SOS Children’s Villages Liberia is working with schools to reduce adolescents’ exposure to the risk of violence and abuse through Girl Power Project (GPP).
An estimated 140,160 school-aged girls in Liberia are out of school according to UNICEF Liberia. Parents keeping their children in school has become an endless struggle, especially in a country where schools fees are skyrocketing.
But despite the circumstances, girls have not stopped dreaming. Their dreams are as colourful as any other child and they have just as much potential to fulfil them. What they lack is a fair chance – an equal opportunity to go to school, to be educated as their colleagues and to have the right platform to showcase their talents and their skills, which every child deserves.
The SOS Children’s Villages Liberia identifies such adolescents girls who parents are struggling to enrol them and keep them in school. Under the Girl Power Project (GPP), adolescent girls are provided quality education. In addition to this, SOS Children’s Villages Liberia provides girls the platform to look after their health, environment, and holistic development through participation in extra-curricular activities.
This year, 900 adolescent girls across 30 schools in Montserrado county are participating in the Girl Power Project (GPP). In each of the school, 30 girls are selected. The GPP encourages girls to form their own support networks. GPP provide a safe environment where girls can share experiences and help protect them from violence, abuse and discrimination.
One of the schools that SOS Children’s Villages Liberia is currently working with on the GPP is Bridge of hope academy located in New Matadi. Bridge of hope is an all-girls school.
Tommy, Edwina and Famata are leaders for the Girl Power group in their school. The project helped these girls to be self-confident and to speak out. Their leadership is inspiring others to reach their potential. “We are helping our friends to believe in themselves. If other can do it, we all can do it,” says Tommy, president of the group.
Before, I was so shy I couldn’t even talk amongst people. Now I can talk amongst group of people freely and I’m confident. Edwina, students of grade 9 said they will make sure that girls in the group know their rights and responsibilities. GPP taught us how to protect ourselves.
As part of the Girl Power Project, young people are becoming agents of change in their schools and communities. The project is also helping girls to be able to protect themselves from violence and abuse.
Famata, 15 says, “Since I became part of GPP, I became a change person, I learned to keep my surround clean, my parents appreciates me more than ever before.”
The GPP is not just keeping girls to enrol them in schools, but also helping to transform them as they enter the most vulnerable stage of their lives. This project steps in just as girls face the choices that will lead them out of peer pressure or teen age pregnancy.
GPP is dramatically improving the well-being of girls, their schools and communities—multiplying the impact on society.
We believe when you invest in a girl, the society benefits.