Literacy is imperative for everyday life. It is necessary to navigate the world. To make informed decisions, fill out a job application, and decipher the constant and broad range of information you receive each day, you need to read. Endless and clashing stories from the news and through friends are confusing and overwhelming. Doing research on your own and educating yourself on the truth is to become free from other people’s opinions. Your own, educated opinion becomes clear. Your Self is empowered. There is no depth of learning without being able to read.
For a little one to hear Dr. Suess, read to them for the first time, for a child to escape into A Wrinkle in Time, and a parent to drive them to school, reading is essential. Everyone who reads this article takes from what being literate gives. It was what helped me escape when things were dismal at best. To read is the best form of escapism. You learn as you get away from the world around you at the same time as learn about it. Different worlds come to life; you are exposed to various histories and cultures through reading. Even if you’re “not a reader” of books, you read. You can understand what I am writing. And you take it as a given. To you, being literate probably feels more like a right and less like a privilege. It is a right.
Rape of babies, girls, boys, and women in Liberia has been rampant for decades. Since the beginning of COVID, instances of rape have ballooned in Liberia. A month ago, over 600 cases of rape had been reported since the pandemic hit. Of those 600 cases, 100 made it to court and almost 50 were acquitted.
The rate at which reports are made of Sexual Gender-Based Violence is still on the rise. This does not include the assaults that go unreported. Nor, does it include women and children that were deceased or displaced as a result of their assault. Liberia is the size of Louisiana State, roughly 43,000 square miles.