According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf was speaking in an interview with journalists in Julijuah, Bomi County on Saturday, October 29, 2016 who had also gone to wish her happy birthday at program marking the celebration of her 78th birth anniversary.
President Sirleaf said she was glad despite the difficult time the country has been through, Liberians are once more experiencing peace and the country has been calm and gradually progressing. President Sirleaf was born on October 29, 1938 in Monrovia.
Meanwhile, the Liberian leader said transforming villages and towns across the country remain critical to the development of urban areas and its people. She however said providing basic skills training for people in rural Liberia will help decrease the hardship citizens encounter in urban and rural communities.
“When we go around, when we drive around, there are too many kids that are naked. There are too many kids that are in just any kind of bad clothes. This program is meant to address that problem,” President Sirleaf noted.
The Liberian leader among other things wants such empowerment to particularly target rural women, girls and young people to improve their wellbeing and that of their families. President Sirleaf spoke on Sunday, October 30, 2016 at the first graduation circle of the Julijuah Vocational Training Center (JVTC) in her hometown - Julijuah, Bomi County. She challenged rural inhabitants to take serious the skills acquired and use it for the betterment of their families and Liberia respectively.
She noted that the program is meant for the graduates to start sewing school uniforms and clothes so that all the children in Tehr, and Clay Districts as far as Sinje will be able to have uniforms and clothes. She encouraged the graduates to go into the communities and form cooperative to produce clothes.
She commended Representative Snow for his contributions to Tehr District and Bomi County as a whole. She called on citizens of Bomi County to embrace those who bring development to them to improve their conditions. Speaking further, she extolled the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the commitment and loyalty to vocational training of Liberians.
During the graduation, two female students gave their success story at the program. Maima Dukuly and Sando Marshall re-counted that the program has now made them useful persons in the community because they are able to sew uniform for children.
They furthered that staying home and doing nothing was making them a burden to their husbands but having acquired skills in tailoring, they no longer have to ask their husbands to buy uniforms or give them school fees because they can earn money.
For his part, Hon. Edwin M. Snowe, District # 6 Representative, Montserrado County said he was proud of the students, and awarded them two contracts for two schools that he is supporting in Bomi where he is resident and other in Montserrado County.
Rep. Snowe maintained that Liberia will undeniably be a better place “If we were to do what is happening here today,” adding - government cannot do all. He praised President Sirleaf for the program intended to empower her people, which is better than coming to you every day with handout.
Also speaking, Youth and Sports Minister Saah Charles N’tow commended President Sirleaf for the support to the school and thanked the students for sacrificing to stay in school. The Julijuah Vocational Training Center (JVTC) is under the supervision of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, a class of 11 males and 45 females were the first graduates on Sunday from JVTC which is directly sponsored by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. JVTC is located in Julijuah Town, Julijuah clan, Tehr District, Bomi County. The JVTC offers training in tailoring and was established by the Government of Liberia on October 18, 2015 - bringing students from 10 towns and villages in Bomi County. JVTC was designed to offer short-term training in tailoring, with special attention to rural youth.