The Young Women Christian Association of Liberia or YWCA recently provided one hundred United States Dollars each to hundred Ebola widows and widowers in Kakata, Margibi County following a two-day intensive training on business management last weekend.
According to the National General Secretary of YWCA, Roseline Toweh, the business grant was intended to empower the women and men in Kakata -made single parents by the deadly virus, to have a business of their own to sustain their families.
Madam Toweh said the project – sponsored by the Association of Evangelicals in Liberia or AEL, will last for 14 months; it seeks to put women and men – directly affected by the virus, in a better position to sustain their homes.
She said the project will provide the total amount of two hundred United States Dollars for the targeted widows and widowers, but the money will be given in two segments. “Today, we are giving out the first hundred United States Dollars for you to start your business; but that’s not all we have for you under this project.
Our Animators will come with you beginning next week to collect your ID cards because we are going to use US$50 to open a bank account for each of you and the balance US$50 will be given to you later to add to your business,” She noted, adding that the bank account will not be controlled by her institution, but the beneficiaries themselves, while the YWCA will only monitor the process.
She noted that the recipients are expected to save some of their profits in the bank on grounds that the YWCA might not always be in the position to help them. “We are not opening the accounts for ourselves; when the accounts are opened, each of you will have your bank books, but all we want is for you to save some of your profits for raining days.
Our Animators will work with you all through the banking process and they will only give us the deposit slips from the banks so we can give our report to the donors. The money is yours and you do not have to pay it back to the YWCA,” She indicated.
The YWCA Secretary General noted that the process seeks to improve the livelihood of Ebola-affected women and men, as well as help them provide care for their children. As part of the project, the YWCA has also embarked on paying school fees for the orphans being looked after by the targeted widows and widowers in Kakata, Margibi County.
Meanwhile, recipients of the business grant have expressed gratitude to the YWCA for what they referred to as a life-changing opportunity, promising to use the funds wisely in order to sustain their families.
According to them, the YWCA has played a major role in helping them to provide for their children and other Ebola orphans.
By Ethel A. Tweh