Child Labor Thrives in Liberia

In 2007, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf introduced a policy mandating that all primary school-age children go to school. Parents risk fines or even being jailed if their children work on the street instead of attending school. Nearly four years later, the streets of the capital, Monrovia, are still crowded with young school-age children who work…

Genital Cutting Threatens the Health of Liberia’s Women

The cultural practice of female genital cutting is rampant in Liberia, especially in the countryside.  Parents send girls as young as infants to ceremonies conducted by a secretive indigenous religion known as the Sande to be cut without knowing the health risks involved.  But openly talking about this secret rite of passage is taboo here. …

Water and Sanitation Problems Plague Monrovians

It is often said in Liberia: “to spoil it is easy but to build it is hard.” So is the case with water and sanitation here. The 14-year civil war destroyed much of the water supply and sanitation facilities. People escaping brutal battles in the heart of the country relocated to Monrovia—overcrowding the city’s slums…

Liberia’s Teen Moms Have it Hard

Having children early may seem like an adventure for many teenage girls, but most soon discover that this choice leads to lasting consequences. The high rate of teenage pregnancy increases the economic burden of Liberia by creating generation upon generation of very poor families.  The majority of teen moms live at home with their parents,…

Liberians Can’t Afford Staple Rice

If a Liberian hasn’t eaten rice at least once during the day, then he will tell you that he really hasn’t eaten.  But our staple food is becoming more expensive, as global food costs are skyrocketing.  This is angering many Liberians, who say they’re going hungry as a result, and putting a strain on the…

Teen Pregnancy is a Growing Problem for Liberia

Teen pregnancy is on the rise in Liberia and fast becoming a national crisis with far-reaching effects.   With one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world,  many young girls in Liberia are exposed to sex by age 9, and about 3 out of 10 Liberian girls get pregnant before the age of…

Women at Particular Risk in Liberia’s New Drug Trade

Drug trafficking and drug use is on the rise in Liberia according to a new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The problem is fueled by the influx of drugs into the region by South American drug cartels who see this as an easy route to get their products to Europe….

Nearly Half of Liberia’s Children are Malnutritioned

In Liberia, one out of every four children suffers from acute malnutrition, according to health organization Equip Liberia.  And as many as five children die of hunger every day in towns and villages across the country.  In collaboration with New Narratives and Truth FM, Rose Kaiwuh has this report on our country’s nutritional crisis….

Broken Promises of Foreign Palm Oil Company Anger Locals

Two years ago the government of Liberia signed an $800 million dollar concession agreement with Malaysian palm oil giant Sime Darby to cultivate 220,000 hectares of land. In the agreement, the company promised to build schools and clinics and provide workers with decent housing. More than a year later workers are living in the shells…

New Drug Route Through West Africa Leaves Trail of Addicts

Cocaine trafficking through Liberia, a country with few effective counter narcotics programs, is on the rise. The United Nations says it’s exacerbating an addiction problem stemming from Liberia’s civil war. In a collaboration between New Narratives and Radio Veritas, Fabine Kwiah takes a closer look….

Liberian Women Suffer Sexual Harassment in Silence

It happens all the time. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, an inappropriate word or unwanted touch. Sexual harassment is rampant in Liberia. There is no specific law prohibiting harassment. Victims say they are reluctant to talk about it because they fear reprisals. The Legislature is now considering the passage of a Decent Work…

The Power of One: Hanna Slocum Changing Women’s Lives

The West African country of Liberia is considered one of the world’s worst places to be a woman. In the aftermath of the country’s brutal civil war, women have limited access to medical care, jobs, and education. Rape is so common that many women don’t know it’s a crime. And most women raise their children…

Child and Teen Prostitution Flourishes in Monrovia Grow

Teenage sex workers say the government has failed to deliver on any of the promises they made after reports in several Liberian media houses last year revealed Liberian girls were forced into prostitution to survive. After the New Narratives story was published in Front Page Africa and aired on Sky FM President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf…