CESTOS, River Cess – The Kids Educational Engagement Project, also known as KEEP, has certified 84 rural women in tailoring and products making, after completing a three-month training in River Cess.
KEEP is more well known for creating reading rooms for children across Liberia but the organization has also been working in rural communities to empower women and girls through life skills training and access to justice.
Forty-two of the women were trained in tailoring, while 39 others were trained in making products such as soap.
KEEP’s program coordinator, Desmond Samuels, said graduates of the tailoring department were each provided with a sewing machine the others received materials such as bags of caustic soda, dye, palm oil, as starter kits.
Samuels put the cost of the machines and materials at US$11,000. He said the graduates also received a total of L$450, 000 (US$2,885) to set up their businesses.
One of the trainees, Naomi Joshua, who was recognized as the best performing student of the tailoring departments, hailed KEEP for the opportunity.
She promised to continue her practice at a local tailor shop but called for the training to be extended.
“Three months not enough time for one to become a tailor or seamstress,” she said.
From the products making department, Eva Gibson, who was the best performing trainee, said she would use her new skill to support her family.
“With the knowledge I acquired, I can now pay my children’s tuition and cater to other needs of the family without depending on men,” she noted.
A 64-year-old woman who also partook of the program, Sarah Kendyu said she took advantage of the program in order to be able to provide her needs.
“I am old now and my husband is dead, so I have to do this because I don’t want to be begging people,” Kendyu said.
She said from the three-months training, she is now making wrist bags that she sells to buy food and basic needs.
Meanwhile, another phase of the life skills training program has been launched in Yarpah Town. The program is expected to enroll at least 40 women who will be trained in pastry making.
Earlier in June, KEEP also trained 50 elementary school teachers in four of the five educational districts in River Cess.
Featured photo by Eric Opa Doue