Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) Executive Director Brenda B. Moore has launched a new book aimed at educating young students and parents about gender and social norms despite having been taboo over the years. years in Liberia.
The book “Free to Be Me” was recently launched at the Christian Association of Young Women of Liberia (YWCA), which has been honored by students, parents, OXFAM Liberia, education ministry officials. and other partners.
The book “Free to Be Me” explains sex, gender and societal norms which provide clear explanations to young students and give them the opportunity to talk about their body parts in private and in public despite the fact that society frowns eyebrows.
Discussions related to sex, gender and social norms have been banned, both with educated and uneducated parents and guardians, and continue to create serious disadvantage for young children and students in particular. “As a person who loves to read and is active in promoting reading in Liberia, I have taken on a renewed passion to speed up and stimulate difficult conversations in our society, especially with children,” said Mrs. Moore.
Ms Moore said writing the book was educational for her and she was grateful that she ventured into doing it to help students understand social and gender norms and will continue to do more.
She noted that change doesn’t happen overnight, but will take a gradual process that will involve having discussions and involving others before it happens. She commended all the partners from the Department of Education, OXFAM and others who have helped her achieve her dreams of educating Liberian children and making sure they understand their body parts, stating that “Children should do what they understand at all times and be safe.”
At the launch of the book, the Deputy Minister of Early Childhood Education at the Ministry of Education, Madam Felecia Doe-Somah, said that the launch of the book is part of the history and uplift of young people. Liberians to help educate society.
“Over the past two months you have done a lot to make Liberia an educational shine. I have been part of your activities and I can see your passion and your congratulations. The Department of Education appreciates your work, ”Ms. Doe-Somah told Ms. Moore.
Ms. Doe-Somah said she was delighted with the title of the book and the illustrations in it which depict freedom, stating that “this book will help parents, students and teachers and I now recommend school administrators to use this book at meetings of the Parents and Teachers Association. . “
She added, “We need to use this book in meetings where we can sit in a circle and talk about it. This book will help parents learn to work with children and teachers will be educated and sensitized so that everyone has some freedom and respects what they want to do or who they want to be in society and not to frown at any girl for playing football or a boy for helping with the dishes.
Lisa Kindervater from OXFAM expressed her gratitude to KEEP for the good work done in promoting gender transformation issues in Liberia.
“The book is transformative and challenges unequal power relations and male privilege and breaks it down so people can understand. The ways in which we socialize our boys and girls are at the root of violence and inequality. So it’s important to be able to help unlearn some of these harmful norms at young formative ages, when these things are solidified in the brain, ”Kindervater said.