Friday, June 6, 2008

I was wondering about Liberia...

And really, who hasn't been wondering about Liberia?? It's dropped out of the news every since the woman president was elected. So yes, I was curious what's going on. What I learned was that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government, 37 years ago) was doing OK and in fact was just in NYC on the 4th of June for the Sirleaf Market Women Fund's Adopt-A-Market campaign.

If you're like me you said "Huh?"

But it's actually really cool. The president realizes the power of women in her country. She realized that "a special concern of women is renewal of the rundown and battered markets for food and basic goods - places where women buy and sell from mats on the ground or temporary shelters, and places that have become community centers, despite the lack of resources and poor conditions."
The fund builds markets. Concrete buildings that get women out of the elements and give them a safer place to sell their wares. It seems like an amazing and successful program. I'm even more impressed with President Sirleaf than when she was elected, and I'm glad that Liberia overall is out of the news. The continent only draws attention with it's misery and turbulence (Zimbabwe anyone?), so with silence coming from Liberia we know they're doing something right.

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