Monrovia is Liberia’s capital city, and with a population of over 1.5 million it is also its largest. It is the country’s financial and administrative centre and has an important harbour. Work to rebuild and renovate infrastructure and roads after the civil war is ongoing.
Living conditions for the majority remain incredibly challenging. Unemployment and poverty rates have reached all-time highs. There is a great need for support within the communities of Monrovia, and children are as vulnerable as ever.
Since 1981, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Monrovia.
According to UNICEF, half of girls and women in Liberia have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) and one in three think the practice should continue.
The World Health Organization defines FGM as the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The procedure is generally performed on girls when they are still young. Not only are there no known health benefits, it often leads to health complications. The practice perpetuates inequalities and is a violation of the rights of girls and women.
The population of Liberia is very young. There are over two million children under the age of 18.
Though much has improved in child survival and development in Liberia since the civil war ended in 2003, children still face adversity in all areas of their lives. Because of a lack of infrastructure and services, adults and young people struggle to find stable employment.
Harmful cultural and traditional practices, like female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage, present a further challenge to child protection efforts in Liberia.