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Elmira Sellu cuts open ribbon

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Betty Carew Training Centre in Sierra Leone Expands Into Catering

With new skills, women in Sierra Leone can become financially independent.

by Keziah Kargbo

To help enhance economic prospects for women, the Betty Carew Skills Training Centre, in collaboration with United Women in Faith, has unveiled its newest endeavor: a catering department. This new venture opens doors to opportunities for female empowerment and sustainable income generation.

Regional Missionary Elmira Sellu cuts the ribbon to open the Betty Carew Skills Training Centre.

Full of enthusiasm and optimism, Princess George, a first-year student at Betty Carew Skills Training Centre, hailed the new catering division as “a valuable asset.” She believes the centre benefits not only herself and her peers but also the wider Kissy community. Initially enrolled in dressmaking, Princess can now excel in both dressmaking and professional cooking. Full of confidence, she envisions a future where she is self-employed in two fields, instead of facing unemployment in Sierra Leone.

Honing Their Skills

Bishop Wenner Brown, interim bishop of The United Methodist Church, Sierra Leone Annual Conference, urged students and prospective entrepreneurs to focus on honing their skills, underscoring how mastering a skill is a path to freedom. He encouraged the students not only to pursue financial gain, but also to cultivate a legacy and strength of character that will uplift even more women, following the example set by Sierra Leone’s United Methodist Women. Bishop Brown dedicated the new catering building to the glory of God and commended United Women in Faith and the leadership of the Sierra Leone Country Team for their unwavering support of women.

The Betty Carew Skills Training Centre has a proven track record of nurturing and training women who are often overlooked by society. Many success stories have emerged from the centre, with individuals establishing themselves as self-employed professionals in various fields. Some women continue to serve as tutors at the centre, with some even pursuing university degrees after being empowered by their training.

Rev. Wilson A. Ashcroft, head of the Connectional Ministry, assured students of God’s presence and blessings as they pursue their studies. He pointed out that beyond technical skills, students would also acquire Christian values to help them in their businesses.

Scarce Job Opportunities

With job opportunities scarce in Sierra Leone, the demand to develop new skills is increasing. Many women are turning to self-employment for their livelihoods rather than waiting for scarce white-collar jobs. The decision to introduce the catering department grew from requests of the growing population in the Kissy community.

Interim Bishop Wenner Brown Jr., Centre Coordinator Sia Siaffa, and students at the catering unit.

The Betty Carew Skills Training Centre features a modern kitchen, providing students with essential equipment for culinary training. The on-site oven is used for baking a variety of items like bread, pastries, and cakes. The oven is also used to roast meats and vegetables, cook for catering events, and serve as a demonstration oven. The oven plays a vital role in the hands-on culinary education and skills development at the centre.

The Betty Carew Skills Training Centre has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years with the support of United Women in Faith. This transformation includes a facelift of the facility and the introduction of courses aimed at empowering women to gain access to income-generating opportunities.

United Women in Faith, through its regional missionaries and country teams, supports United Methodist Women across Sierra Leone through various economic empowerment projects. The opportunities have been life-changing, and the women are grateful for their assistance.

Keziah Kargbo is a reporter for the Sierra Leone Country Team.

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