Margibi’s Rep. Ellen Attoh Provides Startup Funds to 400 Women

KAKATA, Margibi – Rep. Ellen Attoh of Margibi’s third electoral district has launched what she says is an empowerment scheme for low-income women who are mostly single mothers and widows.

Over the weekend, Attoh began distributing L$1.4 million (US$9,150) among 400 women in rural parts of the district.

The women were each given L$3,500 (US$22.88) to boost an existing business or start a new business.

In an interview with reporters, Attoh said her initial plans had been to focus on 300 women, however, she said she lobbied to increase the number of beneficiaries to 400 due to the demand from women across the district.

The 400 beneficiaries are expected to refund L$500 (US$3.27) of the amount to enable another batch of women to benefit from the empowerment grant.

“Each of them will bring L$500 back. The L$3,000 will be for them and the L$500 will be added up to empower the other women,” Attoh explained.

The lawmaker said she was inspired to help the women improve their businesses after observing that market women often could not purchase certain items on their own; instead, they often had to partner with other women to buy wholesale.

“Now they have money to buy a cartoon [of pork] on their own and sell, the more profit they will generate,” Attoh said.

Annie Vah, a 35-year-old mother of three, said the money provided by Attoh will enable her to start a small business and help to support the efforts of her unemployed husband.

Annie Kerkula, one of the beneficiaries could not stop thanking the lawmaker for her gesture, said it was her first time to benefit in this way from a politician.

Attoh held a fundraiser in June this year to source funds for the empowerment project.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include the source of funds used for the empowerment project.

Feature photo by Emmanuel Degleh

Emmanuel Degleh

Emmanuel has over a decade of experience working as a community radio broadcaster. He is the Margibi correspondent for the Liberia Broadcasting System and the Manager for Classic FM 93.9 MHz, one of Liberia’s leading community radio stations. Emmanuel is also a member of the Press Union of Liberia and a 2016 Internews Health Journalism Fellow.

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