Zorzor District Women Care Inc. (ZODWOCA PROFILE)
• ZODWOCA, Zorzor District Women Care Inc. is a local Non Governmental Organization (NGO) catering to women and children of rural Liberia.
• ZODWOCA was incorporated December 20, 1994 and February 1, 1996 was accredited by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs.
• ZODWOCA has 11 staff and 15 volunteers and is run by an Executive Director, who reports to a Seven Member Board of Directors.
• ZODWOCA hopes to carry on three (3) years strategic plan so as to meet it development and strategic needs. It shall cover staff development, improving our logistical needs, and improving our performance. Our case value of service stands out among all. The plan began this year 2015 and ends 2017.
• To protect/Defend, Educated and Advocate for the RIGHTS of WOMEN and their CHILDREN
• Strategy and approaches in our program/ project implementation, eg. Participation, community ownership, result oriented plan.
Vision: To carry on Human Rights training in Salayea, Zorzor and Voinjama Districts in the next three (3) years
• HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY and EDUCATION
• DISTER RELIEF
• HEALTH & ENVIRONMENTAL CARE
• MICRO LOANS
• CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS OF WOMEN
• TORTURE D VICTIMS REHABILITATION AND EMPOWERMENT
• VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL SKILLS preparation
• END EARLY CHILD MARRIAGE
• AGRICULTURE FOR SUSTAIBABILITY
• LAND AND WATER RIGHTS
• PEACE BUILDING & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
• SEXUAL HEALTH (SGBV)
• WORKING WITH FOR WOMEN RIGHTS (TRADITIONAL RELIGION) GROUP AND
• RAPE AND RIGHTS
WOMEN RIGHTS ADVOCACY
• The 14 years of civil conflict devastated every sector of the Liberian community, with the human resources being the worst hit.
• In the process, properties were damaged, economy sheltered, mayhem, looting and abused of human rights became the order of the day.
• Thank God for Democracy, peace and reconciliation. While the Government is consolidating peace, the expectation of the Liberian people is very high however; a fragile disarmament was carried out, leaving many former combatants with their arms.
• Most former combatants use these arms to terrorize the citizens, rape and domestic violence is on the increase.
• ZODWOCA joined Association of Female lawyers of Liberia (AFELL)
to advocate for the enactment of the inheritance & Rape laws now in forced. The two laws require education and since then, rape cases and sexual assaults are on the rise.
• The Inheritance law which restored properties of deceased husbands to widows of customary marriage, is yet to be effected by families of deceased husbands.
• In 2005, our dream became a reality when the law which guarantees the prosecution of persons caught in rape was enacted; this gave victims hope for justice.
• ZODWOCA was invited to a numbers of international conferences and workshops/training. ZODWOCA has had training in Human Rights twice in South Africa, Ghana and attended the 44th UN Human Rights conference in Geneva sponsored by Global Rights, Micro-Finance in Halifax, Canada sponsored by its Board of Directors, peace Building, Security and Civilian courses in Peace Keeping in Legon, Ghana sponsored by the Italian Government, DDRR training in the UK sponsored by its board of Directors, Peace Building in Spain, Senegal sponsored by CASA-Africa and the recent HIV/AIDS UN high level meeting in New York.
• ZODWOCA has worked with UNDP,UNICEF, Global Rights, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), The Fund for Global Human Rights, and African Women Development Fund (AWDF), Norwegian Human Rights, Global Rights, for the implementation of its programs in Montserrado, Lofa, Bong and Margibi Counties.
• ZODWOCA disarmed children of Zorzor District and connected them to their relatives, a difficult task for parents to accept their children. ( 2000 Children sponsored by UNICEF).
ZODWOCA is run by the Executive Director, who reports to Seven Member Board of Directors.
Board of Members (Traditional Leader (Head Gizima Clan)
1. Mrs. Deddeh yerezeh Traditional Leader (Head Gizima Clan)
2. Cllr. Molley Gray Sr. Treasurer
3. Ms. Kebeh Gbolu
4. Ms. Deddeh Wealeah Financial Secretary
5. Mama Soni Member (women leader) Representing
Women of Salayea District Lofa County.
6. Agnes F. Kortimai BSC, Int’l Certificate Executive Director Founder
Secretary to Board
7. Miss Olive M. Johnson Member
ZODWOCA is seeking for support to its programs in Rural Liberia.
Liberia NGO Network (LINNK) Civil Society organization (CSO), Liberia National HIV/AIDS Network, Liberia Human Rights Defender, GCAP, LINARSO, WANGOSO (Women in NGO Secretarial of Liberia)
o ZODWOCA has been able to take micro-credit loan to Lofa County through her advocacy for economic empowerment of women.
o Through the awareness and education, women are now able to stand to vie for a position, to speak for their rights and report on cases that is harming them. The women of the District were able to gathered together to demonstrate for the death of a late police man who was killed in Zorzor for a speedily justice of the case which in the past was impossible.
o Women have understood about the rape law which can be reported in court.
o The inheritance law which restored properties of deceased husbands to widows of customary marriage.
o ZODWOCA conducted DDRR for children in Zorzor District
o In 2005, our dream became a reality when the law which guarantees the prosecution of persons caught in rape was enacted; this gave victims hope for justice
o In 2011, ZODWOCA was sponsored by UNDP through National Election Commission to encourage women to turn out to registry to vote this coming election and Lofa began third largest County that people turn out to registry. Women also carried on the highest population that turn out to register.
o ZODWOCA encouraged women participation in Developmental issues and speak out on their basic rights.
o 26 women have regain their deceased husbands properties
o Men see women as possible contender and for them to accept women as their partners. Not a property.
o The Lorma and Mandingos tribes to accept each other
o To change former combatant to stop raping
One of our major constrain is the road condition and those towns that are not easily accessible by road.
