COMMUNITY IMPACT REPORT | OVERVIEW | LIBERIA
IN-COUNTRY PARTNER | YOUTH ACTION INTERNATIONAL
Liberia is a country with huge needs and it is evident everywhere. Buildings have been decimated and infrastructure is nearly nonexistent as a result of a 14-year civil war. The long-term effects of war have left 85% of Liberians illiterate, and the primary concern for women is their safety. During the civil war, children as young as age five were kidnapped, brainwashed and trained to become soldiers for the rebel army. For 14 years the children of Liberia grew to adulthood seeing and participating in rapes, killings and unspeakable atrocities. No one was left unscarred.
With the election of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2005, Liberia began to turn a corner with a concerted effort by the people to forgive the past and move forward to rebuild a brighter future. One of the individuals leading the way is our in-country partner, Kimmie Weeks, who founded Youth Action International in 1998 to support the needs of families living in post-war countries. Kimmie has worked to alleviate poverty and human suffering in Africa and around the world since he was 14 years old. He was born in Liberia 1981; when he was nine, Kimmie came face to face with civil war, human suffering, and death.
Youth Action International’s programs have benefited more than 150,000 people in six post-war African countries.
Kimmie has formed partnerships and led organizations that have provided education to thousands of students in West Africa, lobbied the disarmament of over 20,000 child soldiers, and provided health care and recreation supplies to children.
In 2009, our site visit included visiting two schools we are funding, delivering an Unstoppable® workshop for 30 women graduating from the Women’s Empowerment Center, and meeting face-to-face with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She shared with us her country’s vast needs and we responded with a solid commitment to be a part of the rebuilding of this extraordinary country.
PROJECTS IN LIBERIA