Liberia: UN Women Provides Support to Army Wives’ Vocational Training Center

UN Women Liberia has delivered several pieces of vocational training equipment to the Army Wives Association Vocational Training Center (AWA-VTC) in Margibi County, as promised

to the Army Wives’ Vocational Training Center was constructed by First Lady Clar M. Weah.  The equipment, which is worth thousands of dollars, comprises 15 sewing machines, one desktop computer, one printer, and two sets of baking plates, among other things.

UN Women Deputy Country Representative, Pamela Mkwamba, disclosed that the donation was in fulfillment of the commitment of her boss, Country Representative Comfort Lamptey, during the turning over of the Army Wives Vocational Training Center program about a month ago.

At the turning over of the facilities on April 13, the UN Women Country Representative, along with other partners, offered to render support to the initiative. Madam Mkwamba said UN Women was pleased to buttress the First Lady’s incredible efforts of constructing a modern facility for the army wives.

According to her, the assorted equipment would beef up the vocational training center’s current capacity to offer hands-on training to students.

“So today, we've come to deliver these items to the center, which we believe will contribute to its ongoing endeavors,” she explained. “It is believed this small donation will contribute to the work already being done at the center for women’s empowerment.”

She said that the donation should be considered as the beginning of a partnership between UN Women and the Association and that they are looking forward to working with the Army Wives in the near future.

In remarks, Josephine J. Kowo, President of the AWA-VTC, conveyed the Association's gratitude to the First Lady, whom she claimed is the project's principal sponsor, and the UN Women family for their practical assistance.

Mrs. Alfreda Nmah, the Administrator of the AWA-VTC, expressed gratitude to the Liberian Armed Forces as well as development partners such as the UN Women family, Rep. Tarponweh, District #1 Margibi County, J. Emmanuel Nuquaye, Senator for Marigibi County, Rosana Schaack, Ruth Collins, the Jomah Samuels foundation, and all others, for their continued support to the institution over the years.

According to Mrs. Nmah, the AWVTC was created in 2019 as a self-help effort to encourage AFL wives and dependents to contribute to the care of their houses and community.

She further said that the school teaches women and men money-making talents like catering, tailoring, cosmetology, computer software, interior decoration, soap manufacturing, and CCTV installation, among others. 

“Over the last three years, this group has overcome numerous challenges, including limited resources and financial assistance, among others. It's no surprise that the institution has remained open despite these challenges. So, on behalf of the Army Wives Association’s members and officers, we want to express our gratitude and appreciation to Madam Clar Marie Weah, our First Lady, for the construction of this beautiful building,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of the First Lady’s Office at a brief handing over ceremony, the Social Services Coordinator, Kayea Dorbor, described the donation as a significant boost to women and girls’ empowerment, a major priority of the First Lady.

Miss Dorbor also noted that the UN Women’s intervention was indicative of the cordial partnership between the First Lady and the United Nations Women Organization in an effort to address issues affecting females at various levels across Liberia.

Ms. Dorbor also urged other institutions to come in and help the country’s women and girls, particularly the Army Wives. 

She emphasized that others should follow UN Women’s lead and come in to support First Lady Weah, whose goal is to empower women and girls throughout Liberia. 

“This initiative is not only in Montserrado, we want to expand it to other countries so that women and girls can benefit,” she says. “Educating a woman or a girl can benefit a nation or the world, and empowering them is a great thing to do because anything men can do, women can do as well." We hope to be lifelong partners. Let us rally behind our Liberian women, who are truly remarkable. “Women, don’t just sit there; do something positive,” Ms. Dorbor concluded.