Since the end of the Liberian civil war, nearly nine years ago, many Liberians, especially women and girls who were affected by the war have now begun to take advantage of self help program to restore hope to themselves as the country progresses with its rebuilding process.
On an investigative trip to the rural parts of the country, our reporter was attracted by a white sign bord with a green writing which read " Liberia Rural Women Agriculture Farm" in Tapita District, Nimba County. Being very inquisitive, he traced the project site as indicated by the sign board..
After nearly thirty minutes walk, according to our reporter, he discovered large low land being cultivated with rice, while group of women harvest some of it. Glamorously, some of the women attention were drawn to his arrival on their project site.
"What is the matter my son?" Ask one of the women. "Oh I was attracted by your sign board, and I am excited by your work," our reporter responded.
Asked furthered as to activities of the women, Ellen Suomie, one of the women said "My son this is our self help rice project. We are about thirty women working together on this project." Suomie furthered: but we were trained by one organization called Aiding Disadvantage & Traumatized Women and Girls (ADWANGA) for six months. Beside this general project, we have our individual garden."
According to Suomie, the training has afforded them the opportunity to make their own backyard garden couple with the general rice project which according to her is helping to support their children and sustain their families.
At the Same time, the women called on their partner (ADWANGA) to continue the training in order for them to have a broader insight of agriculture especially in the area of rice, plantain, water-miler and other vegetables crops production.
They said that when this is done, it will help to empower them economically. Because according to them most of their produce will be marketed and the proceeds use to support their respective family.
The women, mostly widows and single mothers said since the end of the civil war in Liberia the training opportunity which has led them into agriculture program is a great help to them economically. They appreciated ADWANGA for the assistance and want it continue the good relationship with the rural women.
When spoke to the authority of ADWANGA, its Executive Director, Ms Amelia Cooper confirmed supporting the women.
"Oh so you when to Tappita," asked Ms. Cooper.
She furthered stated "yes we are run women and girls organization in Tapita. And what you saw is part of what we do. We have three programs (educational support, economic empowerment and the access to justice) and are sponsor by different organizations."
According to her, the education program is supported by the Liberian Education Trust, the skill training program supported by Ministry of Youth & Sport, Foundation Veuve Emile Netz Tesch (FVENT) is sponsoring the training and agriculture project for the30 women, while the access to justice was previously supported by the OSIWA but is now . "The less fortunate girls are trained in the area of cloth making, jewelry Tye& dye etc. this is intended to empower them so that they can be independent just like the women," she added.
Madam Cooper also added that ADWANGA is involves in rearing poultry production such as chickens pigs.
Madam Cooper said they are happy with the progress made by the organization.
Ms. Cooper: "let me thank our friends, (Institutions and individuals) National Social Security & and Welfare Corporation, National Oil Compnay of Liberia, Lonestar Cell Corporation, Justice Jamesatta Wolokollie, Mr. Clemenceau Urey, Mr. Richard Kpangbah etc. They have been supporting us since we were established seven years ago."
She said their assistances have made the organization to achieve some of its goals and objectives.
Most women and girls were made vulnerable at the result of the Liberian civil war. Many of the women and girls are still suffering from trauma and other effects due to the war.
The case of the rural women in Tappita is just one out of many in other parts of the country. Said training and project for women in Tappita could be appreciated by others in different parts of rural Liberia should they have the opportunity.