Over 500 women in Pleebo Sodoken District, Maryland County, southeast Liberia under the banner Community Women Brigade are involved in several self-help initiatives, including cleaning communities and training opportunities for fellow women. The group is in partnership with Water Aid Liberia and Water Aid Sierra Leone.
Speaking in an interview with the New Dawn Newspaper recently in Pleebo, Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Managing Director for the Cavalla Rubber Corporation in Maryland, John Y. Barkemeni, says the group started operations in 2012, but suspended its activities during outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.
He explains that after the crisis, the organization has since embarked upon a reorganization process, which is still ongoing.
With over 500 women as volunteers, it is undertaking the construction of a children play ground and setting up a cassava mill to provide livelihood to families and communities.
Mr. Barkemeni notes that with the project embarked on, they are in dire need of computers, sewing machines, school materials for children, hooks and cutlasses, among others for the playground when completed.
According to him, survey has shown that children below 10 in the company area are not in school because they are unable to walk long distance to get to school.
He puts cost of the playground and a school at over fifty thousand United States dollars.
The CRC deputy managing director and CEO of the Community Women Brigade is however calling on well-meaning Liberians, humanitarian organizations, and the Government of Liberia to join hands with him in making the dream becomes a reality.
Emily Doe of Gedetarbo and Caroline Julue of New Georgia communities, all of Pleebo Sodoken District laud Mr. John Y. Barkemeni for involving them in self-help initiatives, adding that they see greater benefits ahead of them as a result of their togetherness.
The women are also involved in helping disadvantage and poor people, mainly orphans and abandoned children, introducing them to various fields, such as agriculture, soap making, baking, and sewing, among others.
Ms. Seyana L. Beegweh, coordinator, says the group's work over the years has greatly impacted communities in Pleebo, but stresses the need for more funding, for its wants to make sure women of the district are self-reliant as many of them are single mothers, who need great help.
She adds that Mr. Barkemeni's role relative to development in the district has created an indelible mark in the county.