why liberia?

Liberia, or “The Land of the Free,” is on the coast of West Africa, neighbored by Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Cote D’Ivoire. It was founded in 1847 by formerly enslaved people, primarily from the United States. Though a beautiful and vibrant land, filled with deeply passionate people, Liberia has struggled for the past 40 years through violent government overthrows, a bloody and rapacious 14-year civil war, and one of the deadliest outbreaks of the Ebola virus in history. Through it all, Liberians have remained hopeful and continue to push for justice and reconciliation.

Women and girls in Liberia struggle with difficulties seen throughout the world:  discrimination, sexual violence, lack of access to healthcare and education, FGM (female genital mutilation), forced/early marriage, polygamy, and domestic violence.  But Liberia is also the first African nation to have a woman as head of state!  President Sirleaf, and many others like her, paved the way for women and girls to rise above their circumstances and be heard.

 

Our relationship with Liberian leaders and pastors dates back to the end of the civil war in the early 2000s.  These leaders have shown us their deep strength, tenacity, and faith as they have worked tirelessly over the years for full restoration.  They also have a passion to see women and girls empowered. 

Our partner Owen Dunbar says, “Educate a girl, and change the nation.” He believes, along with us at Lydia House, that when women are allowed to lead – we can change the conversation and make progress!

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