Agnes Umunna, executive director and founder, talks to the press

Agnes Umunna, executive director and founder, talks to the press

Monrovia , January 9, 2008: Straight From the Heart, a local psycho-social support group have said that it is going to embark on additional programs to empower vulnerable Liberian women.

Speaking over the weekend at its second general meeting with more than 150 vulnerable and war affected women and girls at its head office in Sinkor, SFTH Executive Director Agnes Umunna told journalist that her organization is presently partnering with a local organization MEASUAGOON Inc. to embark on a pilot project to provide agricultural training and vocational skills for 150 vulnerable women and girls from four counties.

The project is being sponsored by the International Trade Center ITC with headquarters in Geneva , Switzerland .

According to Mrs. Agnes Umunna, the pilot project is bringing together vulnerable women and girls from Lofa, Bong, Nimba, and Montserrado Counties . She revealed that the project will be implemented at the project site in Peleleh Town along the Gbarnga, Voinjama highway.

“We want to help you so that you can stand on your own, and no man will bluff you again” Madam Umunna said.

She noted that SFTH is committed towards empowering vulnerable young Liberian women and girls who were affected by the civil war and do not have any skills but rely on their bodies as a form of survival for themselves and their siblings.

Madam Agnes Umunna also announced that her organization and Saving Mothers Research Team-SMRT are negotiating to launch a midwifery training program for twenty Liberian women in Monrovia .

Cross section of women attending the program

Cross section of women attending the program

“I am also negotiating with this group to see how they can help with midwifery training for the first twenty of you”

Meanwhile, MEASUAGOON Program Manager, Bantie Brownell Fortune said that the women will not only received vocational skills but will be given formal training to learn how to read and write while at the Peleleh Camp.

She noted that the project aims to provide the women and young girls with marketable skills; so that when they leave the camp they will be able to survive on their own and not rely on unhealthy practices.

She added that both Straight from the Heart and MEASUAGOON are committed to empowering the women to be self sufficient.

Straight From the Heart was founded in March 2005 to provide psycho-social support services to war affected persons through trauma healing and counseling. It was collaborated with a number of local and International Non-governmental institutions, including the launch of the TRC’s formal statement taking process.