Visiting the Nazarene Women’s Project (NAWOP) in Ganta, Liberia, I was instantly impressed with the diligence of the girls who were busily stirring cornbread batter and who had already baked sumptuous potato bread muffins. They also had bread dough rising in pans ready to bake in the innovative round aluminium oven, heated with coals placed underneath and on top.
In partnership with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, this ministry has been in operation since 2001. Edith N’Boyou, a pastor’s wife and the founder of NAWOP, whose slogan is “Empowerment from Productivity”, explained that the aim of the project was, “…For the people to be empowered to help their families and community and to be a witness. . . to share their Christian faith with people in the area.” Not only do the girls learn to make baked goods during the nine month program, but they also learn the process of batik and soap making. The program also includes a spiritual element, as the girls study the Bible during daily devotions.
NAWOP has helped countless girls over the years. Grace Daniels, 24, a student and the current class president of the group shared that the program, “[Has been] a big help. It helps me learn how to manage and set-up a business.” Not only does the program benefit its students, but the baked goods that they make provide healthy snacks for the children of the adjoining church-run school, as well as providing goods (soap and batik) for the community.
When asked about her future goals for the program, Edith shared that she hopes to incorporate a showroom for her goods so that people in the community can more easily see and buy the products. I can personally vouch for the potato bread muffins, as the verse, “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” comes to mind. (Psalm 34:8)