A really exciting day for the Foundation! The Micro Small Medium Enterprises Launch by the Government of Liberia was well attended and showcased. Government ministers, World Bank Officials, Bank Executives, MFIs were all in attendance.
It was an eye opener to see our 12 women sparklingly dressed in FFWL T-shirts. On the high table were a handful of bank, world bank, govt. executives. On the table reserved for experts to lecture on micro-finance, we recommended one of our market women, Josephine Noimeni. That turned out to be the talk of the launch. She lay out how her life has been transformed, thanks to FFWL. She made the case for more help to micro-finance.
I was the lone MFI on the panel and was asked to speak on behalf of all the MFIs. I talked about our ten years in the business, the challenges faced and then challenged the stakeholders to do more to help the MFIS. There was a long applause when I asked the banking institution to get into an agreement with us whereby we can recommend some of our credible clients who have gone beyond our credit limit for loans at the banks. The banks were opened to further discussion on this.
A pretty amazing way for me to start my day here! After 10, now almost 11, years of believing and service to the people and country of Liberia, we have respect and credibility and have become truly a STAR! Thank you beyond fabulous Foundation for Women Liberia team!!
People often ask me how and why Liberia? I answer that question like I have always answered any question about the birth of the Foundation for Women – “God had a good idea and I was blessed to hear it!” Also, we were working in Niger in 2006 just as the first female president of an African country was being inaugurated in Liberia. I was determined to help her and the women of Liberia, but had no idea how… One month later in February 2006, I received a letter from a Liberian woman who was living in Temecula. She wanted to come and see me as she was returning home and wanted to do in her country what FFW was doing elsewhere. Would I help her? Will you help me? A partnership in place, we both landed in Liberia in December 2006 and the Foundation for Women Liberia was birthed.
As David said today, it has been an adventure – many challenges including Ebola – but not once did I or we as an organization question our commitment to the people and country of Liberia. And today we were acknowledged for that commitment in a really fabulous way!
Thank you for believing. Thank you for caring. Thank you for supporting. Together WE are making a tremendous difference in an entire country.
With more love and gratitude,