— Says all set for upcoming conference; 250-300 participants across districts expected
The President of the Conference of United Methodist Women (CUMW), Dr. Muriel V. Nelson says all is now set for the hosting of this year’s conference which is intended to empower participants, reflect on activities during the year 2020 and plan for upcoming activities.
Dr. Nelson made the disclosure during an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer in Monrovia when she indicated that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia, the CUMW has made some achievements. This year’s conference is held under the theme: “Bold To Go.”
The conference is the general assembly where United Methodists gather to reflect on activities of the past year and plan activities for the upcoming year and this year’s conference is expected to take place in Sinoe County at the United Methodist Mission from Friday, January 29 to Sunday, January 31, 2021.
According to Dr. Nelson, during the conference, participants receive skills training, leadership training, and provide community service by going to various communities to interact with residents or dwellers, stating “we also clean up the community and provide gifts to community dwellers to make our impact felt.”
She said all measures of COVID-19, including wearing of masks, hand-washing, use of hand-sanitizer and social distancing will be observed throughout the conference, which has also led to the conference taking place outside.
“Since our ascendency in 2018, we have been able to motivate the women to even come for the conference, and they come and return differently. They return differently because of their spiritual growth, skills, and livelihood skills. Most of them are using those skills acquire to put food on their table,” Dr. Nelson explains.
Dr. Nelson said CUMW has put together five year strategic plan (2019-2024), which is now being used as a tool for transformation, including having three regional centers, call the “United Methodist Women Villages.”
She said the “United Methodist Villages” will have a daycare, high school, clinic, safe house, a rehabilitation center for both (male and female), empowerment center, orphanage, 500 capacity conference hall, administrative building and other and surrounding communities will have access to it.
According to her, there will be a facility to display things that will be produced by the women for sale, noting, “we believe that such facilities are needed in Liberia because people want to be trained but are unable to afford the cost of coming to Monrovia.”
“We have been able to acquire the land in those three regions. We have 50 acres of land in Gbarnga, Bong County, 20 acres in Kakata-Farmington area Margibi County and 20 acres of land in G. River District. This is intended to enable us to enrich people’s lives by empowering women that help them to take care of their kids. Our focus is on women, children and youth,” she said.
She said there are plans underway to begin the “United Methodist Villages” this year but will begin sending proposal for God to touch good people hearts to support the initiative.
Dr. Nelson said the CUMW has completed the building of its website this year amidst the COVID-19 and will be used to upload activities of the organization.
“We have developed a devotional guide for people who have been abused and see what God can do for them. We have been training women on village saving loans and providing loans to empower themselves. We are grateful for touching the lives of women and ensuring that some of them have the opportunity to travel outside of the country, including America, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and other places,” Dr. Nelson said.