Gbowee Foundation puts women empowerment first

GPFA head Tarr (left) speaks at the worskhop

GPFA head Tarr (left) speaks at the worskhop

The executive director of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA) says building the capacity of women and girls in Liberia is a majority priority for the foundation.

In this vein, Mrs Willliametta Saydee-Tarr said, the foundation has given out a grant of over US$20,000 to several women’s groups. 

“As you know we have worked with several community-based groups, but this time, our donor AWDF has encouraged us to engage with females directly on grounds, that females are the primary caregivers in the home,” she told a workshop recently.

She said the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) deals directly with female empowerment.

Mrs Tarr noted that though the Ebola epidemic is slowing, Liberians cannot be complacent. “We have to make sure that we keep on our toes, as regards keeping the disease out of our homes and communities and this time we give the challenge to female-led organizations.” 

The GPFA boss disclosed that in December eight groups were awarded the grant and presently 12 groups would benefit from this phase.

She said the foundation is also working with local media institutions. “The media institutions are involved because we want the public to be in the know on the outcome of the grant,” she said.

Mrs. Tarr: “We are interested in contact-tracing and how to stimulate survivors and see how a survivor can be part of the society.” She disclosed that the 12 women’s groups engaged by the foundation wil be from mainly slum communities based in Montserrado, Bong and Nimba counties.

“Giving you the funding is to ensure that you people can go into the communities, to create awareness, we can’t be complacent, we want to be sure that the virus is eradicated from Liberia,” she added and noted that the project is for a month and the US$30,000 grants awarded by the AWDF second phase will begin next month.

“In February we will start the next phase, we are concentrating on contact tracing and wellness validation; that is on how the community dwellers are well and how they can be able to say there was no sick person within the community,” Mrs. Tarr said.

The GPFA and AWDF Ebola outreach awareness initiative workshop brought together several communities based groups with a facilitator the Ministry of Health, Dweade Musue.

Ms. Musue told participants that the workshop was to inform them on several issues including how they can protect themselves when carrying out contact tracing in their communities. 

Ms. Musue said: “Contact tracing is an act of identifying all those who have had contact and it plays a major role in eradicating the virus.”

“As a tracer, if you go in the morning, take the temperature of contacts and if you notice that it’s 36.2 that is normal temperature and always take the contact’s temperature twice a day and if it reaches 37 above, if u have a supervisor inform them, but if their temperature is continuously 37, contact the necessary health agency, also all contacts should be followed up after 21 days.”

Text/Photo. Peter N. Toby