Tremendous Life Changes for Four Female ADT Operators at ArcelorMittal Liberia
Access to opportunities for many young Liberians, especially females who are relegated to various stereotypes, is a major challenge.
When the Mines and Human Resources Departments decided early this year to recruit young Liberians for training in the operations of the Articulated Dump Trucks, many took advantage of the opportunity and applied.
Among the lucky ones were Edna M. Parker, Emma Lakpor, Sarah Zuku, and Patricia Suah. These young females graduated from high school and have been on the lookout for opportunities to acquire skills that could get them ready for the job market. They therefore did not take chances with the opportunity by AML to be trained as an ADT operator. Today, they’ve become proud among the women in Yekepa, Nimba, and Liberia, as they can now operate the highly sophisticated Articulated Dump Truck.
The training, which was categorized into three batches, allowed the trainees to undergo theoretical exercises about the equipment and defensive driving, and practice on a simulator that prepared them to have pre-experience of how the ADT moves before finally getting on the real truck to operate.
These exercises, according to Training Superintendent Darlington Siaway, were meant for three months, but had to go six months to get the beneficiaries well-prepared as they had no previous knowledge in driving.
As they have completed and are now contracted, the young women cannot wait to express their excitement for acquiring skills and finding themselves part of the ArcelorMittal Liberia workforce.
“At first it was not easy. Being a person without knowledge in driving light vehicles and coming to operate the ADT was quite challenging, but I thank God that I was able to go through and today I can move it myself,” said Patricia Suah.
She added, “I want to thank ArcelorMittal for making me an independent woman, and I just want to thank them for everything that I have become through their training and empowerment.”
Sarah Zuku, a young female operator, saw the truck to be too large and sophisticated for her, but monstering the courage to go through the training has built her confidence.
“I am so excited today that I can operate this truck. When I see myself operating it and see my size, the truck is so huge for me, but I thank God that I can operate it myself when I could not do it before.”
Emman Lakpor, another operator, believes that life has become better for her because she has a career and skills now. After leaving high school, Emma had nothing to do till she seized the opportunity to go through the training to operate the ADT.
Edna M. Parker, like the rest, is a high school graduate who had no skills and was involved in petty trading. Now, she can boast of developing a skill in moving the ADT with the hope that after completing her training, she will work to earn a better living. Edna expressed appreciation to the management of AML for providing this opportunity for young Liberians.
Darlington Siaway, Training Superintendent, says the performance of the trainees is impressive. “Just imagine people without knowledge of driving and braving the storm to undergo this training to move such a gigantic truck. This is commendable and we must be grateful to them,” said Darlington.