GENEVA, Switzerland (LINA) – On May 30, 2020, Liberian Female leaders in the Diaspora officially launched a united front based in Europe to tackle various issues affecting women and girls in Liberia and abroad.

This group dubbed “Liberian Women Empowerment Network in Europe (LIWENE)” came into existence as an offspring of the December 2019 All Liberian Diaspora Conference».

The event, held in Silver Spring, Maryland, was chaired by Mr. John Lloyd of CCL, with the strong support of Mr. Michael Müller, representative and Chairman of the European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA).

Other key players of this important event are Mr. Emmanuel Wettee and Heads of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), the Conference of Liberian Organizations in the Southwestern United States (COLOSUS) and the Federation of Liberian Communities in Australia (FOLICA).

Pursuant to the Conference Resolution, Liberian female leaders representing various organizations in Europe united to establish the organization with the principal goal of collaborating with stakeholders at the national, regional, and international levels to shape the future of Liberian women.

The conference resolution approved and supported by all major Liberian organizations in the diaspora, called for the Liberian Women in the diaspora to organize themselves under one umbrella for women empowerment and women development in general.

LIWENE Chairperson, Emily E. Erskine, announced in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 3, 2022, that in 2021, LIWENE founded a partner organization in Monrovia, the Liberian Women Empowerment Alliance (LIWENE Liberia), for the implementation of its projects.

With a focus on supporting gender balance and equality programs in decision-making processes, especially in poverty-stricken communities, the group held a number of workshops as of its first year.

The organization is currently in the process of exploring a number of initiatives through grassroots donor-funded projects, including teenage pregnancy (Health) and economic empowerment.

LIWENE believes that men also have very important roles to play in achieving gender equality and fostering women empowerment, adding “LIWENE will involve boys and men in its empowerment efforts targeting girls and women.”

The Monrovia events came at the first anniversary of the creation of LIWENE, which was held on May 28, 2021. The organization’s programs on the ground in Liberia are operated through its regional affiliate, LIWENE Liberia, which has been officially registered in Monrovia.

Among its founding initiatives, on its first anniversary, LIWENE marked the occasion of the World Menstrual Hygiene Day by holding a one-day workshop on menstrual hygiene management at the LIVAP PETRA LINNEY ACADEMY, Cement Hill, Paynesville, Liberia.

This program, which highlighted the “Significance of World Menstrual Hygiene Day”, was climaxed by the participation of a professional nurse, Ms. Leben Doe, and Ms. Martina Poboe, and the Principal of the School, Mrs. Isabelle Obey Blimie.

The event was held with the participation of students from the school to reinforce their consciousness on menstrual hygiene management.

On March 8, 2022, LIWENE observed the International Women’s Day, by conducting a one-day seminar and drama at the William Gabriel Kpoleh High School in New Georgia, Monrovia, Liberia at the request of Mr. Augustine Nimely, Principal.

This program, like the previous program, included the high participation of students, as well as the Principal who supports the cause of women and the District Education Officer.

The dynamic Esther Brenda Monroe of LIWENE presented the topic: Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy. The full participation of young girls and boys in the school was a very positive sign supporting LIWENE to “say no to early pregnancy.”

This year, LIWENE celebrated the World Menstrual Hygiene day thanks to its hard-working team, headed by Ms. Vivian Hne, Ms. Wokie Edwina Freeman and Ms. Esther Brenda Monroe.

The program was held at the JK Demey Memorial Academy, Police Academy Community, Paynesville.

Ms. Emily E. Erskine was designated by the All Liberian Diaspora Conference to initiate a women’s empowerment Umbrella organization in Europe.

LIWENE was founded during the pandemic. Its first major face-to-face event will be taking place on September 3, 2022, in Kristiansand, Norway, in collaboration with Plan Foya, a Liberian-based organization in Kristiansand headed by Ms. Esther Kanteh Gyflan.

LIWENE’s objective is support Liberian women in the diaspora and in Liberia. Liberian Female in Europe can gain inspiration from one another to become leaders in their own rights in championing women’s cause.

LIWENE’s members are hardworking leaders like Ms. Kou Glaymehn Boayou, Ms. Esther Kanteh Gyflan, Ms. Marie Morris, Ms. Magalie Leclercq, Ms. Patience Barway, Ms. Elizabeth Skinner and Ms. Emily Erskine.

LIWENE Liberia’s members are very professional Ms. Vivian Hne, Ms. Martina Poboe, Ms. Esther Brenda Monroe, Ms. Edwina Wokie Freeman and Ms. Leben Doe.

LIWENE’s host organization for its first face-to-face program is known as Plan Foyah, an organization registered in Kristiansand, Norway.

Plan Foya’s objective is to help youth in Foya. Plan Foya has a partner organization in Liberia called Youth Support Liberia.

This organizations was founded by Esther Kanteh Gyflan with the strong support of the people of Foya.

Plan Foya intends to support youth from Foya through vocational training at the future Kristiansand Vocational Training Center.

The name Kristiansand consolidates the friendship that has begun between both Foya and Kristiansand through this initiative.