A celebration of women and girls took place on Camp Johnson Road in the newly renovated and launched ‘Bombshell’ factory as Bosh Bosh Inc., a local NGO and ethical fashion brand, opened its doors over the weekend.
A number of Bosh Bosh (BB) employees and its scholars took part in the official opening of their boutique, including Liberian entertainers, fashion designers, government officials, hosted by Charlene Espinoza, founder and CEO of Bosh Bosh and Yamah B. Zawu, its president.
“I recognize that it has taken a lot of hard work and dedication to build this organization and commend you for all the work you have already done,” stated Bosh Bosh president Zawu.
The role of BB is to promote the status of girls and women in the rural areas, most precisely Salalah District, where its school program is located. It addresses issues regarding education, employment, family and female empowerment holistically.
Victoria Mount Ford Program Manager said they are not only focused on education, vocational training and livelihood creation but also enhancing the statuses of their scholars in all areas and preparing them for the day when they will not need BB services any longer.
“We want to expand our program activities and reach out to women and people in every county of Liberia. BB is unique because we strive to have a holistic and comprehensive approach to community empowerment,” she added.
“BB grew organically out of the community. We’re not an international NGO and have grown because of the scholars and our employees. The chief and people of Salala District have been our hugest supporters,” she said.
Meanwhile, Bosh Bosh scholar program is located in Salala District following its president, Madam Zawu, who settled in the area during the war.
“I walked from Lofa to Salala and that’s how I settled there,” she said. She added that during the war, she realized that girls and women in rural areas were facing a lot of challenges and she wanted to fulfill her dream and with the help of Victoria and BB employees, they are rejoicing.
“I had the girls but finding means to help them was hard, but when Charlene came to Salala government school as a Peace Corp volunteer I approached her and she was impressed to help. Charlene brought my dream to reality after she saw that I had the passion to help women and girls in Liberia,” she added.
Madam Yamah also uncovered the meaning behind the name Bosh Bosh. “Bosh Bosh is our own slang we use to say patch-patch, which is a Liberian slang for pieces of different fabrics,” she said.
Also, Bosh Bosh has been producing over the years hand made products which are on display in their unique and fashionable boutique. One can find bags, robes, book bags, shoes and other impressive handmade accessories.
“It’s not the beauty of the bag but what comes after the bag for the women and girls of Liberia. The proceeds from all of the sales during our opening goes 100% back into the organization. It will fund scholarships for our curriculum education, our programs and give fair and decent salaries for our employees and also their children as well,” Charlene added.
Vivianne Tengbeh, BB Scholar president said there are 21 female scholars and two females in their scholarship program. She became a scholar during hard times without basic skills, but today, her story has changed.
“I received full scholarship covering my fees, books and uniform. Furthermore, I benefit from HIV/AIDS and family planning workshops and participate in after school classes, tailoring, and computer science,” she said.
Meanwhile, BB said it is trying to find an exit strategy for its scholars and that is why they don’t offer scholarship programs alone.
“Just in case Bosh Bosh is not here one day or we can’t offer everybody opportunity, our scholars have been empowered to support themselves and find employment to support their families and community. We are doing it right, there’s no limit for Bosh Bosh,” Victoria added.