#020: More Than Salvation
More Than Salvation
In 2008, a young American woman, Katie Meyler started a charity named “More Than Me” intended to help ‘street’ girls in Liberia gain education, and in 2012, she won $1 million to build a school to empower and educate underserved Liberian girls. She partnered with a Liberian man, Macintosh Johnson, to recruit young girls to the school from Monrovia’s infamous West Point neighborhood and to essentially serve as the “man on the ground” in liaising with locals.
Through Finlay Young’s in-depth investigative journalism for ProPublica, it has been uncovered that Johnson raped over 11 female students both on school grounds and in his home, and had engaged in sexual activity with some female teachers. He was also, for some time, engaged in a sexual relationship with Katie herself. It is a horrendous story of the darkest side of aid and one that reveals just how easy and unchecked it often is to harm the most vulnerable among us. Johnson died in 2016 from complications of AIDS and amid fears that he likely transmitted HIV to some of the young girls he raped. Katie Meyler has temporarily resigned as CEO of More Than Me; the impact of the schools potentially closing is complicated for local residents of West Point. All around, painful.
Read for:“I learned they want to close the school down,” said Johnson’s ex. “I’m begging them they shouldn’t do it and make our children to suffer.” Another mother said she had eight children, and only one was in school. She said of [More Than Me]: “I tell thank you God. I tell them thank you. God will bless them.”
Hauwa Liman Executed
Hauwa Liman, a Nigerian medical worker who supported the Red Cross’ efforts in Northern Nigeria, was abducted and executed by the Islamic State’s West African Province (ISWAP), a faction of Boko Haram. According to the Nigerian Guardian, ISWAP gave the Nigerian government ten days to meet their demands, before Hauwa was ultimately executed. ISWAP also abducted Alice Loksha, a nurse working for UNICEF in Northern Nigeria; by most reports, she is still alive at this time. The government maintains that all efforts were made to rescue Hauwa – unsurprisingly, the Nigerian government’s best was not good enough.
Read for:"It is very unfortunate that it has come to this. Before and after the deadline issued by her abductors, the Federal Government did everything any responsible government should do to save the aid worker."
A New Contender
Oby Ekwesili, former Nigerian Minister of Education and activist at the forefront of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, has formally announced her intention to run for President in Nigeria’s 2019 Elections. Backed by relatively unknown party, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Ms Ekwesili is challenging Nigerian political heavy-weights, Mohammed Buhari (current Nigerian President and member of the APC party who has announced he will pursue a second-term in 2019) and Atiku Abubakar (former Nigerian Vice President and endorsed PDP party candidate for the 2019 elections), amongst other aspirants. On her official website, she shares a very detailed open letter with the Nigerian public, underscoring her intention to run, her agenda, and the need for government reform in Nigeria.
Read for:“But it’s not just about this government. This government is part of an evil ruling class, including those who were in the PDP, who then went to the APC and are now in the PDP again, asking for our votes. What do these people take us for – fools? Enough is enough of these #APCPDP Siamese twins”
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has announced his new cabinet – with a record number of female ministers: 10 out of 20 ministers are female. To make it extra sweet: for the first time in Ethiopia’s history, the Minister of Defence, Aisha Mohamed, is a woman. With countries like Rwanda and Kenya already prioritizing female governmental representation in Africa, it is fulfilling to watch more of our countries value and actively seek out women to fill important posts.
Read for:“The Prime Minister presented his new cabinet to members of the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) this morning, and secured the house’s unanimous approval for the new draft bill No. 1097/2018, authoring the power and responsibilities of the new executive organ”