It was a colorful and joyous occasion last Saturday for several youth, when the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa Peace Hub was launched to empower women and girls in Africa.
Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee, who played a key organizing and leadership role in the women’s peace movement that contributed to the end of the Liberian civil war, launched the peace hub at an impressive program on the Robertsfield Highway.
The program was attended by government officials, including Grand Cape Mount Senator Varney Sherman, Bong County Representative Prince Moye, Gender and Development Minister Williametta Saydee-Tarr and Army Chief of Staff General Prince C. Johnson, III. Also in attendance were representatives of international donor organizations that support the Gbowee Peace Foundation, friends and students, many of whom hold scholarships from the foundation.
Madam Gbowee told participants at the ceremony that since she achieved the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, the focus of her movement, the Gbowee Peace Foundation, has not only been peace building but also educational leadership development and advocacy for women and girls.
Several women and girls have obtained education through her foundation, she said, adding that the peace hub will expand the work of her organization to increase educational opportunities of women and girls.
One of the major events during last Saturday’s program was the opening of a beautiful and spacious new building, built by Madam Gbowee with support and cooperation of several of her local and international friends and partners.
She said the building will be the home of the first technical education and training institute for women and girls. The academy will provide practical training, mentorship and internship for women and girls in the areas of vocational and technical education,” she explained.
Madam Gbowee stated that her organization is committed to the transformation of women and girls, in order to enable them to contribute toward the peace and reconciliation processes of Africa.
She mentioned that the building will also be used to provide public health education through radio programs.
“The building contains a space for a public health radio studio that will educate many women and girls on various health issues,” she explained.
Madam Gbowee used the occasion to thank her many supporters who are making her initiative a reality and asked others, especially Liberians, to contribute to the foundation’s work.
She further challenged Liberian women and girls to be determined amidst the challenges of life.
Brian Kelly, chief executive officer of Point Guy, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that his organization is pleased to identify with the Gbowee Foundation to advance the lives of women and girls.
Mr. Kelley expressed his organization’s commitment to support the work of the Gbowee Peace Foundation.
Grand Cape Mount Senator Varney Sherman said he was proud of the great work being undertaken by Madam Leyma Gbowee. He pledged, on behalf of his wife, Madam Joyce Sherman and himself the amount of US$2,000 toward the Gbowee Foundation’s work.
Rep. Moye lauded Madam Gbowee for her admirable work and pledged the Legislature’s support to her work. He made a personal pledge of L$500,000 toward the Gbowee Foundation.
Army Chief of Staff, Major General Prince C. Johnson, III, whose technicians from the Army Engineering Division helped build the road across the swamp leading to the Gbowee Building, pledged to render more technical assistance to the project.
Radio Monrovia proprietor Charles Snetter, who is also former Managing Director of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), and Daily Observer publisher Kenneth Y. Best both pledged to grant the Leymah Gbowee Foundation all the information and publicity it will need in carrying out its work.