The More Than Me Academy is on a mission to make sure education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, define the lives of the most vulnerable girls from the West Point Slum of Liberia. When she graduates, she will decide what comes next for her life.
Our Mission in the time of Ebola
As long as there is Ebola in Liberia, our girls are at risk. More Than Me is fighting with everything we are made of to end this epidemic that terrorizes our children and the communities in which they live. We are doing this by understanding the pulse of the local people, remaining flexible to respond rapidly to urgent needs, and supporting efforts that have the highest return.
Learn more here.
More Than Me believes every girl has the right to choose what life she wants to lead. To meet this vision, we provide girls from the West Point slum in Liberia education, health and social services to transform the trajectory of their own lives. Our holistic approach to education accounts for the extensive barriers these girls face, making it impossible for her to fail. The More Than Me Academy is the first tuition-free, all girls school in Liberia. Not only do we give these girls an education, but we also provide them with two hearty meals a day, access to healthcare, access to a computer lab and library, and a robust afterschool program, ensuring the girls are off the street for the entire day from 7am to 5pm.
Since Ebola was confirmed in West Point in August 2014, our story has evolved. We have partnered with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and other partners on the ground to get Ebola out of West Point, and then out of Liberia. It's working! MOH asked us to expand our work to 5 other Ebola hot zones. Now, we are focusing our Ebola work on survivor support and reintegration. This is HUGE. Learn more here.
Why Girls in Liberia.
Liberia, West Africa has a population of about 4 million people. The official language is English - the name Liberia derives from "Liberty" meaning freedom. Liberia's current president (and Nobel Laureate) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first female head of state in Africa! Liberia is celebrating a decade of peace after a 14-year civil war from 1989 to 2003 greatly destroyed the country. According to GirlUp, more than 40% of Liberian girls ages 10-14 have never gone to school. Unfortunately, young girls fall victim to the most frequently reported crime in Liberia, rape. Before the war in 1989, Liberia had over 2,400 schools. After 2003, Liberia only had about 480 remaining.
When a girl in the developing world receives 7 or more years of education, she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
An extra year of primary school boosts girls' eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.
When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.