The founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA), Nobel Peace Laureate, Madam Leymah Gbowee, has said that a US$380,000 technical high school for girls will soon be constructed in Margibi County, along the Robertsfield Highway.
The school, under the proposed name, Africa Girls Vocational School, will have a radio station that would be used to strictly promote public health and girls’ education.
Making these disclosures last Friday, January 29, at a program marking the 3rd anniversary and fundraising gala of GPFA, Madam Gbowee indicated that the school is intended for vulnerable girls who have the passion to learn but cannot afford.
The program was also used to honor five of its sponsored scholars who recently graduated from various local universities. Cllr. Deweh Gray, former chairperson of GPFA’s Board of Advisors, and Mrs. Williametta Saydee-Tarr, former executive director of GPFA and Sara E. Buchanan, Board of Directors, were honored.
The reason to embark on the project is to ensure that Liberian girls remain in school and avoid teenage pregnancy, she said.
“There are lot of girls who are vulnerable in society and as a Nobel Laureate I decided to embark on this project, which I have been doing,” the GPFA president noted.
She further disclosed that the institution, which is expected to commence activities in 2018, will host students from the 9th to 12th grades.
The GPFA president also said that after the completion of the building in 2018, the first class of 20 students will be ninth graders from Liberia’s 15 counties.
Madam Gbowee said during the launch of the organization in 2012, they enrolled seven students locally at the cost of US$12,000, which included per diem, transportation, study materials, among others.
“Today,” she said, “we cannot have a budget of U$12,000 locally (instead, we have) a budget of U$72,000 to send our scholars to school.”
She said that the organization can now boast of 74 students in seven countries that are presently attending various universities doing under and postgraduate studies.
The GPFA president said: “We are extremely proud of what GPFA has done in the country and we are committed to providing girls better education.”
Cllr. Deweh Gray challenged Liberians to take education seriously by helping children who cannot afford to attend school.
In special remarks, Senators Conmany B. Wesseh of River Gee and Morris Saytumah of Bomi counties thanked Madam Gbowee and her staff for the initiative and hope that she would expand it to include boys.
The two Senators also used the occasion to caution Leymah Gbowee to be moderate in her remarks, especially when speaking on national issues because they may have the propensity to damage her hard earned reputation.