Liberia: Marketers in Bomi County Hail Rep. Finda Gborie Lansannah after Receiving L$500,000 for Self-Empowerment
MONROVIA – Scores of marketers in Tubmanburg, Bomi County have heaped praises on Representative Finda Gborie Lasannah for the provision of half a million Liberian dollars for the improvement of their respective businesses in the wake of a shattered economy and hardship in the country.
The amount of L$200,000 was given to marketers of the Joseph Town Market, while L$300,000 was presented to marketers at the Tubmanburg Central Market in the county last week.
The presentation of the money was in fulfillment of a plea made by the marketers.
Sometimes ago, the marketers requested Representative Lasannah to empower them in an effort to improve their businesses and cater to the needs of them and their respective family members.
Hawa B. Thomas is a single mother of five children. She has spent more than 15 years selling in the Joseph Town Market in Tubmanburg, the capital of Bomi to cater to her family.
She pointed out that the gesture was the first of its kind from a female lawmaker.
“Honorable Finda Lasannah did extremely well for giving us money that we never seen before. Nobody has done what she did for us especially a female. We asked her for this money and at the end of the day, she brought the money to help us to put bitter balls and pepper on our tables”.
Madam Thomas, who is selling fish in the market, pointed out that she normally credits her goods from Lebanese traders in the county.
She, however, expressed confidence and promised to use her portion of the money provided by Representative Lasannah to purchase her own goods and stay away from crediting.
“I just want to say thank you for Representative Lasannah and we will stand behind her to empower us by the grace of God because from the time we’ve been voting, this is the first time for somebody to take L$200,000 to empower we the market women. We are so much happy”.
Madam Thomas emphasized that though Madam Lasannah has not spent many years at the National Legislature, she has made impactful contributions towards the empowerment of not only marketers, but underprivileged and others in the district.
“She is just starting leadership. If the season will be fine you will know from the eve. And we are seeing the eve boiling. Our lives will improve if she stays long in power”.
Madam Musu Adams disclosed that marketers have been faced with numerous challenges as a result of the lack of investment opportunities in the county.
She added that citizens continue to struggle to find daily bread as a result of the situation.
According to her, the money provided to marketers by Representative Lasannah will go a long way in the history of the county.
“Things been very difficult for us in this market because of this identical county we find ourselves in. Business has been very hard for us because most of the people here are not working”.
“Representative Lasannah came to us when she was running and told us that it was time for women to be in leadership and she doesn’t have anything to give us-and we should vote for us. When she won, she came back and said she was ready to work for us. She came back yesterday to tell us thank you and we will continue to pray that this must not be her first time. Where we see light and reality, is where we will go”.
Madam Adams observed that the Senjeh district lawmaker has shown “love, care and concern for her people”, but cautioned against “changing” from good to bad as she continues to represent them at the National Legislature”.
She vowed to use her portion of them money to increase her business.
She observed that many single mothers, who are engaged into petty trading are constrained to take their business monies to shoulder multiple problems them and their respective families are faced with.
As a result of this, Madam Adams disclosed that their various businesses are either declining or breaking down.
“Rep. Lasannah has proven that she will solve our problems and difficulties in the future. As you can see my market, this own side-nothing is there. Difficulties can make us to get shortage in the business we are doing. When we are sick, children school fees, food and others, we are compel to take money from there. There is no helper. I will use my own of money to build up my market”.
Living in poverty
Also speaking, Miatta Choloplay, mother of five children, recounted the tough economic constraints and hardship in the county.
She observed that the gesture from Representative Lasannah has reenergized the beneficiaries to sell.
“I am very happy for the Honorable woman; she did extremely well because it is not easy for the single mother to strain day by day. She has really made our spirit to wake up again to sell. I am selling red oil in this market and it is not enough to take care of me and my children because of poverty”.
She promised to purchase a cartoon of “vita (chicken soup” to add on her red oil market from the share of the money given.
“This is the first time and we tell Mama Finda thank you very much. We elected her because of her capability and that’s the reason she came back to tell us thank you”.
Don’t eat the money
Madam Choloplay urged the Senjeh district Representative to exert efforts to take less fortunate and underprivileged children from the streets by affording them the opportunity to acquire vocational skills.
Hawa Sirleaf is the Superintendent of Tubmanburg Central Market in Bomi. She has spent more than a decade selling bitter balls and pepper at the market.
She vowed to ensure that the money given is divided by “each department” to ensure that everyone receive a fair share.
“Finda did well for us and she is the first person to do this. We have never seen anybody to get in power and decided to empower women”.
She warned her colleagues against using their portions of the money for different purposes, instead of improving their respective businesses.
Abusing free things
Rose Lebbie has been selling dry goods for more than 15 years in the central market. She is a single parent with four children.
She observed that most often Liberians are noted for abusing free things or monies given to them by others.
“The money that was given by the Representative is not for eating because; it is true that Liberian people can abuse free things. But we should make use out of this money to see our businesses growing. As you can see the market, most people are not selling because things are hard. We are very, very much happy and we don’t even know how to say thank you”.
She wants those who are planning to negatively use the money to be taken to task for their actions.
When used wisely, she expressed the hope that the money will benefit marketers and their respective family members.
Madam Sirleaf, however, commended Representative Lasannah for the commitment made towards rehabilitating the market building and offices.
For her part, Madam Racheal Saah, mother of five children who is selling cosmetics, wants the money given as loan to empower the marketers one after the other.
“Since we been casting votes, this is the first female to come and give us money to empower us. We know that other people will come to help us after Finda, but we know who to follow. The people get the saying that ‘when you empower woman, you empower a whole nation’. Let Finda continues to do what she is doing and God will continue to bless her through us”.
In a brief chat with FrontPage Africa, Madam Lasannah vowed to continue to empower women, girls and others in the county.
She observed that for too long, women, especially single mothers, have suffered due to the harsh economic constraints and as such, they must be adequately empowered to guarantee the future of their children.
She noted that the children of marketers will become productive citizens and help contribute towards the development of the county and Liberia at large, if their mothers, who are struggling to improve their businesses are extended helping hands.
Representative Lasannah, however, pointed out that the money provided the marketers would help empower and take their businesses from one stage to another.
“Women continue to play a pivotal role in taking care of the homes and catering to their respective families including their children. The times are hard and we don’t think women should just be selling one market every day. We decided to provide them L$500,000 to improve their businesses because, it is from those businesses some of them are paying their rent, children school feeds, money for food and doing other things for the families”.
“Though this is not much, we want to say thank you for trusting us to represent you at the National Legislature and together, we are going to do more for the people of Senjeh, Bomi County, and Liberia in general”.