CAB Response to Front Page Africa Story
April 22, 2019
CAB OFIICIAL response to the alleged rape of a 16 year old visually impaired Liberian girl.
The story of a 13 year old visually impaired girl who according to Front Page Africa was allegedly rape by one believed to be an instructor of the CAB National Resource Center for the Blind, has claimed the attention of the leadership of CAB.
The national leadership of CAB administration, faculty and instructional staff of the institute wish to categorically denounce the publication by the Front Page Africa and further herewith clarify that Kwami Wreh has neither been an instructor of our institute nor has he ever served in the employ of the association’s programs. Contrary to the news report, CAB authority has no previous knowledge regarding Kwami’s involvement in any sexual abuses of students on campus prior to this allegation nor did any act of such concerning Kwami claim the attention of the Association at any time whatsoever. We are aware that Kwami Wreh enrolled in the school in 2004 and later had to drop out due to his failure to focus on the school lessons. Since then, Kwami Wreh has rarely attended CAB programs and activities.
The rape victim, whose name we have decided to withhold out of respect for her privacy is a visually impaired student who was enrolled at the CAB Resource Center for the Blind in 2009 and has since been residing at the Center for the Blind benefiting from the education and rehabilitation program of the institution until recently when she was allegedly raped by a sixteen year old.
Information gathered from the police investigation has revealed that the individual met the victim at her usual place of worship at (the Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall) which is a few yards away from the Center for the Blind. It was during her frequent visit at the Kingdom Hall, that she was sexually abused which resulted into pregnancy.
When the victim left for vacation as usual in July 2018, her grandmother returned her to school and at the utmost astonishment of the administration, informed us that her granddaughter was pregnant. Both the parents and the Administration took the matter to the police immediately. The lad in question was arrested and brought under the investigation of law enforcement officers of the Liberia National Police.
This revelation claimed the immediate attention of the CAB authorities including some family members of the little girl. The matter was then reported to authorities of the Liberia National Police in August 2018 and investigated. The culprit was soon arrested, adjudicated and detained at the Monrovia Central prison for several months. The individual arrested was neither blind nor was he a student of the institution. The association vehemently rejects any insinuations of reluctance or silence on issues of sexual assault that might have occurred at the center for the blind. The association and its officer’s impeccable advocacy and stewardship record over the years is a clear vindication of who we really are.
We have cooperated fully with police investigations and have been very transparent with the grandparents and other family members throughout this entire process.
The organization is one built on Christian principle. We do not tolerate any kind of sexual abuse against anyone especially the precious little ones entrusted into our care. Since its founding 34 years ago in 1985 CAB has strived to protect the rights and dignity of blind people and would not stand by silently while its legacy is destroyed by a poorly written, biased and unbalanced story. Here are the facts: Faculties at the center cared for the victim for many years prior to this unfortunate situation that happened outside our facilities and we remained open to help through this very shocking and arduous time. The individual involved was arrested and jailed. CAB has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault.
The Association’s aims and objectives is to help blind person’s uplift each other and to serve all blind persons in their needs, to strengthen the work and foster cooperation with other local organizations and to enable blind persons to work together in peace and unity for the promotion and maintenance of justice.
CAB is also vested with full power and authority to make and establish laws and regulations for its governance and to do all things and undertake acts as done by similar corporate bodies which are not repugnant to the constitution and laws of the Republic of Liberia.
In commitment to the legal provisions ascribed to the Association by the government of Liberia, CAB is committed to the humane treatment of the blind and partially sighted in Liberia. The association acknowledges that more can be done to better protect the livelihood of every blind person in its care and CAB pursuant of this have continued to lobby and strive for better living conditions for the many kids most of whom have no parents or guardian and are living at the Center for the Blind at no charge to them.
At the CAB National Resource Center for the Blind, we espouse to the core value that blindness is not stupidity or helplessness which could rob you of the ability to earn a living. Many of CAB students have gone to be productive members of society. This is why we support students’ aspiration around the principle of making the best out of their circumstances putting God at the center of everything.
While we are all saddened by this isolated incident, CAB has instituted serious safe measures to protect the many kids in its care and prevent a repetition of such serious offense. CAB will also not be deterred, discouraged or distracted from its founding principle of improving the living standard and livelihood of all blind persons through education, rehabilitation and social empowerment programs.
Sir Beyan G. Kota,
National President/CEO, CAB