A local women group, Community Women Empowerment Organization or COWEO hosts its 6th annual convention tomorrow, Saturday, 22 December in Kolba, Kolahun District, Lofa County, northern Liberia.
Established in September 2012 in Kolahun, COWEO works with local girls and women to enable them have access to and control of economic resources as well as create an enabling environment to form part of decision making on issues that affect their communities and livelihoods. Currently, the organization is working with over 80 women groups in three administrative districts, including Kolahun, Wanhassa and Lukambeh, respectively.
The head of the group, Varmah Sayndee, says the annual event will be followed by launch of a new skill building program, adding that the project will be used to train women in livelihood production, simple calculation methods and management of marital homes.
He says the essence of the annual convention is to promote transparency and accountability by reporting to the body and to clear doubts where necessary. “We normally use this event to report before everyone so that they can have an understanding of what their contributions are, and how much they are entitled to based on their savings”, he explains.
Mr. Sayndee discloses that annual savings of the group are likely to hit over 20 million Liberian dollars this year.He calls on members of COWEO to unite as a way forward for sustainability and progress, while cautioning them against politicking, adding, politics has the propensity to destroy dreams.
The formation of COWEO in Kolahun is seen by many as bringing hope to marginalized women, especially single mothers. Women of Kolahun, like many of their colleagues in parts of Liberia have suffered violence and exclusions.
With COWEO, Kolahun women see themselves as resurrecting and keeping their dreams alive. Most times, some of them save about 30 to 40 thousand Liberian dollars as personal savings.“We don’t just save money and divide at the end of the year, we also help to repair broken marriages and provide guidance to spouses on how to manage their home affairs”, Varma explains.
–Editing by Jonathan Browne