Girls with Open Minds, July 2022
everyday gandhis (eg)
On April 28, 2022, we had another interactive discussion on violence against girls and/or women (domestic violence) and reproductive health and personal hygiene as it remains a crucial part of everyday gandhis integrated grassroots peace program in northern Liberia, Lofa County Voinjama City. To enjoy our beautiful trees and nature in general, eg new fence was chosen for the discussion. 57 people participated, and gender equity was considered, including parents. A brief history of our past and recent activities and services to several communities with 200 participants was summarized.
After a brief throwback, the discussion opens up with emphasis on young people protecting their life as the government of Liberia (The president) told Liberians to be their own security, which has become visible in every Liberian eye, bodies are found on the streets, in corners, or bushes, criminal rate skyrocketing and perpetrators go with impunity, even if the bodies were discovered in the primacy of the perpetrator.
As the discussion progressed, both children and parents voiced their opinions on domestic violence and its prevention methods, the common preventive voice of domestic violence is by resolving the issue of poverty, which includes accessibility to basic needs one of which include food, eg belief this is possible with environmental friendly agriculture such as permaculture or biodynamic farming. Many also believe that once food and necessity are available, they (parents) will not encourage their girl children into an early marriage that will destroy their future. It was also acknowledged by participants that the mentality of many African cultures of men being the king of the home and should be seen as such, not even his spouse is dared to question his decision is one of the obstacles to domestic violence against girls.
eg has dream and vision that remolding the minds of young people of present and future problems affecting humans and is within control, is the way forward to avert dangers associated with problems (avoid being a victim of mutilated killing, domestic violence, indigenous educational values, and personal hygiene).
On the other hand, many participants, including mothers and fathers, understand the importance of school and personal hygiene. The most challenge they face now is the constant decline of interest in indigenous education about moral values, this is influenced greatly by western education. Many of the parents' complaints of some western institutions see indigenous education as forbidding and that it shouldn’t be practiced, even though there are good and bad aspects of every education, including a western education.
At the end of the discussion, one of the participants, Ma Sonnie, “I am personally thankful for eg for this unique program and I wish it continues to discuss issues facing the communities”, she said her son has attended one of eg programs and since then, he has better reasoning to words his future and the future humanity, especially his sisters and brothers. May expressed gratitude for the existence of such a program where their voices can be heard by their neighbors and together they move on the right path. We (eg team) are grateful for the opportunity afforded us to learn about the different cultures, including similarities and contracts as well as their ways of resolving problems.
Finally, we are thankful to Ma Cyndie for her continued support of this program, and to Boakai and Mulbah for their leadership and moral support in making sure everything is going right. And to Ezekiel for his recommendation and editing support.