In 2012, the United Nations declared October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child. There could not be a more perfect holiday for More Than Me to join the people of Liberia in celebration of Liberian girls than now.
Over 62 million girls around the world lack access to an education. One in four girls globally is married before the age of 18. There is a lot of work to be done, but it is the progress and momentum we celebrate. That’s why More Than Me opened its doors to educate disadvantaged and at-risk girls free of charge. We believe that the girls we educate will become the Skilled Girl Force of tomorrow.
More Than Me is using education as a catalyst for social change in Liberia. We started off by providing scholarships for girls and boys living in West Point in 2009. Over the past nine years, the organization has seen immense growth. It opened its doors with an academy in September of 2013 to 150 eager girl students. The institution became Liberia’s first all-free, all-girls Academy, serving some of Liberia’s most vulnerable girl children.
When the Ebola epidemic struck West Africa in 2014-2015, More Than Me refused to just close its doors. After the purchase of an ambulance, the organization recruited nurses and ambulance drivers to assist the families of the students. More Than Me Academy turned into a central command center for Ebola eradication. That epidemic made it clear that education is the foundation for a promising stable future for children – especially girls.
After the epidemic subsided, More Than Me believed education is a significant tool to prevent future catastrophic events. Through the Liberia Education Advancement Program (LEAP), More Than Me is now teaching the upcoming generation of “he for shes”, as well as preparing more of the next Skilled GirlForce. Working in 18 public schools in 3 counties, over 4,000 students are being given the chance at a quality education. Boy and girl students alike are learning every day, which is the key to ensuring a better future for girls.
Today, More Than Me Academy has over 300 girls actively engaged in its classrooms. The Academy has doubled in size and has more and more opportunities available to offer students. Each student is provided with caring and qualified teachers in every class, learning materials, school meals, health care, and counseling services. We will not stop until every girl child has the same opportunities.
This Thursday October 11th at 1pm on the grounds of the Capitol Building, Vice President of Liberia, H. E. Jewell Howard Taylor will be hosting an event to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child with theme: “With Her: a Skilled GirlForce with Confidence and the Boldness to Lead” and More Than Me is proud to partner and support this event.
There is not a better time than now for More Than Me to join the Vice President to empower and celebrate the amazing super-sheroes; Liberian girls who are faced with many challenges but staying focus on succeeding.