Arriving in Liberia last summer for internships at the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA), four Mount Holyoke students knew they were embarking upon the experience of a lifetime. They were there to intern with Leymah Gbowee P’16, a corecipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.
Gbowee—the mother of six children, including a junior at MHC—received the Nobel Prize for her role in leading a women’s peace movement that helped end the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. She later created GPFA, which is dedicated to building a peaceful, reconciled Africa.
“I would not have missed this for anything,” said Moreen Tonny ’15. “Long before I met her, I was inspired by Madame Gbowee.”
Gbowee, in turn, regarded the prospective interns as inspiration for the girls served by her foundation...
“Anything to strengthen women—to connect women with strength—I will pursue... Through my daughter, I have seen the strength and confidence that [Mount Holyoke] students develop. I knew that if the interns brought those qualities with them, they would be such role models for the young women in our programs.”
Pictured above, from left: Gabrielle Barnett '15, Emma Murphy '15, Leymah Gbowee, Moreen Tonny '15, and Wenna Yang '16.