41 Young Women Discover Dream in Catering, Cosmetology

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Some of the women at the pastry class

 Rainbow Foundation Liberia empowers single mothers

At least 41 young women, the majority of whom are single mothers that enrolled in the Rainbow Foundation Liberia, a local not-for-profit organization, through assistance from the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) can now stand on their own economically.

The inspiring story began with Lydia Guanu, 24, who after several months realized the impact the program was having on her life. A single mother, she said participating in the cosmetology class has impacted her life.

“I thank God for Rainbow,” she said. “The hairdressing I am learning has made it possible for me to be able to earn money for myself, and when I complete the training I will be able to support my two children.”

She said her children, who are of school-going age, are not in school right now. “It will not be for long when they are back in school, because I am now earning money from what I learned from the training to help them.”

Though the program ended in March, all the participants received materials from Rainbow Foundation Liberia to put to practice the skills they learned. Rainbow Foundation was among several not-for-profit organizations that gained support from NOCAL. It was back in 2016 that Rainbow, with a grant support from NOCAL CSR Fund, began to follow young women, who were abandoned by their spouses and have been struggling with their children.

Women in the hairdressing class

The project initially sampled 150 young women from ages 13-25, single mothers who had been abandoned by their spouses. The project adopted a reduction and exclusion criteria that indiscriminately sought to identify the most vulnerable and “poorest of the poor.”

The following constituted the exclusion criteria: motivation to pursue training opportunity, and the beneficiaries who were seeking the opportunity to pursue their education.

It also included beneficiaries who were seeking the opportunity to support their children and in this category, priority was given to beneficiaries who had three or more children, followed by those with two children and then others that had one child each.

The third exclusion criteria looked at those with no means of income; therefore those who were depending on friends and other relatives were prioritized in this category.

In the end, a total of 60 beneficiaries were enrolled and about 20 of them dropped from the initial phase of the project; either they lost interest, or had their contacts perpetually switched off.

To ensure the quality of the impact, the number of beneficiaries was thus capped at 41 young women, 23 of whom enrolled in cosmetology while 18 others enrolled in pastry making. For a period of five months, the trainees were very active as they acquired skills that they had never dreamed of. This has made them self-sufficient and, as a result, they are able to care for their children.

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