To help deal with the many unskilled challenges that Liberians youth are faced with, a not-for-profit organization, Image Liberia, has launched a six-month free vocational skills development training program to empower over 400 vulnerable youths in Kpanja, a remote community in Johnsonville, Montserrado County.
The event, entitled, “We Too Have Voice”, was held on Saturday, October 24, 2020, was attended by a representative of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) as well as students.
The training focuses on skills development in the production of liquid soap, super bleach, air-freshener and powder-soap, catering, cosmetology, fashion design and interior decoration, as well as arts and craft as a special program for children.
Montserrado County District #9 Representative aspirant, Edmond Lloyd who served as a keynote speaker, stressed the need for more vocational institutions in the country, indicating that a poor nation like Liberia needs to help educate more Liberians in vocational skills.
Mr. Lloyd said that it is now time for a national government to invest massively in vocational training, owing to the fact that over 60-70 percent of the country’s population do not have or lack the opportunity of going to grade school like others.
According to him, if the vast majority of the country’s population that is predominantly youths get the required skills training, Liberia will stand a better chance of being on par with other nations through infrastructural development.
He added, “If we are to move forward as a nation and people, then it’s time our government places serious attention on various skills training institutions because, by that, we will now be on the right trajectory of massive development.”
Mr. Lloyd then lauded the Image Liberia team for its farsightedness in providing free skills training for Liberians and pledged his fullest support through whatsoever means in making sure that other counties become beneficiaries of the program.
Earlier, IMAGE LIBERIA Executive Director, Edwin G. Wandah, said that his decision to establish such a program was triggered by the need that many Liberians have to get skills training but cannot afford due to too many financial problems confronting them.
According to him, as a journalist, he feels that giving back to society through free skills training was another means of buttressing the government’s effort in making Liberia a better and safe nation for all, noting that parents’ efforts need to be supported to enable them to overcome the many challenges they go through in getting their kids or children educated.
Mr. Wandah, who resigned recently from the Inquirer Newspaper as an active journalist, narrated that, while touring various communities as a journalist, he was moved and frustrated at the challenges uneducated parents were going through just to ensure that their children get much-needed education.
“I felt that there was a need for such an institution that will help put smiles on the faces of many Liberian parents once more,” he stated.
He also used the occasion to call on international partners and other well-meaning Liberians to join and support his initiative by providing tools and financial resources for his students.
Also in remarks, Deputy Commerce Minister for Industry, Thomas Gobah, acknowledged Image Liberia and its Executive Director for taking on such a worthy cause that is intended to educate vulnerable Liberians. The Deputy Minister also encouraged the students to make use of the knowledge provided them by Image Liberia.