Janet Helbig, aged 33, is a graduate of the adult literacy and vocational skills programs offered by Alfalit Liberia. She is now an entrepreneur and we couldn’t be prouder.
In her own words:
“Alfalit program has done so much good for my life. I have 4 children and their father is not working. I joined the program in 2013 after one of the teachers encouraged me. At first, when I started the program, it was difficult because I did not even know the letter ‘A’, I always heard my children saying A, B, C…. but I did not even know the letters to spell my own name.
My decision to join the program when I was 27 years old was so hard, even my friends mocked me and said I was too old sit in a classroom, but I gathered some courage.
Along the way, I dropped out when I was at level one. There was a particular lesson that was introduced that I found very difficult, so I dropped out. But one thing the Alfalit teachers do very well is to follow up with their students, and that was how the teacher again came looking for me and encouraged me to go back to school.
I started liking the school to the point that I did not want to miss a single day. When I went home my boyfriend and my big daughter who is now 14 years old always helped me with my lessons which made me improve. I started performing better than some of the other students in my class.
After the teacher saw my performance when I reached level 2, when the team from Alfalit headquarters visited us, they interviewed me and tested my reading skills. I then signed up for jobs skills program and started attending the tailoring program.
Watch the video here:
In the tailoring class, I learned the lessons and practiced. I graduated in 2016 and along with my boyfriend, managed to raise some money to buy my own sewing machine. I designed, sewed and sold women’s clothes. I started making money for my family. I am now able to afford lunch at school for my children, help pay their school fees and buy food for the household. I even managed to save some money.
My friends who mocked me for going to school now bring their clothes to me to fix and design and they still remain illiterate. Unfortunately, there was a break-in in the shop and thieves stole the machine head. Now when I have work to get done, I ask my tailor friends if I can use their machines.
work to do, I always ask my tailor friends to use their machines.
God bless Alfalit and I am calling on my friends to take advantage of the Alfalit program in Liberia, I don’t even want the program to ever close.”
If you would like to learn how you can support families like Ela’s, please contact Executive Director, Catherine Penrod by email to [email protected].