After a ProPublica report last year, the American charity and Liberian government promised to independently investigate. Amid the silence that followed, something strange happened involving the principal of a school run by More Than Me.
By Finlay Young for ProPublica |
Monrovia, Liberia — Seven months ago, protesters thronged the streets here, demanding that the American charity More Than Me be held accountable for the rapes of girls it claimed to be saving from sexual exploitation. ProPublica had revealed how charity leaders gave senior staff member Macintosh Johnson significant power over vulnerable students, missed opportunities to keep them safe, were not transparent about the extent of his abuse and did not take steps to safeguard all possible victims when they learned Johnson had AIDS when he died.
In a country where abuse of women is endemic but often kept quiet, the investigation seemed to spark a kind of reckoning. Musicians, poets and artists spread the message that rape should be reported and those responsible should be held accountable. Activists erected billboards referencing the ProPublica story’s headline: “We are Unprotected.”