Liberia’s government has started investigating a U.S. charity More Than Me (MTM). It follows reports that one of its founding staff raped many girls who came to the charity for care.
The country’s Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Williametta Saydee Tarr said on Friday that a committee has been established to investigate the matter.
The charity called “More Than Me” last week said on its website that it is “profoundly, deeply sorry” for the revelation.
The details of the scandal was made public following an investigation by a US investigative media, ProPublica.
The investigative siteProPublicasaid its work shows that girls at a school owned by the charity in a slum had been repeatedly abused by it’s co-founder, Macintosh Johnson.
The school at West Point is located within a notorious slum in the capital Monrovia.
Johnson died in 2016 of AIDS while on trial for the alleged sexual abuse. There are concerns he might have infected some of his victims – who were aged as young as 10.
MoreThanMe said in its statement that “To all the girls who were raped by Macintosh Johnson in 2014 and before: we failed you.
We gave Johnson power that he exploited to abuse children. Those power dynamics broke staff ability to report the abuse to our leadership immediately.
Our leadership should have recognised the signs earlier. We have and will continue to employ training and awareness programmes so we do not miss this again.”
The school were the abuses took place opened in 2013. It become the first of 18 schools that More Than Me opened in Liberia to empower girls.