Five persons graduated on Saturday, February 16, 2013 from the German International Cooperation (GIZ) Metal Worker Training Program in Foya, Lofa County. The nine-month training program was made possible through funding by the German Government and the European Union (EU).
Speaking at Program marking the closing of the Metal Worker Training Program, the Project Team Manager of GIZ, Mr. George Eisenmenger, said the initiative is part of the organization's own support to the growth and development of the agriculture sector of Liberia.
Program marking the closing of the Metal Worker Training Program was held at the Foya Transit Center in Lofa County. According to Mr. Eisenmenger, this is the final year for the organization to close its operations in Liberia, and so it (GIZ) deems it necessary to leaves behind a knowledge that can be used to increase productivity amongst local farmers.
The GIZ Team Manager called on local farmers to work with the new blacksmiths in order to increase their productions. "GIZ does not want to go without leaving anything behind that will improve the lives of our people. There must be something that will be of great benefit to our people, especially in the farming sector, and so we thought on this training," said Mr. Eisenmenger. He then challenged the graduates to deliver good and quality services so that their customers will come back to do more business with them.
Also speaking at the occasion, Mr. Adolfo Cires Alonso, a delegate of the EU, said the initiative is aimed at increasing production and knowledge of ordinary Liberians. He said the program is also meant to increase the capacity of local Liberians in order to reduce the importation of goods and services.
"If the life of one person gets improved today, many more lives would get better by the day because this knowledge will be passed onto others in subsequent time," Mr. Alonso added. Also marking remarks, Mr. Alan Gobeh, GIZ Field Coordinator, said the operations of Blacksmiths are very critical to the agriculture sector of the country.
Like Mr. Eisenmengar, Mr. Gobeh challenged the farmers to work alongside the blacksmiths in a bid to improve and increase in productivities. For his part, Mr. Mark Fayiah-a representative of the graduates, lauded GI , and EU for the training opportunity.
"On behalf of my team and me, we will like to thank the donor for providing the support to the GIZ Management to carry on this training and to the local leadership of Foya District for providing the space for our training," Mr. Fayiah stated. "This EU-GIZ Training Workshop has given us the opportunity to better our skills in order to have an alternative livelihood as blacksmith. It has also given us the opportunity to develop our skills into a business organization with the guidance of trainers; we have increased our capacity to fabricate various types of labor saving devices to 95% prototype. These devices include but not limited to thresher, winnowers, wheel barrow, hoes, shovels, sickle harvesting knife, travel, pingalin, block mode, etc," he continued. With the training and establishment of the workshop, he said they (graduates) are willing, ready and capable to meet the tools needs of the farmers.
He boasted that they now have the capacity to build, repair, assemble and disassemble the most needed tools for our farmers.