No vehicle to move to places
The justice system, cases are not speedily tried and overcrowded of the docket
Financial constrain to carry case further and victims funds to be able to bring witnesses to testify in court.
Traditional people taking none-members to zoes bushes and taking over legal cases
HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY & EDUCATION
• We do advocacy, build awareness and training for rural women/girls and children protection
• We document, Monitor and Report on abuses/ violations;
• We provide Para-Legal Counseling;
• We do Referral of Cases and Help Represent women through our lawyers who are member of the Association for Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL).
• We do HIV/AIDS Education and Awareness.
• We do hygiene Promotion and Education.
• Discourage child labor and early Marriage.
MICRO CREDIT LOANS
• We provide avenues for credits;
• We do training in small enterprise development;
• We do skills training and management of small business
EMPLOYABLE SKILLS TRAINING
• We do training in Tie & Dye design;
• We teach women how to design & sew quills, all types of garments;
• We do training in Carpentry, Masonry;
• And we also do training in Pastry and home economics.
• We do weaving
• We teach women how to cultivate, plot, maintain and harvest garden;
• We provide avenues for seedlings, tools and chemicals.
• PEACE BUILDING & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
• We organize forum for dialogue, harmonize differences through mediation.
• Peace Through Community Based Initiatives
• Swamp Rice Production
To successfully sustain your program, every activity must involve the communities you are working with.
Have your work center around leaders that are respected, if not it may be difficult to have the cooperation of all; hence ZODWOCA has involved communities in our work.
Our people are easy to work with, but you must understand them.
I established the Zorzor District Women Care with support from my husband on December 20, 1994, as a rural women rights organization. I continue to carry out human rights education for fellow women in Lofa County since ZODWOCA establishment. Our operation area is highly traditional with women having no say in anything. We have to educate our fellow women in advocating for their rights. The District was the worst hit by the Liberia civil conflict. This prompted the formation of the organization, former combatants have raped young girls, and had to be taken to court, while others murder women in cool blood for ritualistic purpose. We also had to fight for our women to get access to their late husband’s properties, and the forceful movement of these women to the families of their late husband. This was known as “Dower Rights”, thanks to ZODWOCA which I head in collaboration with the Association of Female Layers of Liberia and other women. Secondly, to assist our women get farm land, and house spot, they are not consider as part of the family because they are women. For rape cases, we have represented our women in courts many times, first carry victim to hospital and pay the cost for medical and legal fees. Our advocacy have assisted our women to realize that they must have a say in who leads them, now more women are standing for the coming election, currently the District is represented by woman at the National Legislature. We have brought programs to support our women in sustaining and empowering them. On empowerment, I visited Canada Micro Summit meeting and pleaded with the Danish Government, who provided $ 800,000 USD for Micro Revolving Loan, managed by UNDP, ZODWOCA or me, and the Liberia Government. This supported over ten thousand (10,000) women in six District. In preserving our forest and sustaining our women, we got a grant from UNDP/GEF/SGP on climate facilitation to move from the forest and engage in swamp rice production, this was done in four communities and was very successful. The micro loan had assisted over four hundred (400) women to change their lives, provide income, hospital bills, pay school fees as most of them are widows. We have held various partners, like UNICEF, that assisted us in our child Disbarment and Demobilization Project. That Disarmed two thousand (2000) child soldiers in our District. In all these, I have vision that women in Liberia will one day be independent of men. You can share my contact if you wish, I have no problem with it. I strongly believe that through this NETWORK, with one voice and collaborative efforts, we can deliver indigenous people from injustice. Until Justice for All, All our achievements around the globe are meaningless. I won a rural women award from WWSF-Women World Foundation Summit, ( Laureate award in 2007), (email: email@example.com) . We are currently engaged in Ebola Education.
I am Charles N. Kortimai, who have worked before as a young human rights advocate with the Human Rights & Protection Forum as the Co-Chairman. I earned a BSc in Civil and MSc in Geomatics Engineering. I have had a worth of experience working with UNDP Human Rights Section in Liberia prior to the acquiring of my two degrees. With many Certificates in the different issues in the gender mainstreaming from AtionAid Liberia, UNFPA -SGBV etc. and now coming back to serve the women of Liberia, I think women and Love women desire to Support women especially in the acquisition of a broad knowledge in Paralegal to assist in the facilitating justice for the grassroot and rural women of Liberia. This would only work when I have opportunities fight through advocacies for my dairling sister, mothers, daughters and aunties . My reason to join is movement is learnt and use what is leant for the benfit of the Liberian girls and women.
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