Youth Exploring Solutions (YES), a nonprofit youth organization, has received a grant of US$11,084.00 from the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia, through the U.S. Department of State Federal Assistance Award.
The grant supports ‘Building a Sustainable Liberia’ project, which is a follow-on project of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Community Solutions Program that had been piloted on a small scale basis in six schools located in Paynesville and Fendell.
The goal of the project is to establish an environmentally aware culture in Liberia through research, education and action utilizing a youth-led sustainability movement in the areas of energy, water, food, waste and ecology.
With the grant YES will extend ‘Building a Sustainable Liberia’ project to five additional schools in rural Montserrado County, a release said.
According to YES founder and executive director, Stephen B. Lavalah, the project will reduce carbon footprint at the individual and corporate levels; decrease unsanitary conditions in schools and communities; increase awareness of environmental issues; improve access to local and high quality food sources free of pesticide and genetic engineering; create waste management strategies through innovation that reduces, reuses and repurposes waste to be an asset; and increases biodiversity for the prosperity of habitats and ecosystem facilitation.
“Together with all stakeholders, we will create an eco-system of innovation by establishing five environmental clubs, develop edible school gardens, organize monthly intergenerational town-hall meetings styled ‘Energy Assess Talk’; institute quarterly water defender seminars; and setup monthly environmental reforestation and restoration initiatives,” he said.
The project will also include availability and usage of trash bins; techniques to reduce carbon footprints; strategies to influence environmental policies; safety tips; tree planting initiatives; and awareness about World Earth Day, World Environment Day, and International Day of the Forests and Trees.
He also indicated that at the end of the project implementation period, the first-ever Liberian Environmental Awareness Forum (LEAF) will be organized to showcase sustainable action projects in selected schools.
“On behalf of volunteers of YES, whose personal contributions have helped YES one way or the other, we express our deepest gratitude to the Government and people of the United States for being the first to furnish our offices and the very first to provide a grant that allows us to implement a landmark project” Lavalah said.
“America’s support to accredited grassroots organizations like YES have manifested her commitment to building a sustainable Liberia by empowering every man, woman and child to achieve their full potential,” he noted.