Civil Society Group in Lofa Launches Livelihood Program For Ebola-Affected Women


Voinjama – A local civil society group in Lofa County has begun a six-month training program for women who were affected by the Ebola outbreak in the county.

Report By Arthur Kowah, FPA Contributor

The group, Foundation for Women and Children Empowerment (FOWACE), was formed in the aftermath of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to provide alternative livelihood support and empowerment for widows, women, and girls.

Lofa County was the entry point of EVD in the country and became one of the epicenters of the nightmare that caused national havoc in Liberia and snatched many lives.

The program titled “Livelihood Empowerment of Ebola Women and Young Girls through Soap-Making” is sponsor by Friends of Liberia, an organization formed by returned Peace Corps volunteers.

Initial quantity of palm oil to be used by FOWACE for the soap making training

The training program targets 25 women and young girls selected from different communities across Voinjama. These communities were massively affected by the EVD and as part of the program, residents will be provided an intensive six-month training in soap-making.

According to the Executive Director of FOWACE, Madam Haja Tallawallay, the beneficiaries will be provided start-up kits to begin their own business by producing and selling locally-made soaps.

“We will also train these women and girls in small business management so that they are able to start their own productions and make profits to help themselves and their families. And we will give them start-ups, to begin with,” said Tallawally.

Making remarks at the launch of the program on April 8, 2019, Haja Sheriff, one of the beneficiaries of the training expressed excitement that she could finally stop being idle.

Said Haja Sheriff:  “I was just sitting and doing nothing. Things have really been hard on me and my family. But I want to say thank you plenty to FOWACE for this great opportunity”.

Since its formation in 2015, FOWACE has trained more than 500 women in different livelihood skills in Lofa County.

The group recently trained more than 100 women in Quardu-Gboni district in vegetable production and is currently providing loan to more than 60 Ebola-affected women in Voinjama at no interest.