The Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, with support from the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), has offered US$20,000 to several women’s groups in Monrovia and its environs.
Making the disclosure last Wednesday at a one-day Ebola awareness workshop at her Congo Town office, the Executive director of the GPFA, Williametta Saydee-Tarr, said that the grant was intended to provide capacity building for women and girls in Liberia.
According to her, the empowerment of women in the country is one of AWDF and GPFA’s major priorities in the Ebola fight.
The GPFA and AWDF workshop brought together 18 persons from several community-based groups and was facilitated by a monitor on Ebola from the Ministry of Health, Ms. Dwaeade R. Musue.
“As you know we have worked with several community-based groups, but this time, our donor, AWDF, has encouraged us to engage females directly because they are the primary care-givers in the home,” she said.
Although the Ebola epidemic is slowing down, Liberians should not be complacent about it, she advised participants.
“We have to make sure that we keep on our toes regarding the safety of our homes and communities and our lives from the disease and female-led organizations should help in the fight against the virus.”
“We are interested more in contact tracing and how to stimulate survivors and see how survivors can be part of the society,” Madam Tarr indicated.
She disclosed that the 12 women’s groups engaged by the Gbowee foundation were from slum communities in Monrovia, Bong and Nimba counties.
Madam Tarr said: “Giving you the funding is to ensure that you can go into the communities to create awareness,” adding, “ we can’t be complacent, we want to be sure that the virus is eradicated from Liberia.”
She indicated that in February the foundation will start the next phase which will concentrate on contact tracing and wellness validation to ensure that residents are well and that they are able to say there is no sick person within the community.
The GPFA executive director noted that in December of last year, eight groups were awarded grants and now 12 groups would benefit during this phase.
She also disclosed that the foundation is working with local media institutions in the country to inform other partners about GPFA activities.
“The media institutions are involved because we want the public to be informed about the outcome of the grant and how it was used by beneficiaries,” she said.