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Girl Power – Liberia

Silver Leaf sponsors women and children of Liberia through Girl Power- Liberia. 
This grass roots organization is a one women operation in Liberia started by our founder Laura Groenier’s high school classmate Bulleh Bablitch Norkeh.
What we love about this program is the empowerment these women, who are otherwise in a hopeless situations, feel when they are given an opportunity at entrepreneurship.  These women are becoming business women via Girl Power Liberia’s one time sponsorship of 50.00 to get them started with an inventory of coal to sell.  Once the coal is sold and the profits have come in, these women use that money to invest in other products/merchandise that interest  them personally. Some sell dried fish, candy, and other goods. They are becoming role models for other women in their country and its an amazing thing to witness.   
To  see videos and learn more about these brave women you can find it here on Facebook 
Girl Power Africa – Facebook Link
Please meet our friend Bulleh and some of the women we have sponsored below: 


“Here is a little about my very beautiful but yet complicated story…. I was born in Liberia by a Liberian mother and a peace corp volunteer father, Justice William Bablitch from Wisconsin. My father took me to Wisconsin 1981. Went to Oregon High School and MATC. I met my husband, Dr. Frederick Norkeh in 1990… 26 yes later we have 3 daughters. I worked as a mortgage banker for 16 years. Spend 13 great years with Wells Fargo Home mortgage.  Back in 2006, the president of Liberia, (first female president in Africa) called on my husband to came to Liberia and help with the new government after – 14 years of civil war. He came and I stayed back in the states with the kids. After a few years of being apart, I could no longer handle the space between us… in 2009, I sold our house and moved to Liberia, Africa!

I’ve been helping Girls and women who are in the most hopeless situation over the years. I help to empower them by giving them goods to sell. The goods are 100 percent for them free of charge with no strings attached. The only requirement is that they have to check in with me monthly with their progress. This project has grown and gotten so successful that I have more demand than what my pocket can produce. That’s when I started asking my friends and family to please join me.  This is very grass roots… I am a  total amateur at this… but maybe that’s why God put me here.  Many times I’ve wondered what in the he…l..l  am I doing here so far from my children and all of the comforts of America, but It’s all starting to make sense… I have the advantage of growing up in America and having some great friends and family there. Also, with my Liberian connection and being able to speak their language, the women open up to me easier. Best of both worlds.”

** If you are interested in helping to empower 1, 2 or more Girls/Women in Liberia, please go to our Paypal Donation Page!
To see the stories of girls who have been sponsored you can find them on the Girl Power Facebook page!

Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Once your contribution has been received, I will schedule a day and time for you to “meet” your girl whom you’ve empowered. You will be able to talk with her directly through CALLAPP MESSENGER and hear their story. To Empower a Girl/Woman it is a one time contribution of $50 per girl to take them from poverty to giving them hope and an opportunity for a better life. Thank you very much for your caring hearts and for helping to change many women’s (and family’s) worlds. 

Below are the four women that Silver Leaf has sponsored:

1. Janyen


Here is Janyen’s story as told by Bulleh:

Please meet our Latest Recipient: Janyen Gift – Age 40

Empowered by: Silver Leaf Interior, Laura Krelwitz Groenier

Janyen has 4 children. For her entire life, Janyen has been taking care of her disabled mother. She has never had a life of her own. She credits 450LD (about $5 USD) worth of food items to sell daily. Each day, she makes about 125 LD (about $1.40 USD) profit; which the family uses for their food. This assistance from Silver Leaf Interior will help to give Janyen the boost she needs to buy her goods direct. NO MORE CREDIT! Yeyyy… smile emoticon



2. Ma Marie

Girl Power Recipient:  Ma Marie Paye – Age 60 -70 (she’s not sure… she said that’s been the least of her worries… she’s funny! )

