The Analyst (Monrovia)

21 September 2006

Liberia: Obaas Pushes Girls' Education

A local organization pressing for the improvement of the lives of girls in the society has intensified its campaign to encourage more females to go to school.

As part of its drive to bridge the gap between the numbers of girls and boys in school, the OBAAS Girls Educational Outreach said it was providing scholarships to more than 75 girls for the new academic season.

The head of the organization, Madam Miatta Fahnbulleh said the beneficiaries, who are between the ages of 8 and 20 are sent to Catholic, Methodist and other private run institutions across Monrovia.

She said the kids are drawn from communities in Monrovia and its environs. The cultural icon expressed confidence that the project would be extended to other parts of the country.

"There is no way we can move this country forward if our kids, particularly the girls, are not given education," Madam Fahnbulleh said.

Describing Education as the catalyst for the advancement of the society, Miss Fahnbulleh stressed the need for a holistic education program for the girls of Liberia, "This is the time that we resurrect the academic spirit of our kids by giving them the change to enter the classroom again," she pointed out.

According to Madam Fahnbulleh, in its bid to advise the kids against engaging in acts that impede their development, her organization will shortly create what she called "a massive reproductive health education campaign across the city.

She said West Point and Bushrod Island will serve as the epicenters of the campaign which is being supported by the UNFPA.

"The UNFPA has always been a solid bone in our campaign," the astute youth advocate said. "UNFPA is our major sponsor." Madam Fahnbulleh said her group is also trying to imbed a spirit of nationalism in the kids by involving them in a weekly clean-up exercise at Front and Ashmun Streets as well as other parts of Monrovia.

"We want the youth to see the sanitary improvement of their communities as part of their responsibilities," she said. "As for our campaign on reproductive health education, we will educate the kids on ways to avoid men who will want to exploit them as is the case with rape." We will make sure we tell them do not allow yourselves to be tempered with by those gruesome men out there," Madam Fahnbulleh said.

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