“For girls in Liberia, our chances for advancing are very slim.”
Rosana Schaack is the Founder and Executive Director of THINK Inc., (Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness.) She is receiving the 2015 LOOP Award (Leadership Overcoming Obstacles of Peace) given by the Denver based New Dimension of Hope, a non-profit founded by Liberian American Ebenezer Norman.
Schaack works with young women survivors of war through THINK Inc., which provides sexual violence clinics and implements a UNICEF sponsored program of psychosocial activities with children affected by Ebola.
It is estimated that 40,000 women were raped during the civil war in Liberia. Since the conflict ended, sexual violence against women has decreased by it remains a major problem in the country and has left many women with lasting physical, psychological, economic and social problems. Schaack says women and children were also disproportionately impacted by the Ebola outbreak. Liberia was recently declared Ebola free.
Josh Dunne with New Dimension of Hope says their first school in Liberia is scheduled to open in July. “In our first year we’re going to enroll 100 children and with that we’re going to provide a meal program because it doesn’t make sense to send children to school all day who can’t eat.”
Ebenezer Norman, founder of New Dimension of Hope is originally from Liberia. He wants to empower women through education:
“My overall vision for Liberia, not only Liberia but the continent of Africa, is for people to be free – specifically women. Because I think that if you want to change the world, educate young girls, educate women, you can change the world.”