Training for Transformation

Sierra Leonean Women Learn Skills at the Betty Carew Centre

Sierra Leonean Women Learn Skills at the Betty Carew Centre
Trainer Jamiatu Kpandeyenge displays the finished products.

In the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Sierra Leone, twelve women benefitted from learning the new and marketable skills of making interior design products and headgear at the Betty Carew Women’s Training Centre. The goal? To empower women to become confident and self-reliant through entrepreneurship and thus to better the lives of families and communities in Sierra Leone, a country that is trending towards positive growth but where slightly more than 50 percent of the population earns an income above the poverty line.  

Sierra Leone is one of three countries in which United Methodist Women has empowered Training for Transformation local working teams, led by the Regional Missionaries. The teams, consisting of intergenerational United Methodist Women assess local needs, plan work, engage and encourage local women in the work and ensure local ownership and ongoing sustainability.

According to Regional Missionary Elmira Sellu, “Making a difference in the lives of women and seeing them empowered is the joy of my life. This keeps me going when the going is tough.” Throughout this pandemic, the Betty Carew Women’s Training Centre in Freetown has continued to impart skills to women. The women have become economically self-sufficient once they graduate from the four walls of the centre. 

“United Methodist Women mission giving has over the years helped empower women economically and has helped them become good leaders. Through mission giving, women have started their own businesses for self-reliance and many have become successful. Also, in times of distress, when the women are down and out, like during the Ebola pandemic and now during the Coronavirus pandemic, mission giving has helped cushion the impact of these pandemics on women,” Ms. Sellu reported. 

Posted or updated: 10/30/2020 12:00:00 AM

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United Methodist Women Economic Development Initiative (EDI) creates economic opportunities even in the most vulnerable rural communities. The seed grants support women entrepreneurs to start and run viable small enterprises, agribusinesses and income-generating activities. The opportunities that these small grants create for women, their families and communities are powerful catalysts, especially during COVID-19 when the economic situation is becoming more and more insecure.