ALFLIT Liberia Inc. last weekend graduated 60 persons – 59 females and a male – in tailoring after they completed a Skills Training Program that started in 2013 without any significant break in continuity except for the Ebola outbreak in 2014.
Since its founding in 2006, ALFALIT has been involved in literacy programs. However, three years ago the entity decided to incorporate the Skills Training Program in response to appeals from students of the literacy program from across the country.
After learning to read and write, the students pleaded with ALFALIT for the addition of life skills development that would enhance their acquired literacy and enable them to fully participate in and contribute to the country’s economy.
“It was as a result of these appeals that ALFALIT decided to launch ‘Sew and Sell’ as a pilot project,” ALFALIT Program Coordinator Jerome Williams recounted during the graduation ceremony held at the organization’s headquarters in Congo Town.
Williams indicated that the request for hands-on skills came out of every literacy intervention in both rural and urban communities. “Literacy skills for adults are almost needless if they are not applied or help to improve the recipient’s standard of living,” he said.
As a result of the appeal, Williams said tailoring was chosen in 2013 as an easy and viable business venture needed in all communities.
“Sewing is indeed a beneficial skill because a mother could make the outfits for her family members, while at the same time sew and sell to the rest of the community. Tailoring is still effective and useful as an income generating activity. So we think we made no mistake in choosing the skill as the start of this program,” he added.
The center, said Williams, operated smoothly with every student accessing a tailoring machine, monthly supplied practice materials and experienced tailors and seamstresses facilitating the learning process.
The guest speaker, Etheline Nah, urged the women to be committed to what they have learned. She urged them to be steadfast in their efforts to improve the lives of their family members.
ALFALIT’s Executive Director Rev. Emmanuel Giddings said his organization recognizes literacy as an essential first step to any form of further education and provides access to the many programs being offered in the country, which can lead to better health, freedom from abuse, self-sufficiency and an enhanced quality of life.
ALFALIT is governed by a Board of Directors comprising ten members – all of whom are Liberian citizens – which is supported and operated by an all-Liberian staff.
The organization also provides educational assistance and scholarships to thousands of disadvantaged and marginalized school-aged youth, including high school graduates.