At least 700 Liberian youth will benefit from a project launched by the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), a World Bank-funded Community Livelihood Investment Project (CLIP) in Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties.
Commenced on 8 April, the 5-day workshop held in Gbarnga, was organized and facilitated by LACE to prepare County Agricultural Technicians (CAT) for the implementation phase of the project.
Facilitators at the workshop are placing emphasis on strengthening the capacity of participants in key aspects of sustainable food production and livelihood farming, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, inputting data, management, report writing and submission among others, to ensure they have the requisite knowledge-based approach toward implementation in line with Government of Liberia and World Bank approved standards.
Seven hundred disadvantaged youths from poverty-stricken families in each community will be recruited and placed into farming jobs and paid one hundred and fifty US Dollars (US$150) monthly as a means of empowerment to sustain their undertaking over the 18 months duration of the project.
With collaboration from Local Government Representatives [Superintendents], Agriculture, Youth and Sports, Public Works and County-based local NGOs selected as LACE community facilitators (CFs), the project aims to impart individuals in enterprise training that propels them to channel their earnings more productively at the household level.
A total of ten thousand ’at risk’ youths will be impacted in the overall rollout of the project across the country in each county, with locals voluntarily providing 50 acres of land as their contribution to the government’s empowerment of their children.
“Think bigger, expand the scope of your implementation and always make sure as much as possible that local government authorities like the Superintendents are not just present at these launching programs, but all through along the lines, they should have a regular presence and a practical involvement in your implementation of the project,” LACE Executive Director Julius K. Sele challenged the participants in his overview of the project.
Mr. Sele, who led a technical team of LACE project experts to the Gbarnga CLIP project launch, also called on the Community Facilitators (CFs) not to fall short of brainstorming on actual development needs of their communities. According to the LACE Boss, this can be best achieved by the participants keeping abreast of issues affecting locals that are relevant concerns to bring to the attention of donors for redress.
LACE, the Government of Liberia agency with full fiduciary responsibility to implement all community-based development projects, had earlier launched similar capacity building exercises in Region Four which includes Maryland, River Gee, Grand Gedeh and Grand Kru. Grand Bassa, Margibi, Rivercess and Sinoe Counties constitute Region Three.