Liberia:KEEP Executive Director Encourages Parents and Schools Administrators to Educate Children about SGBV
Monrovia – The Executive Director of the Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP), Brenda B. Moore says the prevention of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) should start with providing awareness on SGBV to children. This, she said would help them speak out when they are abused.
Madam Moore, at the launching her new book, “My Body, My Treasure” said it is difficult to explain about the prevention of SGBV to kids, but urged parents and schools teachers to do the outmost best in educating children about SGBV.
“Even I, who wrote this book and talking about sexual abuse, it’s difficult for me to talk about it with my children. I can still try to change English and just try to say go and read. And if I am having difficulties enduring it, you can imagine how many people really struggle to talk about these things with their children,” she said.
The book happens to be the country’s first early childhood educational material that has been prepared to give young children the understanding of how to prevent SGBV across the country.
The book was launched at the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Congo Town.
Madam Moore said she is confident that with the release of the book, more people will be comfortable having conversations around touching, seeing, and other issues experienced by kids that are mainly victims of SGBV.
She said the book provides an opportunity for parents to have conversations with the children about things within the book, which normally may not be discussed, especially concerning private parts.
“Why are we afraid to talk about the thing that is happening? Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection records show that many of those affected or abused are below 18 years. I am elated about this initiative because it’s so much needed for Liberia,” Mrs. Moore stated.
She added: “For instance, don’t allow your child to sit on someone’s lap. Again, we all know that when people put the child on their lap, not all can be innocent. These are things that we need to educate parents about, including the bathing of the baby outside. Society doesn’t entirely frown on bathing a baby outside, but these are things that create the environment for them to be abused.”
Madam Moore says she will push for the book to be part of the national curriculum to enlighten the minds of young children while they are in primary schools.
Also serving as the official launcher of the book, the Honorary Consul General of Switzerland, Sandra Abou-Chacra, said it was good finding a story to talk about SGBV and prevention of it with kids being involved.
“You and your team have done a great job and I surely admire the work you do for the people of Liberia. All of us have a responsibility and all we can do is to work together. The book is perfect because it has the coloring of basic things,” Mrs. Abou-Chacra said.
Deputy Minister for Gender Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), Lydia Sherman, said the book is the most creative and innovative approach she has seen thus far in the fight against SGBV in Liberia.
“The risk of children being violated is more than 80 percent in Liberia. This book is not only about coloring and prevention, but also a mechanism for play therapy and fellowship, which children use to play, communicate better and talk about the issue,” Minister Sherman said.
Adding up, the Assistant Education Minister for Early Childhood Education, Thelma T. Manston-Nimmo, says the authority of the Ministry of Education remains delighted in KEEP’s work and will ensure that the book forms part of the country’s curriculum.
“It will not just be Brenda’s book, but the Ministry of Education’s book for our schools. This book is very important for our school system. The Minister of Education is excited and we will discuss with Brenda and the ways forward in producing more of this book,” Mrs. Manston-Nimmo said.