|Mrs. Dorbor giving an interview|
It was a sight to see, creativity to admire, a concept unexpectedly stumbled upon, and proudness exuded from our faces to know she was a Liberian. Esther Dorbor grew up with a skill that manifested into a tool for social change. On my way to Vahun, Lofa I stopped in Vonjamah fascinated by a beautiful monument alongside the road. After a short walk to the monument, I was soon fascinated with what was happening left of the monument. I recognized the act as I remember visiting a similar site in the Philippines. Compare to what I saw in the Philippine this structure was simply making it more intriguing. It was the simplicity of the structure that captured my attention. From afar I noticed the women were hard at work, concentrating intensely on the work at hand.
|Monument that 1st attracted my attention|
|A program participant setting up to weave|
As we got closer, the products produced by the Women Woven Center of Lofa blew me away. As I touched the fabric I declared it was the finest texture of cloth I have touch in Liberia thus far! The colors of the fabric were brilliantly combined to make a fabric in Liberia known as the ” Country Cloth”.
Esther Dorbor moved to Vonjamah when she married. She and her husband wanted to do something for their community. They noticed men were leaving their women due to the fact most women could not assist with sustaining the home financially, thus the burden was becoming unbearable for the men. Esther's husband asked her if she could teach the women the skill she had learned, that made her self reliant most of her life. Together they started a program to teach local women free of charge how to weave the Country Cloth. The women have six months to learn, after which they can go out on their own and produce. Due to limited funding, and a large number of participants, students have to quit the program after six months in order for others to participate. They are currently using funding from previous sales to sustain the program. However, their biggest concern is acquiring funding that will enable them to teach the women longer, and host more participants. The " Country Cloth " is only made and produced in Liberia. The fabric can be made into anything from clothing, bags, or use for interior designing. Visit (ARWAY) for examples.
|My eccentric sister dressing up her pillow pet with hers|
|Excited with my new accessory !!!|
As we move towards a new Liberia, I hope more women choose to be at the front line and not on the side regardless of the difficulties they confront. As women participation is essential to Liberia prosperity. The Women Weaving Center of Vonjamah mass produce, therefore if you want to contact the Women Woven Center of Vonjamah to assist them with their cause, or purchase some beautiful pieces from them they can be reached at (231) 088-069-1849/ (231) 088-685-9608.