More than 300 youth participants, officials of the Ministry of Education (MoE) and guests yesterday gathered in Monrovia for ceremonies that marked nearly six years of achievements of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Advancing Youth Project (AYP).
The project is implemented by the Education Development Center (EDC) in Liberia.
Since 2011, the program has provided quality Alternative Basic Education (ABE), social and leadership development and livelihoods for thousands of Liberian youth and young adults.
A release said that during the AYP close-out ceremonies expected to end today, EDC will highlight program achievements and the success stories of youths between the ages of 13 and 35 years – many of whom were out of school with low or no reading and math skills before entering the program.
The release said graduates will share their personal stories of determination and perseverance and a ‘Learners Market’ will feature demonstrations of their new livelihood skills.
The closing ceremonies will include remarks by the Minister of Education, George K. Werner, USAID Mission Director, Dr. Anthony Chan, EDC President and CEO, David Offensend, and EDC’s Chief of Party, Denise Clarke-Reeves.
Advancing Youth is credited for a number of achievements including finalizing three levels of the ABE curricula to include science, social studies, literacy, numeracy, life skills, work readiness, and agro-enterprise skills; and developing Program Quality Standards for ABE.
The program also enrolled more than 22,902 learners, of whom 70 percent are women, in 153 communities; delivering basic skills trainings.
Learners become proficient in soap-making, food preservation, and basket weaving— to improve livelihoods. The project involves procuring and distributing more than 340,000 textbooks, learner workbooks, facilitator manuals and supplementary reading materials; and establishing youth clubs with elected officers, of whom 74 percent are women.
“It is heartening that this project has been able to contribute positively to expanding educational opportunities for Liberia’s out of school youth,” said Clarke-Reeves.
“Moreover, we are proud of the partnerships with the MoE, local NGOs, training institutions, and communities themselves in making this possible,” she added.
The release said the ongoing Advancing Youth-ABE activities will continue in several communities, and commended the MoE for its support.