Senator Taylor Senator Jewel Howard Taylor of Bong County has urged rural women in her county who just graduated from the first phase of an adult literacy program for rural women to serve as “Ambassadors of Change” in their communities.
The graduation took placeon May 7, 2016, at the Chief Suah Koko Center for Rural Women Empowerment, Cuttington Campus, Bong County. It was held under the auspices of the Angie Books International Center (ABIC), for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security and on the theme: “Develop the Potential of Rural Women for Social and Economic Empowerment”.
Senator Taylor who served as keynote speaker, told the graduates that they have a stake in what happens now in Liberia and moving forward. “You have now moved to another level of your lives with the knowledge attained” stated Senator Taylor.
She challenged the women to take up the courage by stepping outside of their communities and homes to be “Ambassadors of Change and step up to the tasks ahead of them”. The adult literacy training for rural women, is a pilot program which ran from December 9, 2015 to March 14, 2016. The program was fully sponsored by UNDP in partnership with ABIC and the Cuttington University.
It is an extension of UNDP support on the use of the Chief Suah Koko Center to conduct workshops, seminars and other training programs for rural women capacity building and empowerment. About 30 rural women benefited from the first phase ofthe 4 months training in basic reading and writing skills and arithmetic. These women are between the ages of 23 and 44 years old, and interestingly, most of them are mainly single mothers and widows.
Senator Taylor applauded UNDP for its support and in her quest to see that the program expands and is sustained,she pledged Twenty-Five United States Dollars (USD25, 000.00). “We want to see this program replicated in all 15 counties so that other women can take advantage of this learning opportunity” the Bong County Female Senator stressed.
Beneficiaries of the programme lauded UNDP and ABIC for providing the opportunity for them to acquire the needed skills. “I want to say thank you to UNDP and the Angie Brooks Center for this training. I’m now
ble to write my name” mentioned Sarah Tenatuah.
For her part, GarmaiMulbahsaid during the inception of the programme, she was afraid to speak out and experienced difficulty in learning to write. “Today, I am happy because I’m able to speak in public and can now write my own name” Madame Mulbah pointed out.
Deborah GbongoKollieappealed to UNDP and other partners to expand the training to include business development skills, computer science, soap making etc.
“As a result of this training, I will no longer face problem with my small business because I’m now able to properly check (calculate) my money from the sale of goods. I want UNDP and other partners to help the women with village and savings loan program and include in the next project, business skills” said Madame Kollie.
UNDP Gender Analyst Hannah Karbo said UNDP has been a major partner and supporter to the Angie Books International Center especially as it relates to women’s empowerment. “We are pleased to work with ABIC to develop the potential of rural women for social and economic empowerment” Mrs. Karbo emphasized.
She said the initiative does not only bring personal benefits to the women concerned but their communities as well.
Also making remarks, the Head of ABIC, Cllr Dr. Yvette ChessonWureh stressed the importance of education, urging rural women to step outside the cultural and social economic ties that have them in bondage.
“Education has us where we are today, I was 30 years old when I started to advance my level in school” noted Cllr Wureh. She applauded support from UNDP as well as local partners for the continued collaboration.
Remarks also came from the former Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Education Olubanke King-Akereleand EtmoniaTarpeh, the Head of the Rural Women Association of Bong County and the Superintendent’s office among others.-Press release