President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has praised two manufacturing companies that have begun production in the country, for creating jobs for hundreds of Liberians in the private sector and thereby “proudly helping to uplift Liberia’s economy.”According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the assertion at the end of a tour of the facilities at the TIBA Industrial Group and Garson Manufacturing both situated at the Monrovia Industrial Park in Gardnersville at the weekend. TIBA Industrial Group produces 11 types of biscuits, while Garson Manufacturing produces a variety of nails.“I’m very impressed by efforts made by TIBA to move us to another stage of our development in which we now have manufacturing. We now have value added,” President Sirleaf said when she spoke to journalists accompanying her on the tour, adding, “That creates jobs for hundreds of our young men and women who are engaged in different aspects of the manufacturing process. This is in keeping with our development agenda.”Earlier, the general manager of TIBA Industrial Group, Mackel Gharib, welcomed President Sirleaf to the company’s premises. Providing a short history of the company, he said it is a Lebanese-Liberian owned manufacturing plant producing biscuits and other food products. It officially opened for production in November 2013.Their production line comprises 11 types of biscuits including, Cream Crackers, Digestive, Football, Ginger, Marie and Milk.TIBA has 256 employees (six expatriates and 250 Liberians) of which 80 percent are women. After installing the second production line, TIBA is expected to hire an additional 55 employees which will increase employee strength to 305, enabling them to run three 8-hour shifts.Later, at Garson Manufacturing, the general manager and chief operating officer, Mr. Alfred B. King, thanked President Sirleaf for the visit and said he and the employees were very grateful. For a company which commenced production in February 2015 and has a 100-strong workforce of which 45 percent are women, he is hopeful of increasing production soon in order to meet the demands of the general public. “Right now we are producing over 10 tons a day. In the next three to four months we will be doing at least a container of nails a day which is 27 tons,” he assured, adding that from his survey, the Liberian market will be able to consume 16 containers monthly.Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has issued a strong warning to squatters to immediately leave the Monrovia Industrial Park in order to allow government to promote investment through industrial manufacturing activities. She reminded residents that they will not be allowed to build on areas designated in the last ten years by government as the industrial park. “This place was designated by the government several years ago to put industries here so it could create jobs for people. Many people have started to build in this area. The government had said it would not bother those who came there during the period when they didn’t have a place to stay,” Madam Sirleaf said.President Sirleaf has designated the Ministry of Public Works to determine the perimeter of the Monrovia Industrial Park and put up signs in the designated areas to avoid any encroachment or squatting.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
World Social Work DayAs the world observes World Social Work Day, President of the Guyana Association of Professional Social Workers (GAPSW), Arnold Mickle, said despite being agents of change, social work in Guyana has been battling to have the profession licensed, but to date, the situation remains the same.Some of the social workers at the luncheon“We are supposed to be change agents and from since the time I did my diploma (a number of years ago) we were trying to be licensed and until now we can’t change that position and we are change agents. Other professions have done that, long time ago and where are we? The only way the social work profession can be professionalised is when we as individuals professionalise it,” Mickle said.He added that despite hundreds of social workers graduating from the University of Guyana over the years, the GAPSW only has approximately 15 to 20 active members. He noted that number has to be changed while urging social workers to be proud of their profession.He urged the social workers to do everything to change the perception of the profession. Mickle added that there is a great need for the professionalising of the social work profession.“We would want to change the perception of those who graduate from UG. We need to change the mindset of our practitioners because many persons do not professionalise their practice. You must professionalise your service delivery so the rest of the world can know the magnitude and importance of the work you do,” Mickle urged.In observance of World Social Work Day, the Social Protection Ministry hosted a morning of reflection and luncheon for social workers across the country at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown. World Social Work Day is observed annually on March 20, and this year, the theme is “Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability.”While delivering the keynote address, Permanent Secretary of the Social Protection Ministry, Lorene Baird noted that the theme is in keeping with the United Nations Strategic Development Goals as well as President David Granger’s green state development strategy.She, like others before her, noted that although social workers are highly trained and competent, their profession is quite often devalued owing to ignorance of the demands of their roles.“Although highly trained and competent, the sad reality is that the role of social workers can be lightened to that of an unglorified humanitarian who is always helping and extending themselves sometimes even at the risk of neglecting other personal areas of their lives. We are often guilty of devaluing their worth because social work is something seen as not being evaluated profession and people often underestimate what the profession entails,” Baird noted.“I would like to encourage social workers to continue being resilient and continue to fight for the change that you want to see as you endeavour to improve the wellbeing of society and the country as a whole,” she added.Meanwhile, Deputy Director of Social Services, Abike Benjamin-Samuels, said all over the world, social workers stand up every day for human rights and social justice to help strengthen communities adding that it is the broadest profession out there.Social Work Day is the key day in the year that social workers worldwide stand together to celebrate the achievements of the profession.