10 August 2018

Liberia: Girl, 19, Trains Peers in Interior Decoration for Free

Monrovia — Miatta Rogers, 19, dreamt of becoming an interior designer and her dream is gradually coming through despite numerous challenges. On Sunday, she graduated 13 of her peers who were tutored in interior decoration.

Miatta, the oldest of six siblings, stayed with her step-father and Aunty after her biological dad refused to take responsibilities for them. Her mother died in 2013 when she was in the ninth grade and she had to shoulder responsibilities as a parent when her step-dad was jobless.

She graduated from the College of West Africa in 2017 where she also briefly learned interior decoration while attending art class. After school hours, she regularly asked her instructor for extra classes, putting her ahead of her peers.

During the Ebola outbreak when schools were shut, Miatta took keen interest in designing.

"My neighbor, Mrs. Watson is also an interior decoration designer, so when Ebola came I spent most of my time with her to teach me new designs."

She blames her father for not sponsoring her college education.

"Since my mother died, my father has shown no interest in my education, it had been my step-dad and his sister (aunty), now my step-dad is not working so all I do is create new designs sell them to sponsor myself."

Apart from interior designs, she also does pastries, designing cakes for parties and weddings.

At the E. J Goodridge United Methodist Church on Sunday, her peers wore smiles, holding a bouquet of flowers as they marched in for the first graduation.

The almost two months of training was free. It helped beginners made diamond boxes, designing of slippers, hair bands, flower jars, dolls etc. Miatta was the only trainer for the 13 graduates.

The level one program was graced by her peers, graduates and their parents who went to sponsor and appreciate the success of the graduates.

She believes that young women can use their hands instead of their bodies despite life's challenges.

"Life has not been too good for me and my siblings, but tutoring my peers is to tell them that you don't have to use your body to get money, used your hands, make yourself independent."

All of the materials were provided by her as she called on parents to support young women in fulfilling their dreams.

Serving as guest speaker Nyouweah Tamba said no matter the challenges life belongs to those who adequately prepare themselves for it with the requisite skills and knowledge whether collectively or individually.

She spoke on the team, 'empowerment particularly for women' urging young women to not wait and expect opportunities to fall from the sky for them.

"I am proud today that instead of waiting for miracles or using the streets, you decided to take advantage of the opportunity here to acquire skills that could be put to maximum use for your personal growth. This is what empowerment is all about," She said.

Nyouweah said in time past, women were not given the opportunity to go to school, they were rather considered 'subjects and housewives' that has changed.

"If a woman is empowered, the economic benefits are huge; empowering a woman leads to more economic benefits not to the individuals but to the society as wells," she said.

She urged graduates to make maximum use of skills acquired. "Don't leave here and bury what you achieved because the fast buck is not going to come as expected but with time, you will achieve," she said.

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