Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the amazing story of a small group of Liberian women who came together in the midst of a bloody civil war, took on the violent war-lords and corrupt Charles Taylor regime, and won a long-awaited peace for their shattered country in 2003.
As the rebel’s noose tightened upon Monrovia, and peace talks faced collapse, the women of Liberia, Christian and Muslims united and formed a thin but unshakable white line between the opposing forces, and successfully demanded an end to the fighting; armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions.
In one remarkable moment, the women barricaded the site of stalled peace talks in Ghana, and announced they would not move until a deal was done. Faced with arrest, they invoked the most powerful weapon in their arsenal, threatening to remove their clothes. It worked.
The women of Liberia are living proof that moral courage and non-violent resistance can succeed, even where the best efforts of traditional diplomacy have failed. Their demonstrations culminated in the exile of Charles Taylor and the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female head of state, and marked the lead of a new wave of women taking control of their political destiny around the world.
It is a captivating testimony to the potential of women worldwide to alter the history of nations.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell was screened during one of my political classes, it was among the few documentaries on female empowerment that touched a chord deep within me. I was impressed by the change these women from diverse backgrounds were capable of implementing, given that some were not educated.
Yet they had the ability to stop a civil war. It got me thinking, if a woman who is not educated is able to do such great things for her country, what of the woman that is educated?
After watching a few more powerful documentaries, I had a yearning to want to work with young girls and women, and that resulted in my focus on Gender Studies during my minor. I couldn’t stop thinking of the endless opportunities we as a country and the world would benefit from, just by empowering our girls.
Samantha rolfe with a group of mentees at the Moi Siongiroi Girls-Bomet
Every morning when I got up to go to a job I didn’t enjoy, I had a gnawing feeling in my gut, I’m grateful to have worked in different industries before I made the leap to work at a place that had Purpose.
I was blessed to be able to transition gradually.
Here I am now at Akili Dada, guided by my intuition and heart and happy that I am now working with like-minded individuals whose passion for female empowerment is quite admirable.
I look forward to making a difference however small in the lives of these girls and also learning more from my colleagues to be the best leader I can possibly be. Finally, I am content because my work will have an impact in this generation and the next to follow.