Over 300 women last Sunday May 26th 2013, celebrated Mr. & Mrs Crowther, philanthropists from the United States of America for their relentless support to women over the past seven years with a song: “our future is bright through your support.”
The celebrants (Mr. & Mrs. Crowther) were themselves honouring ten girls who had received training and mentoring through their sponsored program at a reunion service at Gateway Baptist Church in Lungi.
held in their honour of Mr. Mrs Crowther organized by Gateway Baptist Church and FAWE Lungi Branch on May 26th 2013.
Speaking to this press, Francess Crowther founder of Rescue and Empower African Women and Children (REAWC) said she came to Sierra Leone in 2006 with the aim of making women self sufficient stating that in case there was another war women will not be victimized.
She said the purpose of her visit was to bring together all those who have gone through the training programme successfully and to check on them and see how they have progressed, and to encourage other women that life is a stage and they must tread cautiously.
Francess said based on her aims, Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWE) provided their Vocational Training Centre at Lungi to her and since then till date she had been supporting the centre for women and girls to know how to read and write or be skilled in either tailoring, catering, cosmetology, weaving, gara dying and other skills.
She said since 2006 to now 275 have graduated in different skills adding that others are presently going through the course.
Francess said she is supporting the women because she wants them to know that somebody cares, and further to encourage them that despite their past, they can be President tomorrow.
“I was brought up in a very hard way, I suffered a lot before being a successful woman and it is now my pleasure to support those women who think that all hope is lost; for them to see me as a role model” the Founder of REAWC maintained.
She said they are Christians and the Bible said love your neighbour as yourself stating it is their obligation to help women who need help maintaining that all the wealth they have now is to continue helping vulnerable women in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
While honouring the successful women Mrs Crowther said she feels so proud to give the women a purse of 40,000 Leones each and a Victoria Secrets perfume stating that it will encourage the other girls that are presently in the programme to focus on their training.
Mrs Crowther who is ably supported by her husband, donated used clothing to over three Hundred women and girls; those presently in the programme and the alumnus. She said she could have gone on a luxury trip with her money but she believes in giving, stating they have joy and peace helping others.
She expressed her appreciation to the board of directors of REAWC stating without their support her dream will not be achieved.
One of the beneficiaries, Saffie Conteh said her life was rough and horrible; “I was moving up and down Lungi without no fixed abode but thanks to Mama Crowther for giving me hope.”
Saffie said one day she was thinking about her future when she heard about FAWE sensitizing young girls about the skills training centre, stating she then decided to attend the meeting and became interested.
She said she was trained for two years in Tailoring, catering and housekeeping and she has now opened her own small scale business in which she sells simple hair products and is successfully taking care of two children as a single parent.
“I will like to extend my sincere thanks to FAWE for reforming me to a better life, making me a different person as compared to my past life,” she said.
“I will also like to recognize and appreciate Mrs Crowther who saved me from all financial struggles to complete my journey to success thereby making me an empowered woman” Saffie said.
Fatmata Sesay said her life was pathetic as society was shaming her because of the life she was living.
“I joined the skills training centre and studied catering for two years (2004-2006), and graduated with a distinction in catering” she said.
She said she appreciates FAWE and Mrs. Crowther for supporting her disclosing that she is now the Chief Cook at the Taiama Lodge receiving a salary of Le465,000.
“Through the support of Mama Crowther I am now taking care of one child and my entire family. I pray that God will bless Mama Crowther for giving my life value.”
Isatu Conteh while crying said she did not want to remember about her past saying that she really appreciates the philanthropists for their kind financial support.
“I graduated with distinction in catering and I’m now working as waitress at the Capital Hotel Lungi and paid Le350, 000.”
She said she is now a responsible citizen taking care of two kids and her family.
Hannah thanked the donor for her financial support adding “she took me from grass to grace; I had never been to school. I abandoned my family in Freetown and followed wayward friends to Lungi; I was engaged in all sorts of hopeless life but thank God for FAWE through Mama Crowther.”
She said she was trained in catering and has worked for several restaurants adding she is presently a security working for aviation security at the Lungi International Airport being paid Le677,000.
She said she is very happy as she can now provide for her two children and family without the support of any man.
About 70 successful women from the training encouraged those undergoing the training to be serious and steadfast in their activities stating the same God that helped them will continue His good work.
Speaking at the honouring Ceremony at the FAWE Vocational Training Centre Lungi, Cecilia Barnett who was the centre coordinator since 2000 appreciated Mrs Crowther for honouring the women who had excelled after the training, stating those girls were abandoned, ignored, useless, disadvantaged, vulnerable, molested in the Lungi Community.
She said the training reformed them through sensitization and gave them different skills so that they are now useful and responsible citizens; supporting themselves, their families and the nation as a whole adding they are now role models in the Kaffu-Bullom Chiefdom.
Cecilia said after the programme the women now had businesses for themselves, others are working as Security, hotel coordinator, chief cook, waitress, caterers and nurses.
“I feel very proud of Francess to support women who had been neglected in society to be somebody that society can respect.”
Preaching at the reunion service, Rev. Daniel A. Kamara said the church is desiring for spiritual growth from 1 Thessalonians, chapter 2, 17-20 stating that in as much as Mrs. Crowther is assisting the church, their central focus should be the doing of God’s will so one can grow spiritually.
He said Paul’s desire for the church in Thessalonians is to grow in maturity so Gateway Baptist desires that all the people should grow spiritually.
Rev. Kamara said Mrs. Crowther and her husband sponsored the building of the church from start to finish stating they appreciate them for all their support.
He said before the construction of the church, they used to congregate under a tarpaulin with few members but with the building of the church, it has grown numerically.
Rev. Kamara prayed that Mr. & Mrs. Crowther will continue their good works.
At the end of the ceremony, the present students thanked Mrs. Crowder and the Board of Directors of REAWC for their support, stating that they will do their best to achieve success and assured the philanthropists and FAWE that they will be useful citizens and will not turn back to their bad ways.
By Emmanuella Kallon