Liberia: Right Holders Network Provides Start-Up Grant to Vulnerable Business Mothers amid COVID-19 in Grand Gedeh County

Right Holder’s Network provides start-up grant to Vulnerable Business Mothers in Grand Gedeh County with support from YOCEL through Ora Kinderhilfe

Grand Gedeh County – A child and youth friendly advocacy network established by the Youth Coalition for Education in Liberia (YOCEL), the Right Holders Network made intervention in the Lives of some Vulnerable Business Mothers in Grand Gedeh County with support from YOCEL through Ora Kinderhilfe.

A country that had experienced EBOLA virus epidemic from 2014 – Mid 2015 was struggling already to revived their economy and restored happiness in the lives of the people, suddenly witness the arrival of COVID-19 that worsen the situation.

Prior to the arrival of COVID-19 on March 16, 2020 through the country’s capital Monrovia, Liberia was faced with economy challenges couple with high inflation that affected almost every sector, basic goods and commodities were increased and transportation respectively.

Score of reports have emerged on the effects of COVID-19 on the Sub-Saharan Africa Economy. In April 2020 IMF reported that Sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product is expected to contract 1.6% this year, compared 3.1% growth last year, as the coronavirus pandemic wrecks the region’s economics. The restrictions of the movement of people, the imposition of curfew, closer of inter-country borders among others furthered worsen the economic situation. 

Traveling 339.8 kilometer away from Monrovia, the team arrived in the southeastern part of the Country Grand Gedeh County, the Right Holders Network with support from YOCEL on August 13-14, 2020 held a two days capacity building training as a start-up for five (5) vulnerable business women in Business Skills Development, Mitigation Business Risk among others.

Additionally, L$90,000.00 Liberian Dollars were disbursed to three (3) vulnerable business mothers as a start-up grant, each beneficiaries received L$ 30,000 Liberian Dollars.

The fund will be used as an added resources that will allowed them to increase their business, many of whom are single mothers and the effects coronavirus made them to use their little income to provide food and medication for their families.

Speaking to some the beneficiaries after the training Madam Oretha Garlu a mother of three (3) children told our reporter that she have been attending some of YOCEL activities in the County but for her to be selected among the 10 shortlisted business women in the county was an opportunity for her, she mentioned that YOCEL came as a messiah and their support is timely, she furthered said that she has been during business for the past four years now, from Roasting Cassava in Street corners and later added roasted Corn to the business and she mentioned that her total income have been between L$10,000.00 – L$14,000.00 Liberian Dollars.

With excitement she said that the fund will allow her expand her business and this year her children will go back to school.   

The chairman of the Right Holders Network Ballah F Saywala said the Making Children Voices Count (MCVC+) – Project have added value to the program, he mentioned that during these difficult health crisis the voices of children should not be silent and this is one of the way they intend to deal with the symptoms that affect the rights of children.

He stressed the need for vulnerable business parents to be economically empower which will allow them provide food for their children and enable them to pay their children tuition.

Mr. Saywala mentioned that they are also establishing a Right Holders Movement Grand Gedeh chapter and training children between the ages of 15-24 years in Advocacy, case reporting and the legal framework of child protection. In his closing remarks he thank YOCEL for providing him and others the opportunity to lead the advocacy and Ora Kinderhilfe for believing in their vision and providing the funding support.