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Crisis Point? In Monrovia, Half A Million Gallons Water Lost to Broken Pipe

By Tecee Boley

The Liberian government submitted information to the World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program that estimated eight percent of households in urban areas have pipe borne water and 88 percent have access to an improved water source. Ironically the … More

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‘Wrong Side of the Dice’: Ballah Scott’s Death Shows Health Care in Liberia Is No Care at All

By Robtel Pailey

Monrovia – Hospitals have always been an eerie place for me, with their sterile walls, bright blinding lights, and shadowed cracks and crevices. Despite my wariness, I am convinced that hospitals can be (and should be) safe havens. In most … More

Joseph Jenkins Roberts, first president of LiberiaRead Watch Listen

165 Years Young And Counting: What Have We Really Got To Celebrate?

By Robtel Pailey

  We Liberians know how to throw a good party. Whether we live in zinc shacks or in immaculate mansions, we thrive on celebration. I’ve been back in Monrovia from London only three weeks now and have already attended four … More

Voices Against Genital Cutting: Survivors Speak Against Controversial practice in N.Y.

By Mae Azango

New York City – A young girl stood weeping while women danced happily around her. A grand celebration was already underway for the girl’s rite of passage. It would end with her circumcision and the women rejoicing. Against her will, the … More

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Going Home the Same Way They Came: Buduburam on My Mind as D-Day Nears

By Robtel Pailey

Perched on vast acres of land dotted with concrete buildings marked in colorful chalk, Buduburam Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Accra, Ghana, has always been a place of transit for Liberians. Camp dwellers are like expectant passengers on a … More

Liberian entrepreneur Martha Partor in her Monrovia food processing businessRead Watch Listen

Starting Small: Liberia’s Women Entrepreneurs Boost Agriculture Industry

By Wade Williams

Monrovia — On the outskirts of this capital city, Martha Partor runs what passes for a food processing business in this war-weary west African nation. It’s not high tech or big business. She packages local agricultural items such as pepper … More

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Liberia’s Water Woes: Why Clean, Safe Water Is Still Out of Reach for Many Liberians

By Tecee Boley

Monrovia: “Water! Water!” Eugene Seoh shouted from his three-story apartment building on Benson Street, a main avenue in the center of Monrovia. From across the road, water vendor Jerry Worlogar looked up and nodded.  Seoh hurried down the stairs.  He … More

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Charles Taylor’s Verdict Proves What Goes Up Must Come Down

By Robtel Pailey

 by New Narratives Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey I was in The Hague on April 26 when they convicted Charles Taylor. Appearing like a child being publicly scolded, he stood on seemingly wobbly legs, head bowed, when they pronounced him guilty … More

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Still in Hiding, Azango Welcomes Leaders Decision to End FGC

By Mae Azango

“The Costs for Girls: Why I Welcome Leaders’ Decision” by Mae Azango   The sound of drums and sasa fills the air as little girls and young ladies leave the Sande Bush. They have completed the traditional bush school and … More

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Denying Liberia’s Babies: Teen Fathers Speak

By Mae Azango

By Mae Azango “Some of these young boys are from broken homes. Sometimes it is peer pressure that causes many of the teen fathers to deny pregnancies.”  But there are also other factors. – Ali Sylla, Founder and Executive Director … More

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Moving from Open Door to ‘Growth with Development’

By NN op-ed columnist Robtel Pailey

During President William Tubman’s Open Door Policy, Liberia was averaging double-digit growth rates. Being open for business, however, did not mean growth was open to all. In the 1960s, it was claimed that we had ‘growth without development’—economic activities from … More

Women Entrepreneurs Cover Story in FrontPage AfricaRead Watch Listen

From Petty Traders to Entrepreneurs in War-Battered Economy

By Wade Williams

Clothing designer Geneva Garr supervises several men crouched over sewing machines surrounded by beautifully tailored dresses hanging for customers to see. Starting up with just one sewing machine on her porch, Garr, 37, now makes 72 outfits a week. Garr … More

Female Genital Cutting – Why Liberia Must Join the Rest of the World and Outlaw the Practice

By Tetee C. Karneh

An opinion piece by Tetee Karneh. See original post here. Liberia is a little country of 3.5 million people basking in the mindset that because we, unlike most of the rest of Africa, were never colonized by foreign powers, we … More

Dr. Torsou Jallabah of the James Davis Hospital in Paynesville treats many girls with complications from genital cutting. Photo by Sumaya AghaRead Watch Listen

Tradition of Genital Cutting Threatens Health of Liberian Women

By Mae Azango

Ma Sabah was only 13 years old when she was taken from Gbatallah in Bong County and forced into the Sande bush for a crime her mother committed in her village in 1976. The Sande bush is where women and girls are sent to be … More

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Seek Ye First the Economic Kingdom, Woman

By NN columnist Robtel Pailey

First appeared in Liberia’s FrontPage Africa newspaper March 1 Africa’s first post-independence president, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, urged colonial Africa to “seek ye first the political kingdom, and all else shall be added onto you.” Nkrumah was alluding to the … More

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High Number of Teenage Pregnancies Holds Liberia Back Say Experts

By Mae Azango

  Baby Blessed wriggles and wails in discomfort in his young mother’s lap.  Winnie pulls out her breast to feed her sick child and quiet his cries.  She looks out at the swampy backyard behind her home as if she … More

"Jerome" says he faces daily threats because of his sexuality. Photo by NN photography fellow Chase WalkerRead Watch Listen

“I Am Gay” The First Liberian Homosexuals to Talk to the Media Say Life is Hard

By Wade Williams

Names in this article have been changed to conceal the identities of gay persons mentioned. Jerome, 16, strides like he is a supermodel on a runway.  He has a slender body, and his hair is cut short.  The fashionable teen … More

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NN in the New York Times

By New Narratives Country Director, Emily Schmall

Photo by NN photography coach Glenna Gordon MONROVIA, Liberia — Election officials announced on Thursday that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s only female president, had been re-elected by an overwhelming margin this week in a runoff vote that was marred by an … More

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SLAMMING THE GIRL POWER: What Went Wrong for Liberia’s Women at the 2011 Polls?

By Wade Williams

By FrontPage Africa editor and New Narratives fellow Wade Williams Gloria Musu Scott sits behind her desk at the Capitol Building.  The senator from Maryland County is in the process of clearing her office to return to her former life … More

Liberians line up to vote in the presidential, senatorial and legislative elections on October 11, 2011 at a polling station in Monrovia. Around 1.8 million Liberians were eligible to vote in the second election since the end of a 14-year civil war. The elections are seen as a litmus test of the west African nation's fragile democracy. (Issouf Sanogo /AFP/Getty Images)Read Watch Listen

Despite rain, Liberians turn out in huge numbers to vote

By New Narratives team in Liberia

In West Point, a shantytown community on the edge of the Atlantic, dozens of people endured long lines and the pouring rain to vote in this country’s second presidential elections since the end of 14 years of civil war. Frances … More

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A Picture Is NOT Worth a Thousand Liberian Lives

By New Narratives columnist Robtel Pailey

I squirmed when I saw the photo online of a female protester in her crisp white T-shirt, with ruby red liquid dripping down her neck and face. There were other photos in a series. One man lay on the naked … More