The Kpodo Rural Development Foundation – Education Life Skills Development for Youth Endowment Program on December 5, graduated about 58 students after 10 months of vocational skills training.
The Chief Executive Officer of the KRUDF, Mr. Joseph Menlor, outlined four vital pillars, including agriculture, education, preventive health and community development, as concern activities to serve humanity in this post-war reconstruction process.
Mr. Menlor said, as part of their education component of the program, they have been involved in many academic activities since their establishment in 1996.
He said the vocational skills training program was established in 2010 in order to prepare the youth for the job market in the post-war reconstruction process.
He added that over 100 youths early during the registration process, registered for the program and about 70 of them successfully went through the 10-month training exercise. But out the 70, 58 were able to come for the closing ceremony because of the long break due to Ebola epidemic.
The skills training program covered two basic areas including agriculture — covering vegetable and cash crop farming — and building construction with the focus on masonry, carpentry and household wiring.
The Kpodo Rural Development Foundation is based in Bahn City, Zoe Geh District with the population of over 120,000, most of whom are young people, who had never had any vocational training opportunity.
Zoe Geh District covers Buutuo, where Liberia 14-year civil crisis began in 1989. Majority of the youth are engaged into commercial motorcycling for their livelihood due to lack access to acquire skills training.
“We are very happy to be part of this program today, because we have been yarning for area to acquire skills in order to sustain ourselves,” said a 22-year-old lady, who received a certificate in masonry.
“We prayed that there be funding for the program to continue so to help our friends gain knowledge, because our parents do not have the money to send us to Monrovia or elsewhere for higher education,” she said.
The program is supported by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the Swedish International Development Aid (SIDA).
The orator of the closing ceremony, Nimba County Education officer, Mr. Wleh Silah, told the graduates to utilize what they have learned for self employment and empowerment.
Speaking on the topic, “discipline”, he urged them to be self-disciplined by selling themselves in order to be recognized on the job market.
“As you are leaving from here today, sell yourselves first, don’t put money in front, because if you are known for doing good job, the more chances you will have for more jobs then more money will flow,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the Organization, Mr. Joseph Menlor, is appealing to the government to subsidize the vocational aspect of the program.
“We have constructed a four-classroom building with offices attached with sole purpose of the vocational education, but we do not have the funding to run this program,” he said.