'One girl started to bleed excessively. They tied a noose around her neck and dragged her until she was dead' - corrugated plastic sheets
The first thing I learned in February 5 was that Liberia shook hands.
Click on a series of extrusion ends with your finger.
The founders of Liberia are children of those who have been cut off their third finger, and they identify themselves as slaves. The finger-
Click is a firm but interesting sign that their offspring are apart from.
On top of the highest point of Monrovia, it is nestled in the dusty ruins of the Ducol Palace Hotel.
The huge interstate Hotel was abandoned by its owner in 1990 and used as a military camp by warlord Charles Taylor.
From the wreckage of coffee
You can see the shed on the rest terrace-
Stretching to West Point on the horizon.
We walked into the open pool. pool.
Kids used to slide down on plastic trays, but this place is razorwired off now.
We left the haunted place and stayed at West Point for two hours. It's wild.
The winding path through the mud house --by-
Jowl, women selling giant spoons made of recycled tin
Cans, piles of fierce Liberian peppers, dried fish and fresh fish, chicken everywhere --
Feet, all kinds of hoofs, small-
Vendors of small bags of vanilla, salt and chicken
Stocks, screaming babies, shabby motorcycles buzzing and people growling.
Tindy is so happy.
"I want to stay here for at least a month," he screams . ".
Here, because of 30 years of conflict, young people have greatly surpassed the elderly.
Liberia called them World War I, II and III.
They ended in 2003.
It's hard to get out of the shantytowns and live a better life.
It's not just who you know, but what's your name. An Americo-
A Liberian name like Dennis, Johnson, or Thomson (the inventor who inherited his hand --
Will let you in.
Aboriginal names like Kollie, Saki or Towaye can get your face hit.
Leaving Monrovia on February 6, we passed several checks-
The place known as Gates, during the war, the strange torture was lifted.
Korto Williams (national director of the International Action assistance organization) pointed out that people are selling a bunch of acne --like shellfish.
"We told them to kiss," she said, "because you took off the cutting-edge meat and sucked it out.
They once said to people, "Swallow all these things, I won't kill you ".
But if you swallow 10, you will die . "
We stopped to meet the district commissioner and met with our first female mayor.
An old man sat there listening to her saying that one of the biggest problems in the country was rape, an epidemic.
The law has just admitted rape in marriage.
The old man tilted back and closed his eyes.
I think he was tired, but he was told later that it was to show his disrespect.
He thought the idea of rape in marriage was ridiculous and withdrew from the discussion.
We arrived in a town called Karnga in one of the 15 counties in Liberia, Mt.
There, I met Martha, 33. year-
The old woman with four children
When the war stopped, she didn't go to school until she was six.
Later, the rebels killed her husband and raped her.
Her mother was killed in the next battle.
She was exhausted, foraging in the bushes all day long, taking care of the baby all night.
But she said that participating in the "reflection plan" of the aid action organization is a model of peace.
Build and lead skills that make her feel less lonely and more capable of participating in decision-making --making.
Yatta lives in the next room.
Her husband tried to stop the soldiers from raping her and was shot dead.
"I want to make soap," she said . "
"Everyone needs soap.
"Next door, Jenneh, her heart and lungs have been in pain since she joined the gang --
Reflect said rape helped her talk to people without being aggressive.
"Since the arrival of operational assistance here, there has been a significant reduction in violence here.
All we need is life. . .
"I found Tindy wearing a green football shirt that was hired by Action Aid for a game.
Everyone walked to the Court to cheer and dance.
ActionAid's new CEO, the first female CEO, Joanna Kerr, a Canadian who is passionate about women's rights, said the leaders of the community are more impressed with this than anything else we say or do.
Usually, they say, people listen as briefly as possible and leave.
"We know you are interested in our difficulties," they said . ".
"The fact that you are also willing to share our happiness shows a different kind of leadership.
"On February 7, a white van almost hit us on the way to Gbarpolu County.
When it opened, Tindy pointed out that the sign on the back said "God is in control ". "Ha! " he says.
The school we were going to visit was closed when we arrived-
No phone coverage, so no.
We can be warned.
Instead, we visited another class where there were eight-year-old adults and students. The men are ex-child-
Soldiers who ended their education when kidnapped
It doesn't look like it's working.
I spent two hours with women and girls involved in a project aimed at addressing violence against girls in the field of education. Twenty-two-year-
The discussion was chaired by old villa.
"This is the reason to prevent girls from receiving education ---
Young marriage, teenage pregnancy, traditional beliefs and customs, poverty and rape, lack of parental support ---
My mom has never been to school, so she doesn't think it makes sense for me to go.
But one more question. -
"Tell her," she said, turning to another girl, a very beautiful 15-year-old girl. year-old says.
"I just took the exam and asked the teacher about my grades.
He said he let me down.
I was shocked and asked to read my paper.
He asked me to go to his house and he would give me better grades. . .
"She didn't go, but many teachers got good grades in sex.
In the same community, the action assistance organization has been working with another female director, Jenneh.
We had a private discussion after the formal meeting: "I don't know how old I am, but I have four brothers and three sisters.
A brother was killed in the war.
We heard the battle was coming in 2003, so we all ran away from here.
The rebels caught my husband and I and our little girl.
They put my husband in prison and treated me as a wife in the jungle.
My little girl is crying to death.
They made me brave when the action aid came.
After the training, all the women wanted me to run.
After I became vice president
For two months, I have been elected a new chief, both men and women.
"I asked her how she used her power.
"I help people solve their problems without a lawyer.
Tindy asked her how to implement the decisions.
"I give them time.
People come to me when they are tired.
I helped them wait before attacking each other.
"I told Jenneh that we had an appointment with her president and asked if she had any news.
