Monrovia — Liberia's First Female Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Cianeh Howard-Taylor on Friday, October 11, 2019 joined more than two girls in Todee District, Montserrado County to celebrate this year's International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC). This year's celebration is held under the theme: "GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable".
She reminded the girls that the International Day of the Girl Child was their moment to be celebrated in spite of the challenges they face daily in their lives.
"It doesn't matter where you come from or what you are doing. The major thing is what is in your mind. I told you before that I grew up in a zinc shack and today I am Vice President of Liberia. It is good to have someone from a zinc shack as Vice President so that you can be encouraged that it is possible," the longtime girls' empowerment champion said.
The Liberian Vice President took along members of the African Women Leadership Organization (AWLO) Youth Chapter and a team from the International Youth Fellowship in Korea to see what the Jewel Starfish Foundation is doing for underprivileged girls across Liberia.
The team of growing leaders comprising young women from AWLO would provide mentorship for the girls as well as share their experiences under the "Be The Change You Want To Be" component of an empowerment initiative undertaken by the Jewel Starfish Foundation on how they overcame some of the vexing challenges that girls usually face from time to time.
"When you hear some of their stories of how they dealt with the similar problems you are facing too, it will encourage you because the stories of my bigger siblings and other women like Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf inspired me to become what I am today. So, it is important for girls to have people they can look up to," the Liberian First Female Vice President told the girls.
She added that the team from the South Korean International Youth Fellowship will, for its part, help the girls see possibilities in the circumstances they encounter in life.
Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor averred that the International Youth Fellowship delegation from South Korean will help mold the minds of these girls so that they can begin to think positively because young people would often have wrong mindset about life.
"When your mind is not correct, you can't grow. You can't develop. You can't aspire because the things that can effect change can be in your head first. The moment you defeat yourself that mathematics is too hard, it will definitely be because your brain has already accepted the message," the Liberian Vice President said. She added that the International Youth Fellowship team will partner with Jewel Starfish Foundation she had informed them that about one hundred girls in Todee need serious attention. So, according to her, the team will visit the girls from time to time to help them.
Under the Jewel Starfish Foundation's women and girls empowerment scheme, these one hundred girls will benefit from life skills training including beads making, baking and pastry; sewing and quilt making.
In effect, the Liberian First Female Vice President is quoting Napoleon Hill's famous quote that says "whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve".
During her visit to Todee District, Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor stopped to visit the Todee Presbyterian Mission School as part of her passion see that girls are taken care of.
The empowerment initiative announced by Vice President Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor is a tip of the iceberg of opportunities she has been sourcing from well-intentioned people home and abroad to ensure that girls in Liberia are empowered to live up to their full potentials.
In a social media post, the Founder of African Women Leadership Organization, Elisha Attai lauded Vice President Howard-Taylor for spending the International Day of the Girl Child with members of the AWLO Liberia Chapter Youth Council. "Only a leader can grow leaders. Thank you, Her Excellency Chief Dr. Jewel Taylor, Vice President of Liberia for spending International Day of the Girl Child with some of our dynamic AWLO Liberia Youth Council Members. No girl, no woman. Thus, no life," he stated.
The Jewel Starfish Foundation, although formally launched recently, has been providing scholarships to girls and other forms of economic empowerment underprivileged women and girls in Liberia under the theme: Changing Lives and Making A Difference- One Girl At a Time".
Vice President Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor has for time immemorial held close to her heart the belief that "a stable income for women to feed their families means a stable community."