Liberia: Rotary Club Launches Empowerment Program for Women Entrepreneurs

The Rotary Club of Monrovia in partnership with Educare and international partners has launched the Empowering Women in West Africa program.

The project is a pilot exercise specifically designed a year ago to focus on ways in which women entrepreneurs already engaged in small-scale businesses in Liberia can improve their capacity and expand the operation.

Importantly, it seeks to empower women with basic business and financial management skills and provide support at the end of the training.

During the courses, which will run over the next 9 to 10 months, the women, who were selected from poor slum communities around Monrovia, will be able to compete for small equipment grants to help their new businesses.

Under the 'Empowering Women in West Africa' program, Rotary Clubs from the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy raised sufficient funds, with the help of a global grant from Rotary International, to train 100 plus women small business skills, so desperately needed to improve living standards of themselves and their families.

The Rotary Club of Marlow, UK has been working with the Rotary Club of Monrovia since the start of the Ebola pandemic in 2014. An impressive record of aid and support, including funding the first working medical oxygen production plant at ELWA hospital in Paynesville, granting scholarships to over 40 undergraduate nurses and technicians to help rebuild the decimated post-Ebola health system. Currently, new funds have been raised by Marlow to fund more nurses and technicians.

Speaking at the launch held Friday, September 31, at the Young Women Christian Association of Liberia (YWCA) national headquarters in Congo Town, outside Monrovia, Past President Wilson Idahor, who is also head of the project, said the project's goal is to become a model that could be replicated in other areas of the economy.

He thanked the international partners, specifically members of the Rotary clubs of UK, Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy, for coming together to support the successful launch of the project.

Representatives from the ministry of youth and sports, YWCA, and the ministry of gender, children, and social protection respectively applauded the effort of the Rotary Club of Monrovia for the partnership and doing as much as possible to achieve the project.

Initial business training will take place in communities, rather than in a formal learning center that could involve unnecessary travel and expense for the participants.

Peace building is a major focus of the programme with Rotarians working alongside Educare as mentors. Educare Liberia is an independent organisation, but the Educare model is present in many other countries.

The Rotary Club is an international body established since August 23, 1905 to help humanity.

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