Kakata, Margibi County – The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has launched the fourth round of its Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women (EPAG) Project, highlighting the inclusion of boys.
In her official launch statement, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Julia Duncan-Cassell announced the inclusion of adolescent boys for the first time in the EPAG Program, assuring that the Ministry intends to expand to other parts of Liberia with the recruitment and inclusion of more boys.
“It is and will be to Liberia’s benefit when our girls and boys are educated and contribute as equal partners in government and in the private sector,” she said. “Evidence has shown that social and economic empowerment of girls can yield major dividends in national development.”
Recognizing the role of the World Bank in administering the EPAG project in partnership with the Government of Liberia, the Liberia’s Gender Minister noted that the Ministry has refined the EPAG project model based on lessons learnt.
Minister Duncan-Cassell also described the project as one with a goal seeking to maximize employment outcomes at the same time preparing for further scale up and expansion of its scope.
She further indicated that the project has made strides in reaching girls at an earlier age, helping them to stay in school, providing them with health, education and access to services, protecting them from gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and providing them with skills and livelihoods training.
“I urge you to use the training you received to become productive members of society. Strive to have a positive impact in your families and in your communities. Make the most of this opportunity. Serve yourselves and your country well,” Minister Duncan-Cassell added.
EPAG, a Swedish Government funded project through the World Bank, has had three successive rounds of training with girls as the participants. During rounds one and two, the project reached out to 2,491 girls while round three witnessed the training of additional 1,000 girls across the country respectively.
The launch was held over the weekend on April 30, 2016 in Kakata, Margibi County where scores of beneficiaries from the first, second and third rounds narrated their stories and explained how significantly they have benefited.
Henry Karmo (0886522495) [email protected]