The Girls Advocacy Forum (GAF) Project will provide an interactive web space for Liberian adolescent girls to: • Speak out on the issues that affect girls in Liberia and • Advocate for policies and national-level programs that will ensure the development and empowerment of Liberian Girls. The girls will be trained in advocacy, photojournalism, creative writing and using the internet and social media as an advocacy tool.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Monrovia, Buchanan, Gbranga Cities
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
This project will work with at-risk girls, between the ages of 12 – 18. The breakdown of family and community structures has caused many girls to become the victims of forced marriages, abuse, sexual exploitation and violence, etc. Most (60%) adolescent girls in Liberia are not in schools, therefore they do not have clear opportunities to develop the critical skills needed in order to become full members and leaders in their communities.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The participants will upload articles, photo-stories and other literary works and engage in on-line conversations regarding the issues that they face in their daily lives. Their works will:
•Focus on the educational and leadership development needs of girls
•Intensify the response to their sexual reproductive health needs; address the issue of rape and abuse against girls and
•Address the traditional practices negatively affect girls
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established that will contribute to the success of the project.
We will partner with the Girls Making Media Program-Plan International to provide overall technical support with the media aspects of the project. We are also work closely with two networks, the Adolescent Girls Working Group (AGWG) and Adolescent Girls Advocacy and Leadership Initiative (AGALI)-Public Health Institute to build national and international supports, respectively, for the success of this project.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
Forty girls from rural and urban communities will be trained. We will identify individuals at the community-level to serve as team leaders in order to provide regular hands-on support and supervision for the girls. We will manage a fully-functional computer lab, with internet access, where girls can stop in to work and learn more about adolescent girls’ issues, advocacy strategies and other relevant information as it relates to their rights.
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
We would like to receive more information and on-line resources in social networking and creating blogs. We would need more information on ways we can publicize our web spaces. We would need opportunities to link our webpage to key global sites. We would like opportunties for the girls to participate in global on-line conversations on adolescent girls’ issues.
Aisha Cooper Bruce
Helping Our People Excel (HOPE), Inc.