President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has assured Women Behind Wheels (WBW) of government’s continued support to help empower less fortunate and street girls in various employable skills including driving, painting, hospitality and business throughout the country aimed at enhancing their proficiency, growth and sustainability of adolescent girls and young women.
An Executive Mansion release said, President Sirleaf gave the assurance on Friday, April 15, 2015 when she received in audience Madam Lucy Page, Executive Director, CEP/Women Behind Wheels at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She urged them to conclude all necessary arrangements and discussions in getting the process under way. “Look, I love the NTA model and I will like for the Authority to take charge of the process,” President Sirleaf noted.
President Sirleaf said if the process is successful, her government will encourage other donors to help donate more cars to the program to enable the empowerment of Women Behind Wheels adding, “It has got to be successful and working for other people to be able to put their money behind it” she emphasized.
She furthered if it happens, within 6-months, beneficiaries of the program will be able to say that at least they put their money behind something that they can benefit from by paying their rent and being able to send their children to school.
In the opinion of the Liberian leader, in light of the new arrangement, anyone interested in the service, will pace in a call to the National Transit Authority that will in turn call any of the Women Behind Wheels to step forward. This she said will enable the NTA to advertise to the public in terms of the number of women they need while at the same promoting them.
The NTA, she noted will establish a database to identify all those in need of assistance in that direction and keep track of all of the payment arrangements – by ensuring that all those who will be issues vehicles pay through the NTA. “The only thing that I will want to tell you is not to be too strong on the issue of payments,” the President stressed.
In separate remarks, Lucy Page, Executive Director of CEP/Women Behind Wheels and Mrs. Sienne Abdul-Baki, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection thanked President Sirleaf for her commitment in supporting women-inspired programs in Liberia. They noted that the issue of payments and other modalities has been workout for the benefit of the girls and young women that will be driving the vehicles. Madam Page, then pointed out that her organization was created to help empower young Liberian women and girls in the communities.
The program Women Behind Wheels was initiated under the Ministry’s EPAG Project in partnership with the Community Empowerment Program (CEP), headed by Madam Lucy W. Page; an initiative strongly supported by the President of Liberia, which seeks to develop and implement measurable strategies that will advance more opportunities to help empower less fortunate and street girls in various skills training opportunities.-Press release