A friend of ours who used to work in Liberia as the head of an NGO engaged in various studies and now working at the World Bank was back in town recently to follow up on one of the studies she had initiated a few years ago.
She came over to our apartment for dinner and it was needless to say nice to host her. As I grow older, I realise the value of friendships. Friends come in all sizes, shapes and shades. Whenever you do manage to share a moment with a friend, you feel all the more richer for it.
It is nice to have your friendships bear fruit.
One study she is overseeing is studying sex amongst young girls: when does a young girl start having sex and why, are they supported by their parents, who pays their school fees and so on.
The other study also looks at household expenditure and attitudes to sending their kids to school.
I am mixing up the focus of the studies most likely and how many there are but roughly from what I remember from our chat, this is what I remember. She explained that one of the reasons such a study is being conducted is to challenge typical perceptions of folks in poor countries.
So, people think that young girls are having random sex all the time. And, parents are not interested in sending their kids to school.
Our friend explained that so far the study challenges all these perceptions.
I wonder if this is the reason the main work of the entire do gooder industry - the one made up of the UN and NGOs - is either holding workshops or putting up giant advertisements telling folks what to do.