By: G Bennie Bravo Johnson
Rural women of Gbartala and Totota in Bong County District #6, under the banner of Suah Yelle Multi-purpose cooperative with partnership support from Orange Foundation and UN-Women, have provided assurance to end one of Liberia’s lasting problems by focusing on agriculture.
At a program marking Orange Foundation and UN-Women field visit to Gbatalla and Totota under the “Buy from Women Pilot Community Program”, the women disclosed that with the aid provided, the cooperatives will be able to supply Liberia rice and other agricultural products in the next two years.
The Cooperative which seeks to improve the economic and social wellbeing of members and their communities through active engagement in agriculture production, processing, and education as sources of livelihoods, income, employment, and community development, began with twenty-eight women from the Suah and Yelle districts in Bong County.
The “Buy from Women Pilot Project” through the National Adult Education Association also seeks to solve some of the illiteracy problem rural women faced by providing access to education to unleash the potential of women peacebuilders.
NAEAL provides the literacy and numeracy skills. The women and youth beneficiaries have become more economically self-reliant and are actively engaged in social, political, and cultural life.
Meanwhile, the beneficiaries of the “Buy from Women Pilot Project” revailed that with the help of the National Adult Education Association of Liberia, they have gained knowledge which enable them to spell their names, speak fluently in public space and as well provide them the opportunity to use the Orange Money digital platform.
Providing a statistical overview of their achievements, Madam Musu Nana stated that Sua-Yelle Multi-Purpose Cooperative began with twenty-eight women who quest was to rally efforts to empower one another solve some economic problems rural women are faced with.
She added that with the aid of the supportive partnership of Orange Foundation and UN-Women, the numbers of beneficiaries have entreated to 1, 242 persons, with 856 women of the total number as beneficiaries.
She further stated that with the empowerment through orange foundation and UN-Women the Sua-Yelle Multi-Purpose Cooperative have been able to extend its empowerment initiative to three districts consisting of 54 communities and 63 groupings.
Madam Nana revealed that the cooperative currently has 58 lots of land to enable the cooperative to proceed with its agricultural activities – an initiative she believes when supported will be able to fee Liberia with agricultural produces and solve some of the food problems the country faced.
She concluded by calling on national government and international partners to help create an environment where there will be more cooperative across the country to aid with the provision of food products.
For her part, Agricultural Minister Jannie Parker assured the women of the government commitment to solving some of those problems they outlined.
She concluded by assuring them of her commitment to take President Manneh Weah to Bong County and show him the works the women have done.
At the same time, the Executive Director of the Orange Foundation Madam Sarah Buchanan, assured the women of Orange Foundation support and promised to provide more opportunities to promote women empowerment.
She lauded their efforts in keeping the cooperative as well as their willingness to be educated to the Orange digital technology platforms.
For her part, UN-women Country Representative Madam Comfort Lamptey, appreciated the women and lauded them for their togetherness in working as a cooperative and assured them of many empowerment opportunities that the UN-women intend to provide in ensuring that women across the country are empowered.