FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baltimore, MD January 28, 2016 — Resources and Outreach for Liberia (ROL) has been very active in the last five months; collecting over fifteen thousand books, starting a global social change initiative to empower girls through literacy and the arts, and being featured on ABC2 News’ InFocus segment. All of these activities are for the sake of one powerful initiative, Project READ (Restoration Education And Development). The goal of Project READ is to open a drop-in center in Liberia for girls, so ROL is launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise $20,000 to start this initiative. The campaign will open for donations on Friday, January 29, 2015, here.
It is the primary goal of Project READ to open Nedra House, a drop-in center for girls who are at-risk or have been exposed to sexual violence. Nedra House will fight to end the epidemic of sexual violence against girls in Liberia by turning victims into survivors and implementing programs that will help prevent the victimization of girls.
ROL, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was formed in 1992 after co-founder Dr. Margaret Kromah returned from a medical mission trip to war-torn Liberia determined that with enough drive and passion, a difference can be made. Since then, ROL has made many medical mission trips to Liberia, run literacy programs, house girls in times of crisis and enroll them in school, partnered with I-Help Liberia to facilitate the promotion of STEM education in Liberian schools by hosting honor students from the U.S. who speak at various Liberian schools, and started Project GirlSpire, a global social change initiative that passes on empowerment through literature and the arts from girl to girl, nation to nation.
According to Liberia’s Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Julia Duncan Cassell, “between January and September of 2015, 1088 cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) were reported nationwide.” Unwanted sexual contact, sexual exploitation, voyeurism, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape all fall under the umbrella of SGBV and is the number one crime against girls in Liberia. Because of this, many girls drop out of school, succumb to prostitution, or commit suicide, because there is no place for recourse. No place to prevent these things from happening. This is why ROL wants to open a drop-in center to be that place of recourse.
ROL operates with no paid staff and once open, the drop-in center will be a self-sustaining entity through the sale of Project GirlSpire’s short story anthology. As a volunteer-run non-profit, all donations will go directly to shipping books and supplies to Liberia, rental of the facility, and start-up costs that will go towards getting girls off the streets and into a safe place.
Get involved! You can help! Help spread the word about Project READ’s initiative.
Sang Kromah, Executive Director
Resources and Outreach for Liberia (ROL)