam Cummings said allotting budgetary support to organizations empowering young women and girls will go a long way to develop more Liberian women’s potential in every sector for the growth and development of the country.
She noted that lack of support for young women and girls in Liberia has contributed significantly towards abuse of more young women and girls sexually in several communities across the nation.
She said no nation can develop if half of its youthful population is not given chance to develop physically and mentally but harassed sexually in their teens.
She lamented that the alarming rate of teenage pregnancy has affected the potentials of several Liberian girls over the years and affected their positive contribution to nation-building.
According to her, Liberia cannot afford to allow the continuous abuse of young women and adolescents sexually which poses serious threats to national development.
She urged teenage girls to desist from early sexual activities to prevent unwanted pregnancy which has serious consequences in realizing their full potential in society.
Madam Cummings emphasized that young women and girls should prioritize their educational sojourn rather than engage in early sex. She urged young women and girls to strive toward empowering themselves through vocational skills such as baking and soap making, among other skills to improve their status in society. The celebration, which was held Monday on the theme: “Digital Generation; Our Generation ” Bridging the Gaps; Pad a girl for modernization; Building Resilience against Gender Based Violence in a COVID-19 pandemic “, brought several young women and girls together at the Shepherd Life Mission Church in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. Editing by Jonathan Browne