To celebrate its accreditation as an official none-governmental organization, Mineke Foundation has announced the holding of graduation for 75 students from its soap making and pastry management classes.
The graduation ceremony, according to Tonia Dabwe, the founder of the school, coincided with the official launch of the foundation, which is scheduled to take place today, Tuesday.
Madam Dabwe is in the country with a high-powered seven person delegation from Holland for the launching ceremony. She described the prospective graduates as “people with significant roles to play in the society, because it will be through their skills, that the country will experience economic and social development since they will be graduating with lifetime skills such as soap making and pastry management.
Most of the prospective graduates are women, except for the few men who completed the three months soap-making course. Some of the female students completed the soap-making course, but a majority of them took the pastry production course which lasted for 10 months.
“Some of the students were also required to complete business courses as “extracurricular activities,” because if a student understands how to make pastry or quality soap, that does not mean they have good business management skills,” Mineke’s founder said.
She said the business courses are designed to help the students develop their business management skills.
“The great news is that our entire population of students passed the theoretical and practical examinations set up to see if they actually understood the concepts of the lessons that were taught,” Madam Dabwe said.
Speaking about today’s launch of the foundation, Madam Dabwe said since the foundation operates as a legally established entity, its scope of operations will have to be expanded very soon beyond the Gardnersville Community to other areas in Montsserado County despite the financial challenges.
“The exciting news about this launch is that we are now becoming an official organization since we started work in Liberia more than three years ago,” she told reporters in a joyous mood.
It may be recalled that in March this year, the foundation graduated 25 people both in soap making and pastry production.
The event today is expected to be attended by government representatives, national and international NGO representatives, members of the diplomatic corps, staff and trainees as well as friends and well wishers of Mineke Foundation.
The Foundation was established in Holland in 2009 with a focus on social and economic development of Dabwe Town, Liberia. It undertakes projects such as establishing youth clubs, vocational and entrepreneurial training for youth and the current soap making and pastry programs.
“We think the issue of women’s empowerment in Liberia is every one’s business because on the average level in Liberia women carry the hardest burden to take care of the families,” Madam Dabwe said.