About six young vulnerable women on Monday 13th December, 2010 graduated in hair dressing and presented with start-up tool kits by a Non-Governmental Organization, Peri and Urban Community Action for Food Security (PUCAFS) at their No. 20 Pultney Street centre in Freetown. The six graduands underwent six months’ intensive training before receiving their certificates.
Making a statement at the graduation ceremony, the Project Manager, Mr. Mohamed Gasama congratulated the set for having patiently gone through the training programme. He admonished them to purposefully utilize the tool-kits to develop themselves and their respective communities. He said the training was an ongoing process targeting about five thousand youths in twenty slum communities in Freetown and its environs. “We are generously offering to equip young people to be self-reliant through training in diverse technical and vocational skills such as hairdressing, electrical installation, plumbing, masonry and computer science among others,” he advanced.
Giving a brief background on the project, Mr. Gasama said PUCAFS was set up with the aim of catering for the needs of the vulnerable in society by making them self reliant, especially women and girls. “Equipping young people will help reduce indulgence in negative practices like drug abuse, prostitution and pick-pocketing among others,” he noted, adding that it is a fifty-six-months’ project that targets vulnerable and deprived youths between the ages of 18-35 years in the communities they operate.
According to Mr. Gasama, PUCAFS also identifies and supports small enterprises groups through credit facilities, strengthens existing ones and helps establish new consumer groups as well as supports linkage along the community chain.
For his part, the Operations Manager of Association for Rural Development (ARD), Mr. Michael Kamara admonished the young graduates to be focus-minded in what they have learnt. He emphasized that 70% of Sierra Leoneans are poor and that this situation can not be changed if the young people are not capacitated with self-reliance trainings. “The best woman is that who contributes to the home and not the woman who always waits for the husband to provide all her needs,” he said. He on that note cautioned them to judiciously use their skills to contribute to their homes.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.