Wars have always had grave effect on women. They are brutally raped, maimed, witnessing the executions of their husbands, close relatives, and friends. In Liberia, as in other conflict zones, they were left alone to shoulder the responsibilities of catering to their children.
The former UN General Secretary confirmation of sexual exploitations by UN Peace Keepers in Democratic Republic of Congo clearly indicates that there is no safe haven for women during war, and the Liberian Civil war was no exception. It was the country's worst war history has ever recorded. Atrocities like mutilation and rape were common in Liberia. Some of these women were impregnated and left them alone as single mothers. Even now that the guns are silent, the Liberian Women, the single mothers, the sex slaves, and the widows only survive to face long chains of trauma, frustrations, and destitutions.
Those who fled for safety to other neighbouring countries, and are now residing in refugee camps like the Buduburam Refugee Camp have sadly not escaped the doom of frustrations, destitutions, trauma and daily cumulative stress. The cost of living in the midst of poverty and lack of skills has compelled them to an unpleasant alternative to survive involving old and young women, where youngsters are prevalent.
As a result, the rate of HIV infection is still growing, as well as teenage pregnancy with girls as young as twelve years. In view of this, CYE has decided to establish the women Empowerment program to help turn this ugly and pitiful situation around, restore their lost dignity and give them hope for tomorrow.
The goal of the program is to empower women with skills to make them become self-reliant; to educate them on the role of women in community development, gender awareness, violence against women and HIV and AIDS awareness.
Our plans in the future are to establish more vocational skills training program like pastry, catering, and interior decoration.
For the smooth implementation of all activities under this program, funds are always needed to purchase instructional materials for both the sewing and the beauty care school; to hold workshops on violence against women, HIV/AIDS, and the role of women in community development; and to prepare materials for community awareness.