This year, Libera has helped women and teens who were homeless, as well as executives of major corporations. We have helped teens and women with anxiety, abuse, bullying, shame, depression, lack of direction, self harm, and sexual assault, to name a few things. We like to say Libera is for every woman. We help women and teens tell their stories, uncover their barriers and lies [we ALL have them], and get connected to resources to overcome those barriers. See the infographic and quotes below for an overview:
Libera has accomplished a few “firsts” in the last couple of months, and they are significant for empowering teens and women across the state to break out of cycles of helplessness and hopelessness.
We have almost completed a teen group in a public high school! Preston County High has graciously allowed us to lead a group during the school day with at risk teens. All of the girls, when asked if they were listened to or felt understood or heard, said “no” individually and emphatically. Several also were very interested in learning more about how to love themselves and have a good relationship with themselves! This is only the beginning, as we are creating connections and pursuing possibilities in several other school systems at this time.
We have designed and implemented an official course of instruction and training to officially certify Libera Listeners. This is crucial, as it will help us raise up a corps of volunteer women around the state to listen to teen’s and women’s stories, lead groups, and help resource them. Our goal is to have a Listener in every county of West Virginia, in order to lead groups and workshops there. Interested? Write to: email@example.com.
We have led groups of 15 and 11 women through the Libera Listener training; we will soon have over 20 officially certified Listeners, and others who are on their way to becoming certified. These women live in and represent 8 counties of West Virginia.
In other news:
We hired a new Program Director, Barbara White, who has an extensive background in 12 Step Programs.
Our counselor is working with a number of teens and college students struggling with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, as well as abuse and sexual assault.
We finished a teen group with Girl Scouts in the northern panhandle.
We have connected 4 women in financial and physical need to food, clothing, furniture, holiday gifts for their children, and resources.
We are helping a few women get connected to higher education and employment.
We have supported and empowered women in abusive situations.
The Executive Director, Karen Haring, spoke on the #MeToo movement, domestic violence, and trafficking with a group of pastors and church leaders in Ohio, to help them learn about these issues, and how to listen and connect women and teens to resources. These leaders talked about setting up systems to help women and teens report abuse and have someone listen to their stories.
We did a very successful Listening event at the Mountain Lair on the WVU Campus
We held a Libera workshop in Beckley, a place we’ve never done a group.
We have a December 8 Libera workshop planned for Preston County, all welcome:
We have a new group starting in Harrison County in January, all welcome: https://www.facebook.com/events/193947854848038/
Here's what we have been up to in May!
- We've started to have a national and international influence! 10 women in Scotland, one an actual Scot, went through the Libera model. We also taught the Libera model to a Russian exchange student. Our former President, Nnenna Minimah, who took a new job in Louisiana, plans to implement Libera groups there. And finally, a Native American woman from New York is coming to shadow our Executive Director in June for two weeks, to possibly take the model to NY and potentially her reservation in Florida.
- Through the tremendous generosity of Premier Chevrolet Buick GMC, http://www.premiergmofwv.com we have purchased a second Libera bus, which will double our Libera meeting space and help us to cover the state more easily and quickly!!
- We started a third new teen Libera group
- We started a group at the Bartlett House Nitor apartments
- We have scheduled a Martinsburg one day workshop for June 18
- We organized and are hosting a Mental Health First Aid training for 11 Libera Listeners
- We added a new Listener
- We have finished up traveling to all 55 counties of West Virginia at least twice!
- We have done private counseling for teens
- We have helped two women transition out of physically abusive living situations
- We have helped a homeless woman get financial help, food, and resources
- We are working on a training manual for Libera Listeners
- We have created a Libera Board Onboarding Manual
Here are some ways Libera has had an impact recently:
- We connected with multiple Girl Scout troops around the state of West Virginia at the WV Annual Meeting in Vienna, and handed out resources and discussed ways we can lead them through the Libera model
- We handed out resources and did a presentation on human trafficking for a local church
- We started a Libera group in Taylor County
- We led a Libera group for young mothers
- We made connections with the Latino community in Martinsburg and laid groundwork for a potential group with them in the future
- We received the go ahead to start a Libera group at Bartlett House Nitor Suites in Morgantown
- We finalized plans to start a new Libera Teen Group on May 6
- Libera received a $660 Grant from the 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility class at WVU
- We attended a sentencing hearing to support some of our clients who are survivors of sexual assault
- We provided private counseling for teens and college students
- We met one on one with women who are in domestic situations, struggling with shame, anxiety, and other barriers; we even met with a woman from Russia and a woman from New York who are interested in learning the Libera model!
- Finally, we worked with students from Dr. Geah Pressgrove's class at the WVU Creatathon. These students created a very moving video of women's stories from Libera, and also overhauled the website and created print and social media materials that will move us forward by leaps and bounds. Plus, they won the Creatathon competition, which won us free print materials from Morgantown Printing and Binding. Thanks, students, and thank you, Morgantown Printing and Binding! http://www.createathonwvu.org/ . http://morgantownprintingandbinding.com/