Launched in September 2019, The Women Empowerment and Livelihood Initiative W.E.L.I is a 12 month project aimed at strengthening the capacity of vulnerable women in marginalized communities to empower them for sustainable livelihood through basic literacy, skill training and financial support for start-up.
The project with support from the Produce Monitoring Board has trained 50 vulnerable that include school drop outs, widows, out-of-job single mothers living in marginalized communities such as the slum areas at Jui, Matindi village and around tombo park at Waterloo. The skill training is focused on 4 disciplines: Tailoring, Gara Tie Dyeing, Soap making and Vegetable production.
In each of the training categories, beneficiaries mastered the practical skill in a 20 weeks interactive, hands on practice training. Upon completion of the training, they all received donations for start-up in the form of physical cash and equipment.
Speaking with the project coordinator, Alpha Dumbuya, he stated that the project is indeed a very beneficial one that came at the right and right place. He furthered: the project will have a personal everlasting impact on the lives of the beneficiaries through the improvement of basic literacy, skill and financial status outcomes. It will most importantly create jobs and livelihood directly for the 50 beneficiaries which will build self-reliance for socio-economic livelihood.
The councillor for WARD 398, Zainab Tejan-sie in her brief statement said; Looking at Government of Sierra Leone’s midterm national development plans goal 1: Human capital development, and the emphasis on women empowerment, you will have to see that this project is impactful. I welcome this project and I am excited to work with YARDO-SL to ensure the project outcomes are achieved as I am already impressed by its innovative approach of inclusiveness, and how best it positions itself to address issues in skill gap and gender inequality in our community. I appeal to all trainees to take the training very serious. This is an opportunity to change their lives for good.
Since I lost my husband during the Ebola crisis, I and my two kids have been living in poverty because of lack of support from family members. Even to feed my kids, most times I have to beg neighbours. But things are changing for me now. This project is a Life saver. Once I complete my tailoring course, and I am provided with a new sowing machine, I will be able to make a daily living for myself. I am very committed and I have learnt a lot. They encourage us a lot too. Said Valentina, one of the trainees/project beneficiaries.
CREDIT: CALABASH NEWSPAPER