Schiefflin, Margibi County – The Liberian First Lady Clar Marie Weah, on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, officially dedicated a new vocational training center which she constructed for the Army Wives Association at the Edward Binyah Kesselly Military Barracks in Schiefflin, Margibi County.
Delivering a special statement at the dedication ceremony, the First Lady described the newly constructed facility as a promise fulfilled, noting that such an initiative was crucial for reviving the women’s hope and putting them on the right trajectory to becoming productive citizens.
“Today, I have returned to fulfill my promise,” asserted Mrs. Weah as she addressed a huge gathering including the President, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, international dignitaries, government officials, and a cross-section of women including wives of the Armed Forces of Liberia, AFL, solders.
“And, in the fulfillment of this promise,” Mrs. Weah continued, “We desire to move our Army Wives from the valley of despair to buoyancy of new hope. Hope that will remind them that they are an integral part of who we are as Liberians and that their support to their spouses, our Men in Arms is much appreciated.”
The project is part of the First Lady’s flagship program; “She’s You” Movement which aims to improve the lives of women and girls for a better and prosperous Liberia.
Recounting the genesis of the vocational training center, Mrs. Weah said she made the promise in response to the inadequacy of space and the lack of needed tools to effectively conduct the requisite training, as highlighted by the women during her visit to the EBK Military Barracks in February 2020.
Mrs. Weah furthered that with the modern infrastructure she wants to ensure that the women’s capacity, confidence, and hope are solidified to enable them to earn a decent living, become less vulnerable to various forms of sexual gender-based violence, and meaningfully contribute to national development.
“In the fulfillment of this promise, we affirm that our Army Wives deserve to acquire needed skills and education in order to become empowered and live fulfilled lives not just as wives of Men in Arms, but as Liberian women who continuously serve as roots that strengthen the tree of our nation, bearing fruits of transformation,” the First Lady stated.
The Liberian First Lady, who continues to prioritize the empowerment of women and girls in addition to caring for the orphans, disadvantaged youth, and the elderly among others, stressed that women play a crucial role in every sector of the society and as such they deserve equal opportunities.
According to her, women are the “roots of the nation,” which needed to be watered, and as such the construction of the new vocational training center would do just that.
Mrs. Weah believes that when women, especially the army wives, are empowered with the needed skills set they will not only become economically stronger but will also spread their roots to others.
The cost of the state-of-the-art vocational training center along with various equipment provided including brand new 15KVA generator, freezer, refrigerator, electric oven and chairs among others is estimated at over 125-thousand US Dollars.
The First Lady furthered that the project marked yet another milestone in the realization of the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, as she thanked President Weah and his government for making the new vocational training center a reality.
“Yes, we acknowledge that there have been challenges in moving ahead with the greatest speed due to external, global factors nevertheless, together with the intentional firmness of our President to see the best happen for Liberians. We are here as a promise fulfilled.”
The First Lady, however, challenged the army wives and other beneficiaries of the project to make the most out of it.
“As your First Lady, I have ventured out to provide you with this facility that will help you to continue to build your lives positively because I want you never to accept because you are women as a reason for doing or not doing anything.
“Rise up now and boldly embrace what is before you, as part of my task was to fulfill the promise. Now, part of your task is to use this facility to your greatest advantage so that as your lives are empowered and changed, so will it be for our nation Liberia.”
For their part, the leadership of the Army Wives Association thanked the First Lady for her kind gesture and promised to use the new facilities for their intended purposes.
Meanwhile, Pres. Weah, who was a special guest of honor at the ceremonies performed the ribbon cutting and turning over the facilities of the Ministry of Defense and onward to the Army Wives Association.
The occasion brought together several ambassadors, senior government officials including the members of the national legislature and of the Armed Forces of Liberia, women groups and residents, among others.