Mercy Corps Launches New Women Initiative

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Mrs. Faith Cooper, IRC Country Director (first from left) and Kwasi Gyeabour, Mercy Corps-Liberia Country Director with others at the launch of the initiative.

Mercy Corps-Liberia officially launched a new women empowerment initiative for their employees under the title,“Women at Mercy Corps” to enhance knowledge and skills for the female staff to achieve their full potential.

The initiative is launched under the theme, “Together we can Grow, Inspire and Thrive.”

The ceremony was held on Friday, May 24, 2019 in Monrovia.

Helen Harris, Mercy Corps Lead Trainer and Quality Assurance Coordinator, told the Daily Observer that the institution wants to ensure that the (Mercy Corps) women are supportive of each other as they work to get on par or ahead of their male counterparts in such a patriarchal environment.

The initiative would increase the volume of women voices and develop more women in leadership roles within Mercy Corps-Liberia.

“We want to serve as champions and advocates in attracting more qualified women into Mercy Corps programs,” Madam Harris said.

It was also learned that the initiative would provide an internship to female students up to the university level.

“With all these,” Madam Harris added, “the initiative cannot be done alone.” She therefore expressed the hope to establish “a more inclusive and equitable process where our male colleagues are part of the solution.”

The women at Mercy Corps want to also design innovative means of raising funds to support all initiatives outlined in the project.

Madam Harris called on the women to see themselves as part of the process and its success.

“Let us work even more harder to make our goal and objectives successful.”

The keynote speaker, Dr. Cecelia J.N. Nuta, lauded the women for such a brilliant initiative.

Dr. Nuta, a Pediatrician Specialist at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, told the gathering  that it is not easy to start such a program, but with determination, it can be successful.

“You need to be determined to see that each person achieve their potential and become possibly one of the leaders in your group or even in the country or outside Liberia.

“I believe that you should pursue your dream. However, I want to say that it is a privilege to be here and serve as the chief launcher of this unique program. You must have encouraged other women and girls to pursue their dreams and aspirations,” Dr. Nuta added.

Mercy Corps Director Kwasi Owusu Gyeabour, acknowledged the women for their role in society, particularly his staff for unveiling such program. He said the initiative for them at Mercy Corps is very critical and, as such, it was important to launch this initiative that will bring more women on board (Mercy Corps).

He recalled how, a little over a year ago, Mercy Corps had 16 percent of female employees, but because of some event, Gyeabour said it dropped to eight percent.

“So we set a target for us, as a Senior Management Team (SMT), to work harder and bring more women on board. So at the end of the year, we want to recruit additional women on our senior management team,” he said.

Gyeabour said that as an organization, Mercy Corps truly believes in diversity inclusion, which will help move the organization forward, and create bright and great women for not only Mercy Corps but also Liberia.

Meanwhile, the ceremony was graced by a group of women representatives, including the head of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL); Faith Cooper, International Rescue Committee Country Director, and the Mercy Corps Liberia Senior Management Team.

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