The government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS), sub-component of its Youth Opportunities Project (YOP), on Thursday, August 30, 2019, graduated 440 youths, who successfully completed round one-rollout of its Household Enterprises Support (HES) program in Monrovia.
The ceremony brought together officials from the World Bank, Swedish Embassy, and representatives from the Young Men’s Christian Association.
The beneficiaries learned entreprenuership development and management skills, budgeting and money management skills, business fundamentals, customer service and business record management.
YOP is a five-year project of the Liberian government; implemented by the MYS and the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) targeting 15,000 vulnerable youth in both urban and rural communities. It is supported by the World Bank until 2020.
River Gee County Senator Conmany B. Wesseh, who delivered the keynote addressed, advised the beneficiaries to avoid reducing themselves mere beggars or to become “followers of politicians,” without adapting a developmental mind either individually or collectively.
Senator Wesseh told them to go beyond of what they have learned by remaining focused; and not to become complacent.
“The project presents a great opportunity for young Liberians from disadvantaged population groups to become entrepreneurs; create their own small business, or even expand their existing one; creating new jobs in the process,” Sen. Wesseh added.
He called on the graduates to be proactive in their approach to meet challenges from the outside world.
Senator Wesseh then challenged them to make good use of the skills they have acquired, and remain ever prepared for the future that lies ahead of them.
For YOP Montserrado County Coordinator, Rhoda Neufville, she called on the beneficiaries to see themselves as ambassadors for the program so that others can follow their good example to enroll into the program.
Mrs. Neufville used the occasion to appreciate World Bank for the supports in enhancing the sustainability of the program.
Mohammed Nasser, YOP Technical Team Manager, said the sub-component of the program is to facilitate the entry of 3,000 youths in 25 selected communities in Monrovia and its environs into household enterprises.
Round one implementation of the project, according to Nasser, enrolled 800 youths, and provided business management skills, and started grants to enable them establish, and operate group business in their communities.
Adeola O. Famak, Country Director of EDUCARE Liberia, expressed delight for working in partnership with the MYS, LACE by providing opportunities for many young entrepreneurs.
EDUCARE is part of YOP’s service provider responsible for direct, and daily interface with beneficiaries regarding its implementation. It is required to support the processes of recruitment, training, supervision, and monitoring of field activities.
The project, Madam Famak said is to enable young entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses; create jobs and develop their livelihoods.
“This is an initiative in support of government’s plan to prepare vulnerable young Liberians for the job market, and to generate self-income as one means of discouraging some of the young people from taking perilous journeys in their lives as they see far better opportunities for themselves,” she said.
Meanwhile, several of the beneficiaries have lauded the government and partners for their respective supports to the program.
The beneficiaries were selected from several communities, including West Point, Red Light, Clara Town, 72nd, and King Gray. Others were selected from areas such as Iron Factory Community, Soniwein and Cooper Farm.