– Honours five women of impacts
The Political Leader of Movement for One Liberia (MOL) and the founder of MacDella Cooper Foundation (MCF), Madam MacDella Cooper has called on Liberians to be their brothers and sisters keeper.
She also called on Liberians to care for the young people of Liberia who she described as brilliant and talented.
Madam Cooper made these passionate calls over the weekend at MacDella Cooper Foundation’s Sharing the Light Gala Dinner honoring women of impact in Liberia, held at Mamba Point Hotel in Monrovia.
Giving the background of the program and establishment of MCF, Madam Cooper disclosed that she is proud with the work MCF has done over the years, informing that they started back in 2004 when she was in the United States.
According to her, she fled from the civil war in Liberia to Ivory Coast and then to the United States of America where she and her mother lived on food stands as refugees. She said, “I fought hard to go to school and graduated”.
“Everywhere I went people asked me where you from and I always told them Liberia and they said Liberia, where poor people killed each other, and I wanted to change their taught,” she said.
With such mindset, she indicated that one day she went to work and had talked with her boss that she wanted to do something for her country and her boss consented. She said they sat in the office and created MCF in 2003, and then later in 2004 they launched MCF in one restaurant in New York City at which time they were able to generate funds.
Madam Cooper further said that in 2005 when the first female President in Africa got elected she felt more comfortable to return to Liberia, emphasizing that upon her return, she saw tons of children in the streets and she was like what is going on which was not normal.
She noted that the MCF started to help orphanage, foster-homes which was not conducive for the children to live in stressing that they made some changes and started helping orphanages across the country.
“When I saw these beautiful Liberian young people and said to myself, if we don’t do something about this then this country is going nowhere. If we can’t take care of the next generation then what can we expect in the future? And I believe that the solution to these problem is education,” Madam Cooper stated.
Furthermore, she said that the MCF could not just educate those children because many of them did not have homes so they had to feed, clean and put them in a decent place to live before educating them.
The MOL Political Leader noted that MCF was able to achieve due to the incredible people they met and who supported them throughout the years for which they were able to make some major transformation of life and giving young people dreams by providing education for them and putting them in a decent home.
She revealed that the help and resources MCF renders to different orphanages in Montserrado were not managed properly, and so they decided to build their own institution in order to manage it well and make sure that children were going from zero to hero.
Madam Cooper said that some of the children being with MCF since they were 5 years old and up to presents and some have graduated from high school and have scholarship to go Canada and other countries for studies.
However, she thank everyone for gracing the occasion most especially Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, ambassadors and the honorees.
Also speaking and accepting the women of impact in Liberia award from MCF, Vice President Taylor congratulated all those women who were honored along with her, emphasizing that they are examples of what has happened across the country and they stand on the shoulder of great women who stood before and they are dead today and one of those she name was Mary Brownell.
According to VP Taylor if those great women had not encouraged them they would not have been where they are today.
“I want to thank MCF for this outstanding award, it is humbling and a call for continuous work and also a call to the younger generation that they can do the same,” VP Taylor said.
She also indicated that in her life time she will like to see a Liberia that is gender balance which provides equal opportunities for women, she however, called on the women of Liberia to remain impactful, “let’s get their passion alerted again and be visionary in what they do”.
She also call on the women to hold together emphasizing that politics is not enmity as such they must love each other because they have one Liberia “Let’s make Liberia where we want it to be,” VP Taylor assert.
Meanwhile, she noted that it has been a quite a long journey with many challenges but with all of the stories from the women from one stage to the other and how they were able to make their way with the many challenges and difficulties is a resilient of an African woman that wherever they find their self they must put their best forward,” she said.
She told the young people that nothing is magic as such they have to work it in order to get there.
“Women are discriminated, harassed both mentally and physically, it is a tough job but Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told me a few month ago that once you stand you cannot sit down. It is a long story for all of us, what we went through as a Liberian woman who went to the United States to find living and it was not easy, but howbeit that our story,” VP Taylor said.
Attorney Jewel, who was as well honored said it was a pleasure and privilege to be honored by Madam Cooper who she said she has worked with throughout the years. Liberia first female Vice President said she was humble by the honor.
She thanked all those women who came before and on who shoulders they stand, stressing that it has been a long journey.
She used the occasion to call on the Women of Liberia regardless of which party they represent or tribe they come from, if affected by domestic violence, if someone comes against them with violence they should know that they have a strong towel that is behind them.
“Like I always said these bad bitches we are coming for them,” she said.
The women that were honored include Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, First female Vice President of Liberia, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Madam Joyce Q. Pajibo, Executive Director of SHED, Madam Lisa Kindervater, Deputy Program Director of Oxfam, and Madam Mmonbeydo Nadine Joah, Executive/Legal Counsel, Organisation for women and children (ORWOCH).
Past and present government officials, foreign ambassadors, and private officials amongst others graced the ceremony.
Leila B. Gbati