The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Angie Brooks International Center for Women’s Empowerment (ABIC) has turned over 10 of 11 motorbikes to the female motorcyclists’ association, the All Girls Motorcyclists of Montserrado County.
During the turning over ceremony yesterday at the UNDP compound in Monrovia, UNDP Deputy Country Director for Programmes, Cleophas Torori said that the donation was intended to empower the beneficiaries to help themselves.
He said the 11 motorbikes cost a little over US$40,000 which is part of UNDP’s support to the post Ebola recovery of Liberia.
“The motorbikes we are donating are to improve and build up the career of female motorcyclists to let them earn their living,” Mr. Torori explained.
He encouraged other women and girls in the country to focus on their future by finding something very important to do.
The Executive Director of the Angie Brooks International Center for Women’s Empowerment, Cllr. Yvette Chesson Wureh, described the ceremony as a dream that has come true for the female motorcyclists.
She said they are not only receiving the motorcycles but will be trained to use the bikes to do business, because an arrangement has been made with the Liberian National Police (LNP) to protect them while carrying on their daily transport business.
“Our main focus at ABIC is to empower women by supporting them and foster the next generation of Liberian youth through our Intergenerational Legacy Initiative,” Cllr. Chesson said.One of the bike recipients, Nathaline Saah said, “I started riding bikes from New Georgia to the main junction over the past eleven months. What prompted me to join this business is since I graduated from high school in 2010, I have no job, so I made an arrangement with someone in the community to help them ride their bike and I was reporting LD$1,500 or LD1, 000 every week.”
Ms. Saah said being a female motorcyclist, she is proud even though she faces several challenges in traffic while performing her work.
“Many days the male passengers don’t pay our money when we take them to their destinations, and our male counterparts treat us like we are all men but we try to let them know that all of us have to work so we must ride our bikes,” she said.
She took the opportunity to encourage her fellow female bikers to make use of the opportunities around them by finding something very important to do with their lives and for those who don’t have the opportunity to join those who ride motorbikes or do other businesses.
On behalf of her friends, she thanked UNDP and ABIC for empowering them to be able to make something better to help themselves.