The Impact Institute, an indigenous Liberian group, has organized a two-day capacity building and entrepreneurs training summit for young women and girls aimed at building their capacity and community through economic empowerment and leadership development.
Held on the theme, “Building Confidence and Self-Esteem for Success in Business and in Life”, the event took place on Monday, November 7, 2022 at the Duahzon United Methodist Church, Margibi County, and brought together over 150 young women and girls from across Montserrado County and Margibi County.
The training offers a unique experience for grassroots women, and it has been developed to enhance the capacity of potential women and girls to build their confidence and skills to encourage and develop themselves.
Making his welcoming and introductory remarks at the program, Impact Institute Executive Director, Rudolph Bropleh, said the institution was established to build capacity within organizations and strengthen communities, including the church, so they are empowered and able to lead.
“A principal target of our work will be children, women and young people. The church, a strategic community organization, will also be a place of focus for the Institute’s work,” he said during the program.
According to Bropleh, two things are usually evident in underprivileged and underserved communities: Inadequacy of economic opportunities and the lack of social mobility, or the marginalized means of the same. Two things can strengthen and improve underprivileged and underserved communities: economic empowerment and leadership development.
Additionally, he said the training is an opportunity designed for young women to equip them with tools for success. He noted that the institution serves to give Liberians a hand-up and not a hand-out. Thus, the overall goal of the program is to help others help themselves by building their confidence as well as helping to build small businesses.
Day one of the event focused on young women and girls, while day two conducted under the topic, “How to Build a Small Business and Better Your Life”, on November 8, 2022, was primarily for young men and Liberian contractors who do small- to medium-sized contracts. According to the Impact Institute Executive Director, the training will show them how to build a small business and improve their lives.
Bropleh, who also served as facilitator, said, “The whole concept is to help people help themselves. We organized this event to inspire and empower. We need to raise a generation of workers, not beggars.” He added that participants are from Monrovia and its environs, and assured the gathering that very soon it will extend to the 15 counties so that people can be empowered.
Also serving as facilitator, John F. Kennedy Medical Center’s medical doctor, Dr. Patience Martor, motivated the participants to break the enormous challenges and be able to stand firm and pursue goals and dreams and make sure they come to reality. “In this struggle, you should always remember that the only way you fail is when you give up. In everything we do and anything we do should always stand tall to overcome the challenges in life. You need to be strong,” Dr. Martor motivated the participants.
Mydea White-Simmons, also a facilitator, spoke on self-esteem. She encouraged the women and girls who had gathered at the event to self-examine themselves and build on their strengths. She said they have to understand what their weaknesses are and correct them, which will help them become better persons.
“Inspire yourself to achieve your goal. Challenge yourself and make sure that everyday you are moving forward. People are your greatest asset. Your pride and integrity matter. Build on your strengths, and encourage yourself that you can be that person you want to be,” she said.
The participants, who spoke in separate remarks, thanked Impact Institute for thinking in their direction to help them fulfill their life’s goals. Most of them who shared similar experience of life story and the importance of the program in helping them to reach their goals, termed the training as timely and impactful, and promised to use the knowledge acquired to improve and better their lives.