A renowned Liberian Registered Nurse (RN), Roslyn Nugba Ballah, has called on Liberian women and young girls to take advantage of opportunities that will bring about self-empowerment, which leads to self-sustainability and independence—a direction in which the world is now heading.
Mrs. Ballah is the only winner of the acclaimed Florence Nightingale Award for her heroic performance in combating Ebola.
She said that the survival of women and their children nowadays lies squarely in how productive the women become.
Mrs. Ballah believes that a normal family, where there exists the father, mother and children, is gradually appearing to be a thing of the past as more women are becoming single mothers, because some men are not just neglecting their responsibilities but are also abandoning their families and leaving home.
She therefore noted that women, especially the single mothers, must now adequately prepare themselves to face this new life reality.
Mrs. Ballah made these comments when she served as the keynote speaker at the graduation exercise of the 8th cycle of the Liberia National Red Cross Society’s (LNRCS) Women Integration (WIN) project in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. A total of 184 women and young girls graduated from the project.
The graduates were trained in one of the three components (skills training) of the project. They were also trained in food nutrition and catering, cosmetology, tailoring. Adult literacy and business education courses were also done.
The keynote speaker deliberated on the theme, “Women Self-Empowerment: A Societal Agent for Change.”
Skills obtained from the over seven months training, according to Mrs. Ballah can help beneficiaries make for themselves better lives. “This should be a turning point in your lives if you can make maximum use of your skills,” she noted.
“You’ve got to decide the destinies of your lives. No one can do that for you anymore. To become an independent lady, you must work hard. You need to acquire the requisite skills in order to make it. You’ve got the potentials and you can make it,” she said.
The WIN project was established in 2009, with a direct mandate to empower vulnerable women and girls, especially those affected by conflict.
The project aims to restore the dignity, values and morals of vulnerable and marginalized girls and women in slum communities.
LNRCS president, Jerome Clarke, is endeavoring to expand the WIN project to other parts of the country where it has concentrated since 2009.
“The need for this program outside Monrovia is very urgent; and we hope to go out if we are to mobilize the needed resources soon,” Clarke said. “We are winning indeed as we take our vulnerable girls and young women out of their vulnerabilities and make them productive. This is one thing we are proud of at the Red Cross,” he said.
Mr. Clarke then urged the beneficiaries to be examples in their communities, “because your work out there will encourage others to search for the headquarters of the LNRCS.”
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marjon V. Kamara, represented former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was unable to attend due to her busy schedule.
Madam Kamara urged the graduates to make maximum use of the skills they have acquired for the benefit of themselves, their families, communities and the nation.
Since its inception, the project has been conducted in disadvantaged communities, such as Logan Town, Clara Town, New Kru Town and West Point respectively. According to the Red Cross, beneficiaries are presented empowerment packages, including starter kits as well as the provision of cash grants to enable them start their businesses.
From 2009 to present, the WIN project has graduated 1,202 direct beneficiaries in various skills, including food nutrition and catering, cosmetology, tailoring , adult literacy and business education.