Kulubo Nyamahlorpu Koquoi, a senior student of the African Methodist Episcopal University, has been selected out of thousands of students globally as one of the 38 recipients for the 2020 COVID-19 Student Action Fund, awarded by Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) University in the United States.
The recipients represent 17 countries and 29 institutions of higher learning.
Her winning project, Keeping Women Safe Against COVID-19 and SGBV will impact women and girls in rural Montserrado and Margibi Counties in Liberia by training them on the preventive measures of COVID-19 and to educate them about SGBV and its reporting. “I want to minimize the issue of SGBV and the lack of information amongst women in rural communities when it comes to Covid-19 and SGBV”, Kulubo said.
The COVID-19 Student Action Fund was launched by the CGI University on April 18, 2020, at the CGI University at home virtual event hosted by President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. The fund identifies and supports select students at universities around the world who are committed to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The award, in the sum of US$2,000, according to Kulubo, will be used to provide training materials for beneficiaries in the rural communities. “Because this is a seed funding, we will not be able to incentivize our participants but we will reimburse their transportation. The fund will be used for hall rental to conduct our training; design flyers and banners, and all other information that comes along with COVID-19 and SGBV in order for us to smoothly implement our project.”
Since the beginning of this year, Liberia has recorded alarming numbers of rape cases and other forms of SGBV, which have been even more amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also reported by the Bureau of Corrections at the Ministry of Justice that more than 600 rape cases, including sodomy, occurred within this period.
Due to the nature of the project, Kulubo said they cannot rollout the involvement without the participation of women’s groups because these projects will be implemented in rural communities. “We will work closely with the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia, the Rural Women Association of Liberia (RWAL) and Community-based organizations to smoothly implement her project”.
“My project team and I have identified these organizations that we are going to work with closely for the implementation of this project to facilitate our training on SGBV and how to report it when it occurs”, Kulubo said.
She added that their partnership with RWAL will also provide COVID-19 information to project beneficiaries by creating awareness on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the preventive measures.
Kulubo earned a certificate in Women’s Leadership from Delaware University in the United States. She is passionate about women’s issues and looks forward to building a vibrant and sustainable society where gender stereotypes and disparities will be eradicated.
In 2018, she and a few other students from AME University were selected by the Millennium Campus Network, a program co-hosted by the United Nations Academic Impact towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Kulubo, along with her team created awareness with students of the university on the SDGs.
The COVID-19 Action Fund is geared towards projects addressing the public health, economic, and societal impacts of the novel coronavirus — with commitments ranging from awareness and prevention campaigns to social enterprises, to infectious disease monitoring and response systems, other emergency response initiatives that are providing immediate support for public health practitioners, and other essential workers on the frontlines.