Empowered by: Silver Leaf Interiors


Ma Marie and is originally from the Ivory Coast. She and her husband lived in Monrovia with their 7 children. One day (in 1990) while in the market buying food (a daily routine), she over heard people discussing the fact that war was coming to Monrovia. She went home and told her husband what  she has heard… for about a week this became a daily occurence. About 2 weeks later, her husband decided to send her back to her family in the Ivory Coast before she drove herself crazy and increased her blood pressure more than it already was. Ma Martha left with the 2 younger children (ages 2 years and 6 months also before cell phone time in Liberia). She never heard from them until about 10 years later, when she got the news that her husband had been dead years earlier. She doesn’t know if he was killed or if he died from natural causes. She wants to believe he died from natural cause because the thought of him being killed hurts too much.

About 5 years ago, Ma Martha and the 2 children whom she had taken with her returned to Liberia in search of the 5 children that were left with their father in 1990. She has not been able to find her children. But she has not given up hopes that one day, she will find them.

Recently, she has heard rumors that some of the kids escaped to Guinea while others escaped to Sierra Lone as refugees. Ma Martha and her 2 kids have been squatting with kind hearted people since their return to Liberia. Recently she was given a house to use (please see photo). For income, Martha walks about 5 to 6 hours daily selling raw fufu for a kind lady who pays her 300LD-400LD ($3-$4) per week depending on how much she sells. Her eye site is deteriorating making it very difficult for her to walk the streets under the hot sun and also to identify the money.



3. Beatrice and Little Prince


Here is Beatrice and Little Prince’s story as told by Bulleh:

Although I’ve Empowered his mom Alice before, I’m empowering another woman, his aunt Beatrice, to take him for now.

I know that I’m going far, but I must intervene in order to save this boy’s life. His mom Alice was totally happy about my intervening as she really needed help but didn’t know who to turn to…..

Beatrice Zawe – Age 44

Empowered by: The girls at Silver Leaf Interiors

Beatrice is single mom with 6 biological children. Her sister, (Alice, one of our April Girl Power recipients, aka Little Prince’s mom) was in a terrible motor cycle accident about 2 years ago. Since then, Alice was unable to take care of her children. Beatrice took 2 of Alice’s older children until she could get well.  Beatrice is a recovering alcoholic. She’s been clean for about a year. She supports she and her children by selling  fish for a market lady who pays her 600LD (about $6.50) per week.

In the last week, it has become clear to me that Alice doesn’t have the strength to care of herself let alone a child.  So, Little Prince is very much alone and neglected because his mom sleeps most of the day.  And to make matters worse,  Alice is also telling me the reason Little Prince is sickly is because he is a “witch craft boy. He’s always making himself sick.”   So, I had decided to intervene and ask Beatrice to also take Little Prince until his mom gets well.  Little Prince will be with his siblings and be a kid. I told them to bring him once a week to see me, but he comes 2-3 times a week… I’m happy anytime he comes. The more the better. Im already starting to see improvements. He always falls asleep after he eats with me. Cute! 




4. Yamah


Yamah Kollie -Age 26

Empowered by: Silver Leaf Interiors

Here is Yamah’s story as told by Bulleh:

Yamah is a single lady whose mom died when she was 2 years old in delivery with her younger sister. Yamah’s older sister, who was 14 years old at the time, took over the responsibility of raising her 5 siblings. Yamah dropped out of school when she was in the 10th grade due to lack of fundings. She has 2 children, Nora  6  and  Catherine 4 and she’s currently 8 months pregnant. Nora is very sickly and requires a lot of time and medications. 

For living, Yamah sells bananas (400LD worth – about $4.40 USD) daily. She walks between 7 to 9 hours daily selling the bananas in a tray on her head. After selling, then she uses the profit to buy food for she and the children. The days that she’s unable to sell means they don’t eat for that day. Yamah’s biggest fear now is when she delivers. When I asked her about the were about of the man she’s pregnant for, she replied “Old ma, when the men wants you, they can be sweet like sugar. When they get you then they finish with you oh. I can’t worry about chasing him. I have to do for me and my children”.