Welcome! This blog documents my experience as a Nancy Germeshausen Klavans Cultural Bridge Fellow with the Liberian Ministry of Gender and Development during my studies at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The views expressed are solely my own and are written to share experiences, introduce issues, and initiate conversation. Thank you for reading!



The Girl Effect

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Meeting Madam President: harnessing the possibility of transformation



Here are some pictures of our Sunday night event with the President (in her soccer fan attire). The Minister of Gender is in the white dress . More details and reflections to come soon...





6 comments:

Ebenezer said...

Hi Emily,
I'm Ebenezer Flomo. I am a Liberian, but I am in the US, married to an American. My wife showed me your website and I am so excited and appreciative to read about the great experiences you are going through in Liberia. We were there a year ago and stayed at the Baptist compound, so we know exactly what you're dealing with! :)
My wife is so jealous after seeing your blog, she wants to be in Liberia again.
I saw the picture of you with the minister of gender, Ms. Gayflor, who happens to be a fellow church member of mine (St. Peter's Lutheran Church)
We really really appreciate what you are doing for Liberia and her people. I just want to reiterate what the president told you, do not leave Liberia until you are exhausted! We will pray that the internet stays on at the compound so that you can continue to inform us!
Praying for your safety, and may God use you as a vessel for His greater purpose. Thanks for ministering to your teammates also.
Ebenezer Flomo hello_liberia@yahoo.com

Bob said...

Emily,

It’s great to see your smiling face and to know that you are doing wonderful things for the people of Liberia. I claim to be one of your good men. I am with you. As a father of a daughter, I take this very personally. And I agree with yesterday’s blog where you said that “[C]omplete protection for women will never exist unless an entire society feels that every person deserves to live violently free.” At first, I thought you meant “violence free,” but after thinking about it a bit more, “violently free” is more emphatic. In some ways, we need to be violently free.

Be strong; be safe; and be violently free (while being cognizant of your surroundings)!

Love,

Uncle Bob

Anonymous said...

Hello Emily - we are friends of Dennis and Bob in Iowa City and new at blogging. Your commitment to "reducing inequatity" (as Bill Gates recently put it) is heartwarming. We just returned from a 2 week trip to Tanzania and witnessed first hand poverty, disease, racism and yet were impressed with the spirit, faith and hope of the people there despite their circumstances. We were exploring with a university and the public health sector how we at the University of Iowa might partner to might help Tanzania, and all of East Africa, "build capacity" to improve the quality and effectiveness of their pharmaceutical distribution system. We wish you much success in this and all your future ventures.

Jordan and Jana
Iowa City

Emily Stanger said...

Ebenezer,
How did your wife come across the blog?! As trite as it sounds, this is definitely a small world. Thanks for your words of appreciation and don’t worry, I’ll work myself through to exhaustion and share as much as the Internet will allow. Take care and thank you for the prayers!


Uncle Bob,
I hope you know you were among the men I was thinking of when I stated that I had been fortunate to be surrounded by good men throughout my life. You are definitely in the ranks! Growing up with the examples of men like you, Grandpa, and my father (among many others), I have pretty high standards for men in this world.
Thanks for your words, and don’t worry, I’ll be safe in the midst of being violently free!

Jordan and Jana,
Thank you for the kind words and wishes! I was quite excited when Denise and Bob told me about your visit to Tanzania and it’s a pleasure to be able to share some of Liberia with you as well.
I just read Bill Gates’ Harvard graduation address and his message about our responsibility to reduce inequity brought tears to my eyes. Talk about a couple which is truly devoted to solving the complexities of a world system that has let so many of its people die without cause. Wow –what a pleasure to see you quote him in your comments.
I wish you much success in your coordination efforts with Tanzania. What an incredible contribution it will be to the overall transformation needed in Africa. Be well!

If anyone is interested in reading the Gates address, you can find it here:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/MediaCenter/Speeches/Co-ChairSpeeches/BillgSpeeches/BGSpeechHarvard-070607.htm

Jordan said...

Hi Emily - despite being 8,000 miles away we feel like we know you from Denise (not Dennis!!!) and Bob and your passionate writings here. If you are visiting here sometime we would like to try to introduce you to our neighbors - she is Liberian and has not been back in more than 30 years and he is Nigerian who is now a highly succesful business executive here. She is planning a trip back home this summer and is very worried about the conditions following years of violence, but is heartened by the emergence of women as leaders in West Africa. I think you would enjoy each others perespctives and experiences.

Stay well and safe

Best

Jordan and Jana
Iowa City

Anonymous said...

Hey, my dear...I found some time to read you amazing blog. You are doing a great job, and your stories describe exactly what you are living, such a good writer!. You look so happy, and I so happy to know you are doing what you really love. Huge kisses from jaipur. Vero.