"There's only one thing I want.
"Look at these roofs," she pointed to the thatched grass on the circular hut.
"These roofs are terrible during the rainy season.
I need corrugated cardboard for 300 roofs.
That's what I want.
On February 8, I learned the traditional Liberian greeting: "What do you say ".
"There is no bad news," they replied . "Two-and-a-
For half an hour in the north, we were greatly appreciated by the agricultural community at the towering palm Cathedral.
"You don't owe us anything," said Joana.
We're just here to help you get what belongs to you right.
"A little round woman named Mamie tied her eleven children to her back and showed us around.
Five people are still alive.
"I may be 43 years old, I only know, because I remember when I was a child, President Tolbert came to power.
No farming during the war--
We survived by relief.
After I took part in the action assistance training, I found 35 women and 7 men to join my agriculture program.
They need a lot of encouragement because they work hard and have a long working time.
My husband won't do it. he said it doesn't make sense.
"But he's still eating it when she takes the cassava home," said Grace, a smart and witty regional commissioner.
Mamie said with a smile: "This community is now its own.
Enough, we hope to export--
Why can't this country support this city ? " Mami and I helped her bring a large bucket of sweet potatoes to the village.
Mamie put it on his head, with his hand-
Free, no weight.
After his childhood water, Tindy found it easy. carrying years.
When I put it on my head, I can barely stagger 50 yards and have to grab it with both hands.
On the way, Mamie described her family economy.
"If I sell all these potatoes, I can get about $5.
Then I can buy fish or meat for my family.
If I don't sell, we will live by them.
"There was an iron scar on her ring finger, which was caused by a bullet that killed her mother.
We arrived at her village 40 minutes later.
There is an old man sitting in front of her house.
He is not very friendly, so I tried to attract him by praising his daughter's skills.
"She's my wife," he said, pretending.
On February 9, on the first women's radio station in Liberia, I met a reporter who told me about a 10-year-
According to the custom, she was brought into the bush by her grandmother and began to enter the traditional women's organization, Sand Society.
Her clit and 25 other clit were cut off and everyone was using the same knife.
One of the girls began to bleed too much.
They tied a noose around her neck and dragged her until she was dead.
When this happened, all the women were talking loudly. The 10-
The one-year-old asked grandma why.
The old woman told her that it was not allowed to die alone in the forest and that her family would be told that the devil had taken her away.
Then the child asked why the woman made all the sounds.
This is to keep her screams from being heard in the village.
Next, the initiates are asked to lie on the ground where they are covered with fresh grass.
They had to lie for three days without food until the grass dried up.
Then a meal was prepared.
There is little meat in the food, and when the child asks what they are, the grandmother says that if the clit is eaten like this, it will ensure that any child who dares to talk about what they see will surely die.
Female genital mutilation is still common in Liberia, and it is difficult for the president to speak out against it.
Spend the afternoon with 30 women from all over the country who are partners in action assistance.
It took Annie three days to come here, with 15 children, and she said, "where am I from, and they say that the idea of women will not go far.
The idea of a woman is right below ", she puts her breasts.
"When a woman is pregnant with a girl --
According to customary law, a man can buy her while she is still in the womb.
The price he paid was not only the father of the girl, but also the whole family.
Then the second bride price will be paid to the girls when they get married.
So you see, the community feels like it's paying a huge double price for this girl, and her own family has all benefited from her sales.
Who will she complain to if she is beaten or abused ", but if I buy a pair of shoes I will take care of them.
Joanna asked, "Don't you want your property to be in good shape? Why is there so much violence . ".
"They want their property to be quiet, under their control," Anne replied . ".
The modern Liberian Constitution supports this customary law.
Anne and I walked in the forest and she showed me the trees and plants she used to treat toothache, childbirth, paralysis and stem bleeding.
She often helps others with medicine.
"Don't they think you're a witch? " I asked ? ". "No.
I just showed them the plant and told them how to use it.
It's always better to share your power.
This will protect you and make people respect you and appreciate you.
"February 10 today, I spent a very exciting morning watching Tindy and a group of formerchild-soldiers.
Most of them have the same story. -
They were kidnapped around the age of 14, and one of them, Benjamin, was kidnapped when he was 9.
"The gun is our parents," he said.
They protect us and give us food. "Tindy agrees.
He said: "Being a soldier will make you strong in some ways.
It makes you want to enjoy life because you miss too much.
Laughter must be your new weapon.
I lost my laughter when I was in the army, but I rediscovered it and it helped every part of my life.
I barely spoke when I first came out.
For me, an office with a lot of people can't handle it at all.
But I have to learn how to work with institutions.
You can't move forward without these skills.
There are some places for you to explore and use.
"There was a child protection officer at the meeting called Onike, who had known some of them for years.
"People would say to these guys, 'Well, I didn't let you fight, so don't come to me, 'she said.
Benjamin added: "We broke off with our peers.
When they are learning, we are fighting. "The terms "ex-child-
Soldiers and former soldiers
Fighters are now replaced by "war"
Trying to reduce the impact of stigma.
There are 60,000 young people in this country.
Later, in the coldest room in Africa
We met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female prime minister.
Her entry on Wikipedia ignores this, that is, to ensure that her victory over Charles Taylor is a demonstration by thousands of women in white.
She is quiet, dignified, strong and humorous.
The transparency of operational assistance is impressive (every penny of its $2 m budget is the responsibility of the local government) and we hope she will allow her office to engage with Korto on a regular basis ---
She was obviously with her wonderful country woman.
February 11 is the day of the armed forces. Time to leave.
I greeted everyone we met with a pleasant "happy day for the armed forces!
"Everyone of them just laughs.