Heritage (Monrovia)

21 January 2013

Liberia: Nobel Laureates Identify With Women of Rock Hill Community

Three Nobel Laureates of the Nobel Women's Initiatives have recognized the tireless efforts of women in the Rock Hill Community, amid what they called "hardship" in the area. The Nobel Laureates including Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), Jody Williams (USA) and Shirin Ebadi (UK) are currently in Liberia on a six-day visit.

The delegation is also made up of over ten grass root women's rights activists, philanthropists and international journalists, amongst others. Rock Hill Community is situated in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. Safe drinking water is very scarce in this community. Children usually wake up as early as 5AM to fetch water for their respective families.

Speaking during a ceremony marking the arrival of the delegation in the Rock Hill Community over the weekend, laureate Leymah Gbowee said that the women in the area represent what she called a "true picture of typical African women."

According to her, the women of Rock Hill Community are always willing to galvanize resources in order to address issues affecting them, including the lack of safe drinking water. She termed as "unacceptable" for children to wake up early to fetch water for their homes. She pointed out that international attention has been focused on the Rock Hill Community, and as such, the delegation was pleased and delighted to listen to them.

Madam Gbowee urged the women to work together in order to lift Liberia higher. She cautioned the young girls to disengage from early sex in order to avoid teenage pregnancy. "It is actually a great pleasure to be in the Rock Hill Community with my fellow colleagues, our partners and friends from the United States. Rock Hill women are really a true picture of the typical African and Liberian women. In problems, hardship, they come together and mobilize their meager resources and they have decided that, we will address our concern.

Regardless of where you find yourself, the essence of your being is the community that you claim to be a part of. Water is life and it is totally unacceptable in this 21st century for your children to be waking up at 4AM to go and fetch water," she emphasized. The 2011 Nobel Prize winner promised to contribute immensely to the water project of the Rock Hill women.

Also speaking, Madam Shirin Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 because of her efforts in promoting the rights of women, children and political prisoners in Iran, also acknowledged the qualities of the Rock Hill women. She pledged to work and support the women in every positive venture.

For her part, the Chairman of the Nobel Women's Initiative Madam Jody Williams urged the women to work together in order to bring positive change to their community. Despite the challenges, she said the women must co-exist in an effort to solve some of the challenges confronting them.

Madam Williams, who won the Nobel Prize in 1997 for her work to ban anti-personnel land mines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), stated that the women's performance and behavior inspired the delegation so greatly. She then presented an undisclosed amount and a gift to the women of Rock Hill Community.

Meanwhile, the women of Rock Hill Community commended the delegation for coming to their aid.

According to the Chairlady of the women Madam Vaiba Flomo, the funds provided would be properly utilized for the betterment of the community.

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