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Liberia Solidarity Group
Who We Are
The Liberia Solidarity Group (LSG) is dedicated to the creation of a mutual learning partnership between Ireland and Liberia which promotes justice, peace, equality and human rights through collective action and sustainable development. We are concerned to support those working in Liberia to achieve these goals through the development and implementation of education, enterprise and community development activities, including actions that promote or enhance the status of women.
Aims and Objectives
The aim of LSG is to support the promotion of justice, peace, equality and human rights and those working for them by the advancement of education and associated activities.
- To strategically raise awareness in Ireland and Europe regarding Liberia
- To learn and exchange between initiatives in Liberia and Ireland
- To advocate and promote the needs of Liberian people with the Irish authorities, business and other agencies.
- To engage and develop relevant partnerships and actions with groups and organisations in Liberia and Ireland to achieve our overall aim.
- To promote the enhancement of the status of women in all our actions and activities.
- To support projects and deepen partnership already established with community initiatives in Liberia
LSG is comprised of individuals and organisations with an experience of or interest in supporting progressive initiatives in Liberia. Members include:
- Liberians living in Ireland
- Irish people who have worked in Liberia as missionaries, development workers and volunteers
- Media personnel and others who have visited the country and been inspired by people they met.
All who support the aims and objectives of LSG are invited to join us in these endeavours.
Liberia and Ireland
Ireland has a particular standing in Liberia. Irish peace-keeping troops are remembered for their diligence in enforcing the cease fire and for their resolution in protecting vulnerable communities. The contribution of the Irish Government to the re-building project has also enhanced the respect and trust that Liberians have for Ireland. Liberia receives aid as part of Liberia’s bilateral aid programme. Irish Aid contributed significantly to the development of health services as part of an agreed strategy to re-establish public services infrastructure. Among Irish development and aid organisations, both Trócaire and Irish Aid have a significant presence in the country and continue to contribute to vital civil society initiatives. Concern Worldwide also works in Liberia alternating between emergency response and development work with a particular focus on the agricultural sector.
For more information on the Liberia Solidarity Group, please contact:
The Liberian Context
Liberia has emerged from a prolonged period of conflict and turmoil in which upwards of 200,000 have died and countless others were injured, displaced or subject to unimaginable personal trauma. During the civil war approximately 40% of women experienced gender violence. The war left a severely diminished social and economic infrastructure with only rudimentary communications and practically no public utilities such as electricity and water. Unemployment is widespread, running at about 80% according to the World Bank, and there is a substantial food security issue. Liberia is ranked 169 of the 182 countries in the UN Human Development Index.
Despite this appalling scenario a fragile democracy was established in 2005 with the assistance of the international community, including Ireland, whose peacekeeping force played an important role in the disarmament process. With the assistance of the United Nations and international aid organisations basic health services and health related utilities, such as clean water, sanitation, shelter and food are being slowly restored. Schools and colleges have been re-established and there is widespread enthusiasm for education despite poor facilities and a lack of teaching materials. Much of this development is being driven by civil society organisations, including community development groups, women’s initiatives, human rights organisations and community education projects.
While Liberia may be poor in material terms it is rich in ideas, aspirations and determination. Liberian people are committed to building a new society that is stable, just and sustainable, where respect for human rights is embodied in constitutional, legislative and regulatory processes. They also recognise that this can only be achieved with the cooperation and support of northern hemisphere countries and by developing partnerships whereby mutual endeavours can be devised and implemented.
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