Anita is 29 years old and lives in West Point with her two young children, a daughter who is 10 and currently attends the local school and son is four.
Anita’s parents raised eight children in the West Point community and have lived there for longer then she can remember. Anita and all her siblings live together in one house – they share the responsibility of chores and support each other with the care of their children.
We love each other, we care for each other and we work together very hard to make life a better place for us.
Anita’s father is a fishing assistant and her mother sews small garments, with their support Anita and her siblings were able to finish school; seeing the perseverance and struggle of her parents, encouraged her to look for ways in which she could support herself and her family to access a better life.
I heard about the YMCA through two friends. One day, a friend came to me and said, I want you to join to develop yourself. I wasn’t sure and asked how good it was, but he reassured me that it was very good.
Anita took a leap of faith and attended the YMCA – Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) training programme, now she is an integral part of the committee and travels from community to community educating people about risk prevention and in the cases of emergency how they can deal with disasters.
Now we could tell people to move. People also cook inside the house and do everything in one room. But we tell them to cook outside the house as it’s a big fire risk. The fire will go off.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) isn’t purely focused on the prevention of accidents – integral to YMCA training is being able to save money and the importance of what that saving fund could mean in the case of an emergency.
I started to save money as they taught me how important it was, and I told my parents about it – I’m also encouraging my family to be a part of the YMCA so that in the long-term they are going to be able to know to do some things that are going to help to develop our lives.
Anita has developed skills that she didn’t know she had – through her training and the support of her family, she now feels empowered to change and re-educate Liberia one community at a time.
I will always be part of the YMCA. It is impacting me to be a good mother, a good neighbour, a good friend.
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