As part of efforts to support youth development in Liberia, Mercy Corps, on September 20, 2019 graduated and certified a 24 young people through its program funded by the Swedish Government, the Promoting Sustainable Partnership for Economic Transformations (PROSPECTS) program, after they successfully completed 3 months of intensive apprenticeship training in employment and entrepreneurship.
The program also affords young people the opportunity to acquire relevant work experience for three months in a trusted work environment.
The program, according to Wah Ajavon, Mercy Corps Employment and Entrepreneurship (E&E) project manager, is intended to provide youth with a livelihood program that focuses on building their confidence and skills for the job market.
He further said that there is a batch of 67 persons enrolled in private and public sector jobs through the national cadet program, as well as 225 deployed directly in the private sector in Montserrado, Bong and Nimba counties, totaling 292 across the three locations over the next three months. “Therefore, with today’s graduation, we are very proud of PROSPECTS’ phase three batches — four addendum for training additional 24 young people,” Ajavon said.
James M. Kolleh, who served as guest speaker, challenged the graduates to use the knowledge acquired wisely on the job market.
“No matter where we find ourselves, we must serve with commitment, respect and diligence in those areas of our professional lives. Because in order to succeed as young people, you firstly have to work and be serious and look at what is in the Holy Bible, particularly in Leviticus 19:32, which states ‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord,’” Kolleh said.
Mr. Kolleh also called on apprentices to avoid entering the job market with greed and to be satisfied with whatever they will receive as salary and admonished them to be employees with integrity, because with integrity they will succeed more in their professional lives.
Mercy Corps Program Director, Sreejon Deb, extended gratitude to the host businesses for their support, and encouraged the graduates to demonstrate their efforts by finding appropriate jobs with the skills that they have acquired during the three months’ apprenticeship.
In response, two of the beneficiaries expressed appreciation to Mercy Corps for giving them the opportunity. They also commended the Swedish government for funding PROSPECTS’ activities and providing opportunities for youth.
After the apprenticeship period, 14 youth were retained by the businesses where they served. J-Palm, Sjeidi-Green Energy Business and African Electronic, among others, are the businesses that these apprentices were placed.
The PROSPECTS program has three components which include employment and entrepreneurship, social business for employment and results learning and research.