- location:Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa
16 Vulnerable Girls to be rehabilitated
The Ministry of Gender and Development says it will rehabilitate 16 of 104 vulnerable girls recently rounded up from various locales in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.Speaking Thursday at a regular weekly Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism press briefing, Minister Julia Duncan Cassel said the lasses, between the ages 8 and 24, will be rehabilitated for three months.
They are being kept at the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) for that period, and thereafter be sent to school or given skills where applicable.
A pity-struck Minister Cassel told the press briefing that the stories of some of the girls were appalling, calling for a prompt emergency action.
One of the 16 girls, Minister Cassel discloses, is asthmatic.
She said 64 were sent home because they were above the ages targeted and could make decisions on their own.
Coded “Operation Save Our Future”, the Ministry of Gender and Development says the move will discourage girls from the streets and encourage them to aid in the rebuilding of their country.
The raid was not only targeted at vulnerable girls. It was aimed at combating drug trafficking, indecent dressing and other social vices.
Residents of GSA Road and Duport Road cheered the police as they went in search of the girls. Some sent text messages to the police to aid them unearth some hideouts.
It was a rare occasion where the public showed its commitment to fighting crimes.
Minister Cassel is overwhelmed by the success of the raid, and said there was more to come.
“Operation Save Our Future has just started. We have to help these girls save our future,” she said.
She vowed to go after dealers in prostitution, who were ill-advising girls to go into to prostitution; and breakdown slums breeding such culture.
She said in conformity with its 150-day deliverable, the ministry was concluding tours of the country to access the condition of women and children and see how it could help.
Minister Cassel said so far, from data from the southeast of Liberia—Grand Gedeh, Maryland, River Gee and Sinoe—women there needed to be empowered.
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