Source: The News
The Kokoyah Millennium Village Project (KMVP) under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Rural Women Welfare Committee (RUWECO) has graduated the first batch of 50 Community Beneficiaries in U-Lah and New Town Boisen in Kokoya, Bong County.

The beneficiaries, mostly women, completed one year cycle training in Village Savings and Loan Association Methodology (VSLA) and small business management in line with MDG 3 which seeks to economically empower women and promote gender equality.

At the end of the training, two associations, namely Kondoe (Community Love) and Lorkiamue (Love among Us) were created comprising 25 members each.

Members of the two associations will meet periodically and pool their resources generated from their small businesses and invest in the associations by buying shares.

The cash raised is loaned out with small interest to individual members to enable them continue to do small business transactions in their communities.

At the graduation program, the Superintendent of Kokoyah Statutory District, Joseph Flomo, through his proxy Nixon Kpee, expressed appreciation to UNDP KMV Project for the establishment of the VSLA and the training of beneficiaries.

He admonished the beneficiaries to take advantage of the training by re-doubling their efforts to properly manage loans given them. "We are delighted with this program which is aimed at training our people to help them manage their finances well," stressed Superintendent Flomo.

The event coincided with the distribution of shares under the VSLA. The Associations were able to accumulate over 400,000 Liberian dollars over one year period of various categories of savings. Members of the Kondoe and Lorkiamue communities received cash ranging from 12,000 to 23,000 Liberian dollars depending on the amount invested in the Association and interests generated from loans.

The occasion was also used to distribute shares of over 500,000 Liberian dollars won by the two associations under the guidance of KMVP and RUWECO through the Central Bank of Liberia's Loan Extension and Availability Facility (LEAF).

Beneficiaries are expected to use the loans to increase their small businesses and improve their livelihoods.

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