As a means of preventing underprivileged children from unwanted pregnancy, Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), a United States based-Liberian humanitarian and Executive Director of Women of Grace Charity International Liberia, Amb. Felicia Garlo with her co-workers is expected to break grounds for the construction of a modern safe home and school in Gbatal, Bong County.
The initiative particularly aimed at preventing beneficiaries of the Women of Grace Charity International Liberia financial scholarship from being exposed to SGBV, unwanted or teenage pregnancy, and early childhood marriage.
According to the Executive Director of the Women of Grace Charity International Liberia, the decision to construct a modern safe home and school were triggered by the unfortunate news of a 13-year-old brilliant female scholar, a financial beneficiary of the institution program who got pregnant early this year leaving her dream and aspiration in serious darkness.
“This has caused too many people mostly females to lose their opportunities, this is bad for our country. The situation of our 13-year-old girl whose name I can not call here got me in tears because it is very unfortunate and saddening. Therefore, I think the best option to prevent the re-occurrence of such disgraceful happening is to build a safe home”, she stated.
Executive Director Garlo added that the safe home along with school will be in a compound or fence and assured that children’s activities will be monitored by the staff of the safe home. Garlo was speaking in an exclusive interview with this platform via telephone over the weekend from the U.S.
Additionally, she narrated that’ “The save home will have a huge capacity to cater to over 400 underprivileged children particularly females from Bong, central Monrovia, and other nearby counties, including Margibi, Nimba, and Grand Bassa, describing the initiative as a dream realization for females and teens against SGBV and early marriage.
“400 children from Bong, Margibi, Montserrado, Bassa, Nimba, and other counties that are nearby. We want our girls to be saved and protected from sexual violence, unwanted pregnancy or baby by chance, and early marriage so that they can actualize their true potential.
The US based-Liberian humanitarian asserted that Liberia is a country that is seriously economically challenged and as such, many children between the ages of 1-17 years old are mostly supported by and living with single parents, mostly mothers who cannot afford to meet the basic needs of their children and added that the situation has claimed her attention and that of her colleagues and staffs.
She maintained that despite her American status, Women of Grace Charity International Liberia’s quest and passion to rescue the poor through humanitarian works remains a top priority of her life, saying their aim is to give girls a dignified good life by providing a better educational environment that will afford them the time to study, taken care of to keep them mentally stable to pursue their educational goals.
“We are expected in Liberia on May 11, 2022, to ensure that we affect our dream through humanitarian works. We are working with our partners and friends to make the dream of building a safe home for our children come through. Our institution strongly believes that there are lots of future leaders in Liberia that are living underprivileged lives that must be helped by others for the protection of the future of the Liberia we all want.
Executive Director Garlo further indicated that her institution is currently taking care of kids in school and it is also helping with feeding but stressed that some of the children are not under full control which is really becoming a problem and validates the need for the project.
“We love and cherish our kids and want the best for them and we are going to ensure they get that better life. Since the 2014 outbreak of the Ebola in Liberia which many children were affected in Gbatala, Bong County after losing their parents, we have been catering to the needs of those children because they eventually became orphans”, she said.
Reported by: Stephen G. Fellajuah