5 Reasons to Study Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in October

Ellen Johnson SirleafThe ESL-Library team has been following news about Ellen Johnson Sirleaf very closely this month. In 2006, following the civil war, President Sirleaf became the first elected female head of state in Africa. Liberia’s president said she would not run for a second term, but changed her mind last year, stating that there was still too much to do in her country. After a peaceful day of voting in her country this month, President Sirleaf said: “I feel so good for the Liberian people, they have demonstrated a certain level of political maturity.”

Here are 5 reasons why October is a good month to teach your students about this important figure in history:

ESL Lesson Plan

1. Our ESL Lesson Calendar reminded us that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s birthday is on October, 29th (1938).
2. Liberia’s president signed the Freedom of Information bill in October, 2010. This bill was designed to give Liberia’s press and citizens access to public documents and records.
3. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the Nobel Peace Prize in October, 2011, four days prior to election day. She won the prize along with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen. They won for their “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.
4. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ran for her second term as president in Liberia on October 11, 2011. She faced 15 other candidates.
5. Early poll results suggested that Ellen Sirleaf would become President of Liberia in October, 2011. She won 44% of the votes. 8000 UN employees were used to prevent violence while the polls were open.

November could be a big month too. Without a majority vote (50% or more), President Sirleaf will have to face off with her running mates again in a run-off election. We’ll be watching closely, and will make any necessary changes to our lesson once again if necessary. That’s the beauty of a digital publisher!

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