Lofa County Programme Unit
Area: 111,400 sq. km
Population: 3,489,072 (2008)
Current areas of operation: Lofa County, Gbarpolu, Bomi, Montserrado, and Cape Mount
Sponsored children: Around 2,000
Liberia has only recently seen the end of 14 years of civil war, which devastated every part of society.
Most people in Lofa County work in agriculture. Domestic crops include rice, cassava, cocoyams, peanuts, pineapples, plantain and bananas. Cash crops produced are rubber, cocoa, coffee, and spices. The average annual income per capita stands at US$300 (World Bank, 2008).
Lofa County is Plan’s only programme unit in Liberia – but work is underway to open another in Bomi County.
Since Plan Liberia resumed operations in 2006, we have been working to rebuild vital infrastructure destroyed by the civil war and provide support in the following areas:
- school construction, teacher training, school supplies and furniture
- quality and improved health care delivery by building hospitals, training health practitioners, building latrines and water wells with hand pumps, and raising awareness of health issues
- child rights media activities aimed at advocating for and protecting the rights of the child as set out in the UN convention
- Socio-economic development through village savings and loan schemes, which help families to invest in businesses and save for the future
- Birth registration activities to ensure children have official identities, giving them access to vital services such as health and education
- Ending violence in schools through Plan’s global ‘Learn Without Fear’ campaign.
For example, children in Liberia are benefitting from their right to access quality healthcare from birth – traditional birth attendants have been trained in safe delivery skills to help reduce the high rate of infant and maternal mortality.
Through Plan’s Media projects, we are training children and youths to become radio broadcasters, giving them the skills to host live radio shows on the rights and responsibilities of children and adults.
Girls’ empowerment programme
According to the Ministry of Education, only 41% of girls are enrolled in school compared to 59% of boys. So Plan Liberia is empowering more than 650 girls in a school in Monrovia through quality education, computer literacy, media club activities, health care, child rights, information technology and life skills.
In light of the success of the girls’ empowerment project, another one is currently being set up in Yallahun, Lofa County, with training to include pastry making, tailoring, home arts and computer literacy.
The project also helps provide much needed psychological and social support to girls and mothers. Plan Liberia has also given full scholarships to 229 girls who need financial assistance to continue their education.