News / Africa

Liberian Nobel Laureate Talks About Giving Back

Liberian Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee in New York, October 7, 2011.
Liberian Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee in New York, October 7, 2011.
James Butty
Liberian Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee said she wants to use her Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa to provide educational and leadership opportunities for Liberian and other West African women.

Gbowee, a social worker, won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Gbowee explained why her foundation, established earlier this year, is focusing on education and youth and women empowerment.

“We have found out, and through my own experience, that in most of our communities there are a lot of young people with potential to be great leaders in the future. What is lacking is the opportunity for them to move forward. So, our goal at the foundation is to make an effort to find those who find themselves in challenging situation but are trying to make it,” she said.

Gbowee said her foundation is also focusing on building leadership skills among young people to bridge what she calls “a leadership gap” in Africa.

“In Africa, we have a little problem when it comes to [finding] leaders that are accountable to their people and responsible for their actions,” said Gbowee.  “And, working with these young people, we’re hoping that we can get to a place where we’re able to at least have a new generation of transformative leaders in Africa - people who will think about providing for their communities and not for themselves.”

She said the foundation focuses on increasing educational opportunities for girls and women by offering full scholarships to selected individuals.

Butty interview with Gbowee
Butty interview with Gboweei
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

“What we do is that we seek opportunities with institutions using my work experience and the platform to give us scholarships, and we provide scholarships, currently for young Liberians to go to school in different parts of the world,” Gbowee said.

Gbowee was head of the national Peace and Reconciliation Commission established by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2011. But she resigned in October 2012 citing insufficient progress by government in promoting reconciliation.

She said her foundation will organize in 2013 what she called Peace Through Fair Play, “an overnight camp for youths aged 10 to 19 years old to engage each other through sports and workshops on reconciliation, family planning, and education.”

While she said she loves politics, Gbowee said she has no immediate desire to run for political office in Liberia.

“Let me say one thing, my life has always been one of giving back. I tell people I’m a Liberian and I have the right to decide if I want to go into politics. But one of the things that I can say to you, very clearly, you will not see my name on any ballot paper any time soon,” Gbowee said.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid