Following an intensive 3-month training in Soap making, at least 42 women from the Township of Cheesemanburg, Montserrado County, are expected to graduate any time soon.
The pending graduation exercise will be the first of its kind in the Township, one of the prospective graduates has recalled.
It can be recalled that in May this year, an extended auxiliary of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) “Ladies for Weah,” launched and financed the soap making project in the township to equip the women with basic skills that would enhance their economic livelihood.
The training was, however, intended to target four women initially, but with the interest the women expressed, the trainees were increased to 42.
Cheesemanburg is one of the oldest settlements in District #17, located along the Monrovia/Bomi highway. Although it is among rural communities in Montserrado, it is sparsely populated and some of its inhabitants lack basic services such as electricity, good road networks, clinic and safe drinking water facilities. Many of the inhabitants are predominately illiterate.
The Daily Observer spoke to a cross-section of the prospective graduates, among them Madam Sando Johnson, Chair-lady of the women of Cheesemanburg. Madam Johnson hopes that with government’s intervention and support to the “Ladies for Weah,” lives of the residents will see a rapid transformation soon.
While on an assessment tour of Cheesemanburg recently, the Daily Observer came across former Montserrado County Superintendent Rupel E. Marshall, Sr., who lives in the township and evaluates the status of the project. He expressed joy that the project was on course. He also said that the leadership of the project is soliciting external help to form the women into a cooperative, to seek national and international funding to build their capacities.
The “Ladies for Weah” was originally formed to campaign for the election of President Weah, but has now transformed itself into a vehicle to provide economic empowerment to women and youth, especially those in rural communities.
Besides the soap making project, the group is involved in several other projects, including two cassava farm projects in Pleemu Clan, Todee District, as well as training the young people in Liberian cultural dances in Gbondoi Village, at the back of Ricks Institute. The project also introduced a back to school program for young female dropouts.
Meanwhile, Arthur Johnson, a trainer, said: “I am here to train the women in basic soap making so that they will improve their lives and communities. We teach them how to make different kinds of soap that are used.
“Following this training, we expect them to double up their efforts, in order to train other people in their communities so that they too can bring transformation to Cheesemanburg and other areas.
“There is a profit in soap making and so I encourage all women to come on board so that they can be a part of the exercise from which they too will benefit,” Mr. Johnson Noted.
One of the trainees praised Mr. Marshall and his team for their timely intervention and support to the women.
Beatrice Quai said this will serve as one of the ways to reduce poverty in the township.