Several heads of youth-related non-governmental organization (NGO) from Montserrado County over the weekend benefited from a one day national youth NGO summit aimed at providing leadership skills in sustainable development.
The daylong event was held under the theme, “Sustaining the Growth of Youth NGOs through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” at the US Embassy in Monrovia. It was hosted by Green Liberia Incorporated with support from the US Embassy.
Darius Bleh, founder of Green Liberia Incorporated, said the SGDs identify areas for intervention and developed strategies that can be used to achieve targeted global impacts.
Bleh said youth organizations in Liberia are yet to align their works with the SDGs, and because of this, there is a low impact in the implementation of the SGDs in the country.
“Lots of the organizations have passion to create the needed change with commitments, but what remain lacking is the required skill to make the intervention, the opportunities for expansion and a plan that directs their focus towards sustainable programs,” he said.
It is from this backdrop that the organization with support from the US Embassy and other partners decided to provide leaders in youth-oriented organizations knowledge to align their organizations’ focus to the SDGs and develop long-term strategies.
Mac Nelson, executive director of the Pursuit for Positive Action Youth Organization, who served as one of the speakers, said one of the key strategies youth leaders can use to sustain their organization is incorporating social entrepreneurship into organizations’ programs.
“Social entrepreneurship, which is based on innovation and creativity is a driving force that brings solutions and builds a strong and sustainable organization,” Nelson said.
Other speakers, including Numene B. Reeves, Assistant Director at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planing, who presented papers on “The SDGs and Us,” and Blamo Nimle, executive director, Sustainable Development Network also presented papers on “Integrating the SDGs into non-profit organizations.”
One of the participants, Jeremiah Kerkula, a youth volunteer, thanked the organizers, because he feels the summit helped him to become knowledgeable about the SDGs, and how his organization can align its focus with it to develop a formal intervention for sustainability.
The summit comprised of presentations, group discussions, and experience sharing among the participants.
Meanwhile, Green Liberia is expected to present a post summit evaluation after monitoring and evaluating very shortly.