More Than Me ‘Sexual Abuse’ Report to Be Released June 1
Monrovia – The Special Investigative Panel constituted to investigate sexual abuse of girls at the More Than Me (MTM) charity in Monrovia says it will make its findings report public on June 1.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]
The panel was instituted by the Liberian Advisory Board of MTM with the consent of the US Board of More Than Me (MTM) to investigate the abuse of girls, a scandal that rocked the charity forcing its founder Katie Myers to recently step down.
MTM is an American charity founded in 2009 by Meyler to help get girls from the streets into school. Most of the charity work focused on teenagers of West Point – a very impoverished slum community in Monrovia.
Meyer resignation comes six months after a damning report by ProPublica revealing how her charity “missed opportunities” to prevent the serial rape of girls who were in its care.
The scheduled release of the Panel’s final report inclusive of its findings and recommendations follows discussions and interactions the Panel had with the MTM Board and other stakeholders in respect of an earlier report earlier submitted by the Panel to the MTM Board on April 8, 2019.
The Panel, which headed by Cllr Negbane Warner – the Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, says it will hold a press conference at a hotel in Monrovia on the same day the report is released.
Following the the first report, the local board of MTM issued a statement on October 14, 2018, suggesting the reviewing of allegations by a panel.
The board demanded that the panel will have no one who was associated with the incidents involved.
As the released of the Warner’s report nears, the report of another investigation by the government is still far-fetched.
FPA has made several attempts to speak to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection about the availability of their report, but the Ministry has remained mum.
On October 16, 2018, the Government of Liberia through Williametta Saydee Tarr, Minister of Gender Children Social Protection, announced that the case will be re-opened in order to determine new evidence.
According to that release, the Ministry of Education was to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation and ensured that the regulation and compliance surrounding all schools are intensified; while Ministry of Health was to work to address all health issues relating to the matter.
The release added that the Ministry of Labor will investigate to determine whether there was strict adherence to the National HIV/AIDS workplace policy at More Than Me Academy and whether any labor laws were violated.
For the Ministry of Youth and Sports, they will lead the anti-stigmatization efforts to ensure the protection of the survivals and other unrelated persons, who may have otherwise been affected, it added.
Later, Ms. Tarr said at a press briefing that MTM had no child protection policy prior and after the reported rape saga. She said MTM exposed the students to sexual abuse.
Since November 2018, the Government remains mute on the findings surrounding the reopening of the case.