Liberia’s First Female Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor on Friday, October 11, 2019 joined more than one hundred girls in Todee District, Montserrado County to celebrate this year’s International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC). This year’s celebration was held under the theme: “GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable”.
During the empowerment and mentoring Day with Todee Girls; She reminded the girls that the International Day of the Girl Child was established for the World to take a look at issues concerning the girl child, and for others to try to positively contribute to their well being. She reminded them that this was their moment to be celebrated in spite of the many challenges they face daily .
She told them “It doesn’t matter where you come from or what your name is or where you live ; she stated that she grew up in a zinc house in congo town; and today she is the Nation's first female Vice President. She said the most important thing is - what is in your mind. She told them also that it is good to have someone from a zinc shack who has become Vice President so that you can be encouraged that ALL things are possible, if you believe, work hard, and remain committed to making your dreams come true.,”
VP Taylor, a longtime girls’ education and empowerment champion said that females are our Nation's jewels and encouraged others to please turn their TALK INTO ACTIONS to secure our daughters.
The Liberian Vice President took along young members of the African Women Leadership Organization (AWLO) Youth Chapter , mind changers from the International Youth Fellowship in Korea; owners of Green Gold Company who are into turning agric waste into energy, such as coal; and others who would be involved in training the girls in entrepreneural skills such as Bead Making from We4self; local carpet making n sewing ; and cooking and preservation; and soap making to join the Jewel Starfish Foundation in empowering underprivileged girls from Todee District, the oldest district in Montserrado, yet the most backward.
The team of growing leaders comprising young women from AWLO will be providing mentorship for the girls, and share their experiences under the “Be The Change You Want To Be” component of a mentorship initiative undertaken by the Jewel Starfish Foundation. The VP told the girls -
“When you hear some of the stories of how other women and girls made it; and how they dealt with the similar problems you are facing too, it will encourage you. She said she was encouraged too because of the stories told to me by my older siblings and other strong women like Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Winnie Mandela and Nora Giddings Howard (my mother). They inspired me to remain strong in order for me to become what I am today. So, it is important for girls to have people they can look up to,” the Liberian First Female Vice President told the girls.
She added that the team from the South Korean International Youth Fellowship will, for its part, help the girls see possibilities in the circumstances they encounter in life. And that Green Gold and othets will show new opportunities for their empowerment and security.
Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor averred that the International Youth Fellowship delegation from South Korean will help mold their minds so that they can begin to think positively because young people who had the wrong mindset about life never suceed.
“When your mind is not correct, you can’t grow. You can’t develop. You can’t aspire. Because the things that positively effect change is whats in your head first. The moment you defeat yourself that something is too hard, it will definitely be because your brain will accepted the message,” the Liberian Vice President said. She added that the International Youth Fellowship team will visit the girls from time to time to help mentor and teach them too.
Under the Jewel Starfish Foundation, women and girls empowerment scheme, these one hundred girls will benefit from life skills training including beads making, baking and pastry; sewing and quilt making.
In effect, the Liberian First Female Vice President is quoting Napoleon Hill’s famous quote that says “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve”.
During her visit to Todee District, Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor stopped to visit the Todee Presbyterian Mission School as part of her passion to ensure that education is available in that area too.
The empowerment initiative announced by Vice President Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor is a tip of the iceberg of opportunities she has been sourcing from well-intentioned people home and abroad to ensure that girls in Liberia are empowered to live up to their full potentials.
In a social media post, the Founder of African Women Leadership Organization, Elisha Attai lauded Vice President Howard-Taylor for spending the International Day of the Girl Child with members of the AWLO Liberia Chapter Youth Council. “Only a leader can grow leaders. Thank you, Her Excellency Chief Dr. Jewel Taylor, Vice President of Liberia for spending International Day of the Girl Child with some of our dynamic AWLO Liberia Youth Council Members. No girl, no woman. Thus, no life,” he stated.
The Jewel Starfish Foundation, although formally launched recently, has been providing scholarships to girls and other forms of economic empowerment underprivileged women and girls in Liberia under the theme: Changing Lives and Making A Difference- One Girl At a Time”.
Vice President Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor has over held in her heart the belief that “an empowered and educational women helps keep a stable community.” The VP closed by wishing all Girls of Liberia a happy IDGC.