UN Women in Collaboration with Peace Hut Women in Liberia has concluded a two – day validation workshop in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent recently in the county, UN Women National Consultant, Abraham Billy says the workshop was intended to validate the financial sustainability plan which was developed for Peace Hut Women in the country.
According to Mr. Billy, to sustain the Peace Hut initiative, UN Women integrated Village Saving and Loan Association is within the Peace Hut structure to contribute to economic empowerment of women.
He describes Village Saving and Loan Association as a unique saving-based microfinance program that he says has been one of the leading economic development models in the developing countries for more than 20 years.
Mr Billy continues that it covers the provision of financial services to low-income people who generally lack access to more formal banking services.
After almost a decade of support to Peace Huts, he discloses that UN Women commissioned this study to assess the financial sustainability of Peace Huts in Liberia.
According to Mr. Billy, the study utilized a mixed-method approach in collecting data to achieve its task.
He reveals that financial sustainability assessment tool was applied in diagnosing the financial sustainability of 35 Peace Huts across the Country.
He recalls since 2009, UN Women and other donor agencies started constructing and supporting Peace Huts in various communities across Liberia in order to promote women’s participation in peace building and enhance their economic well being.
“The women-led home-grown initiative offered a space for women to engage in mediating local disputes, watchdog the police and justice services, prevent gender-based violence and refer sexual and gender – based violence victims to support services,” he says.
The methodology is based on the traditional ‘palava hut’ system where the complainant and accused get to air their respective grievances and defenses, he notes further.
The two days validation workshop was attended by 40 women from 14 of Liberia 15 counties.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong –Edited by Winston W. Parley