Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee, visits the 101 Project
On 19 June, the 101 Project in Dundee was honoured to be visited by the inspirational Leymah Gbowee.
2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker, and women’s rights advocate. Leymah has worked tirelessly to promote the rights of woman and girls in Africa and across the world.
As a young woman, Leymah was broken by the Liberian Civil war. Years of fighting destroyed her country, many of her family and friends, and shattered her girlhood hopes and dreams. As a young mother, trapped in a nightmare of domestic abuse, she found the courage to turn her bitterness into action, propelled by her conviction that the power of women working together can create an unstoppable force. Leymah helped direct her nation to peace and in the process emerged as an international leader.
Leymah was a single parent of four children for many years and suffered many hardships. She worked through her own personal difficulties and is a great role model for women worldwide.
She was in Dundee to receive an honorary Doctorate from Dundee University, but also wanted to meet some ‘real Dundee women’. She was keen to meet and hear the stories of parents as well as sharing her own story with them. The valuable work of the 101 Project is recognised locally and our strong reputation resulted in the project being the only agency visited by Leymah. During the visit she helped celebrate the project’s 30th anniversary by cutting a cake with some of the families who attended.
She posted the following on her Facebook page:
“I was most touched by my visit to the 101 Project, One Parent Families Scotland. The 101 Project provides social, legal and financial support to single parent families and young parents. I was once a young, struggling single mother juggling the demands of parenthood. A strong network of support that 101 Project provides is helpful to parents of young families succeed. Thank you to University of Dundee and 101 Project for welcoming me to Scotland!”
There was a fantastic turnout from many of the families supported by the 101 Project. Leymah spent time with them, listening to the journeys they have made. She was extremely supportive and encouraging. The parents commented afterwards that her visit meant a lot to them.