On Thursday, October 11, 2018, girl children from across Liberia’s slum communities joined the world to celebrate International Girls Day at the Capitol Building in Monrovia.
The girls most of whom came from West Point, Clara Town and other communities expressed thanks to Ms. Katie Meyler and More Than Me, a nonprofit organization that is providing free quality education to over 4,000 vulnerable and at-risk girls, for taking a bold step to give them an opportunity to become useful citizens.
They spoke at programs marking the celebration of International Girl Child Day held under the theme: With Her: A Skilled Girlforce With Confidence And The Boldness To Lead. The event was also part of #Girl2Leader Campaign Liberia event.
“When you educate a girl child, you educate a whole nation. When we get educated through the support of More Than Me, we would want to do more of what Katie Meyler is doing through the More Than Me academy despite the challenges she faces,” the girls said.
They added “when an educated girl child grows up and become a better citizen, she would build more free schools like Katie Meyler is doing.”
For her part, Liberia Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor says the government needs to remove school going girls from communities and place them into dormitories at boarding schools.
Speaking at a program on October 11 organized by More Than Me in observance of International Day of the Child in Monrovia, Howard-Taylor said placing school-going girls in dormitories will allow them to concentrate on their lessons.
“It is important for a girl to grow up in an environment of love, peace, safety, and security,” she said.
Howard-Taylor emphasized the capability of girls to reach their potentials if given the right opportunity.
“When girls are happy, they can produce,” she said. “They are multitaskers and are able to perform more than one task or activity at the same time than their male counterparts.”
Vice President Howard-Taylor said the government must look at the issues confronting girls such as sexual abuse, early marriage, empowerment, and education opportunities.
The Liberia first female Vice President said More Than Me was transforming the lives of disadvantaged girls notwithstanding the unfortunate situation that took place many years ago.
“There are difficulties everywhere, and we must look at the positive things coming out of the More Than Me Academy,” she said. “Let us not look at the difficulty it is faced with because everyone got some.”
She added, “The government will try to provide funding for some of the things that are lacking at the academy and also try to get the girls back on the dormitories so that [they] cannot be harassed.”