Bong County District # 4 Representative, Lester M. Paye, has urged youth in the country to prioritize vocational skills the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is providing them.
Urging the youths on June 6, 2014 while serving as a keynote speaker at the launch of YMCA’s “Securing Healthy Lives and Sustainable Livelihoods Project for Young People,” Rep. Paye noted that since the youths are the future leader of Liberia, there is a need to empower them with skills training.
He said this would adequately prepare them for the job market as well as future challenges that are before them.
The two years project (2014-2016) was launched at the Eugene H. Cooper, Sr. conference hall in the YMCA building on Broad Street.
According to him, empowerment is not just about giving someone money; it is also about transforming the mind and thinking of young people in the country.
The Bong County Lawmaker told a cross section of young people that the project would benefit them if they take it very seriously.
“The condition you find yourselves in does not really matter, but what matters is education, so please take it seriously,” he pleaded.
Rep. Paye then expressed gratitude to the YMCA and its development partners, particularly Y-Care International for the project.
Making a special statement at the launch of the project, Edward Gboe, National General Secretary (NGS) of the YMCA said the project is an intervention which addresses some of the critical post-war challenges facing the youth of the country, especially issue around livelihood and health.
Mr. Gboe said the YMCA is aware of the challenges that are related to young people, especially access to acquiring quality education and daily sustenance, which he attributed to unemployment of youth or disposable of income.
He added that youth unemployment in Liberia is high because they do not have the requisite skills to compete on the job market.
The YMCA project is expected to train about four thousand young men from vulnerable groups, such as war affected, the disabled community and 160 representatives at district-level in four counties.
Activities under the project include Vocational, Business, Management and Life Skills Training for one thousand disadvantaged young people in year one and two with agricultural and skills training for rural youth.
The project is also intended to improve the economic and health status of over 10,000 vulnerable young men and women in five target locations in four counties that include, Nimba, Bong, Lofa and Grand Gedeh.
Career counseling, guidance and business mentoring will be provided for one thousand trainees.
At the same time, the program would provide post-training inputs/starter kits and also establish business groups and saving clubs.
The project would also establish a youth advocacy group and engage in process undertaken with locals, regional and national government thereby using existing and newly identified entry points for dialogue around health, education and employment.