First Lady Kicksoff US$100k Project for Soldiers’ Wives

Liberia-October 5, 2020-WTVNEWS: Liberian First Lady, Mrs. Clar Marie Weah has embarked on a major project, valued at over One-hundred thousand US Dollars, to boost the women empowerment initiative of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) soldiers’ wives.

The construction of a modern vocational training center, to be used by the army wives for conducting their skills training program, is in fulfillment of Mrs. Weah’s commitment to the army wives following their request during a meeting with them on the eve of Armed Forces Day earlier this year.

The project, which is being funded by the Office of the First Lady, kicked off Saturday, October 3, 2020, with the clearing of the project site at the Edward Beyan Kessellie Barracks, paving the way for the official groundbreaking and commencement of the initiative.

Dozen of women along with their husbands were seen in a jubilant mood as a heavy-duty machine, specifically, a front-end loader entered the Edward Beyan Kessellie Barracks and began clearing the designated site from the construction of the project.

Speaking to reporters, the Army Wives Association Secretary-General, Mrs. Alfreda Nmah expressed gratitude to the First Lady for her commitment to the empowerment of women and girls in Liberia.

“I think she’s somebody that is dependable; that can stick to her word,” said Mrs. Nmah, stressing that, considering the harsh economic challenges owing to the covid19 pandemic, the First Lady could have turned down or postpone the project but chose to be a ‘woman of her word’.

Mrs. Nmah, who is also the administrator of their women empowerment program, disclosed that the First Lady’s intervention will enable them to have their own facility, offsetting one of the biggest hindrances to the smooth operation of their vocational skills training program.

She disclosed that owing to the lack of their own facility, they are compelled to only conduct classes during the afternoon hours, following the end of daily academic activities of the junior high school at the barracks.

“We should have been having classes in the morning and in the evening, but because the building is not ours so we only come after 2 o’clock in the afternoon,” the Army Wives Association Secretary-General averred.

“Sometimes it is even challenging because the students stay on campus up to 3 O’clock PM and the women will have to wait until they go from class before they (the women) can be able to access the class.”

Owing to this challenge, which, according to her was hindering the teaching and learning process as well as restricting the number of student intake, they, as army wives, took advantage of the meeting with Mrs. Weah to seek her intervention.

“And we are glad that she has agreed because it is going to be a huge support for us. We are going to be using that place to even extend more departments because once you have your own building you can have as many classes and students as you can.

Meanwhile, the Chief Scribe of the Army Wives Association has reaffirmed their commitment to working with the contractor in every way possible, even if it meant providing food for the workers they are willing to do so as their support to the success of the project.

Responding on behalf of Mrs. Weah, the Deputy Chief of Office Staff in the Office of the First Lady, Mr. James K. Kortu, Jr. thanked Mrs. Nmah and her colleagues for the warm reception accorded his team upon arrival at the project site.

Mr. Kortu said the First Lady was pleased to meaningfully impact their lives, by helping to address the challenges confronting their growth and development, stressing that she remains appreciative of the great work they do in supporting their husbands, the soldiers who are defending the state.

According to him, the First Lady was also impressed that they took upon themselves to establish a vocational training program as a self-help initiative to empower other women in girls both in and out of the Edward Beyan Kessellie Barracks in Shefflin.

Mr. Kortu further reaffirmed Mrs. Weah’s commitment to the empowerment of women and girls as a topmost priority.
He however urged the women to continue supporting to rally around the First Lady as she works to improve the lives of the underprivileged and marginalized Liberians, including women and girls.

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