Sianeh Dardue is a mother of 5 who lives in the Bopolu District, Gbarpolu county and earns a livelihood as subsistence farmer. She does not have any formal education and has been looking for means of both enhancing her skills and a way of providing more income to her family to enable her children have a better life than she has had. She heard of a skills training program that would be taking place near her community few months ago in sewing and tye-dye and immediately signed up for it.

Sianeh is now one of the first 10 women being trained by the Kids’ Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) in its first Tye Dye & Sewing cycle at its newly completed Learning Resource Center.

Not just Sianeh, but for many of these women, this is not only deeply welcomed, but a lifeline as they do not have skills that could help pull them from the cycle of poverty that is across the country. With little or no formal skills training, limited or no education, these women are often resigned to survive on whatever their meager farms are able to produce during the harvest season which often times, do not yield much. 10 women are participating in this cycle and the training will last for 3 months. Also the end of which each trainee will be provided a specialized start up tool kit.

Earlier this year, with support from ActionAid Liberia, the women were provided training in “Small Business startup” where they were trained how to manage money, plan and save when operating a small business. The goal of this training is to specifically empower rural women to move from unemployment to self-sufficiency- especially in a county that has a high illiteracy rate and a population deeply entrenched in patriarchal attitudes which makes it difficult for the women to explore other means of economic empowerment.

The training is being held at the newly completed Learning Resource Center funded by NOCAL in Gbarpolu