The Swedish Embassy sponsored project, titled, Promoting Sustainable Partnership for Economic Transformations (PROSPECTS), which is being implemented by Mercy Corps Liberia, has graduated and certificated 62 (33 females and 29 males) young people after they successfully completed a three-month intensive apprenticeship program.
The ceremony, which took place on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at a resort in Ganta, Nimba County, brought together several individuals, including the graduates, parents and other relatives, invited community and county officials, host businesses and Mercy Corps staff.
The PROSPECTS program aims at working out a public-private partnership to create employment opportunities for youth, as well as support learning from program results and research activities drawn from program implementation targeting other youth organizations, national policy actors and improved program delivery, triggering greater coordination between the young people, duty-bearers and stakeholders.
The program, according to Nyema J. Richards of Mercy Corps PROSPECTS, is intended to empower youth to find meaningful market–driven opportunities for employment and to increase their skills and self-confidence and improve their livelihood.
Richards meanwhile lauded the Swedish Government through its Embassy near Monrovia for funding PROSPECTS phase 3, which targets a total of about 20,000 young Liberians in Bong, Montserrado and Nimba counties.
He said PROSPECTS has reached a total of 11,394 young people with different employment and entrepreneurial skills development and opportunities in the three counties.
The project aims at employment and entrepreneurship, social business for employment and results learning and research.
Thomas Demamu, chief executive officer and general manager of Trust Saving Credit Union (TSCU), who served as keynote speaker, called on the apprentices to be innovative and visionary to drive socioeconomic development.
Globally, apprenticeship drives every thriving economy, and account for majority of new jobs creation and innovation.
And because of this, Demamu described the apprenticeship program as “a very important tool for youth empowerment, and the development that prepares the younger generation for future challenges.”
“As an apprentice, you need to prepare yourself for the future by looking into opportunities, and tap into them to become innovative. As an apprentice, you are preparing yourself for a better tomorrow,” he said.
Mercy Corps Programs Director, Sreejon Deb, extended gratitude to the host businesses for their support and then encouraged the graduates to demonstrate their efforts by finding appropriate jobs with the skills that they have acquired during the three months apprenticeship.
One of the beneficiaries, Josiah L. Yeamie, expressed appreciation to Mercy Corps for giving them the opportunity. He also praised the Swedish Government for funding PROSPECTS activities, and providing opportunities for the youth.
Yeamie: “I never had any marketing knowledge before I was assigned to TSCU, but thank God that I am now trained in marketing.”
After the apprenticeship period, 30 of the apprentices were offered jobs and 24 of them accepted while six declined due to relocation reasons.
Mercy Corps is a global team of humanitarians that partner with communities, corporations, governments and individuals, turning crises into opportunities for sustainable change and transforming lives around the world.