UNICEF, a leading partner of the National Youth Service Program, (NYSP) at the Ministry of Youth and Sports has donated 15 motorbikes to the program to enhance its operations at the county level.
The motorbikes were turned over to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) at the end of March, as part of its logistical support.
The NYSP made significant contributions to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) through the deployment of about 300 volunteers who carried out Ebola preventive messages as well as participated in contact tracing in 12 counties.
The UNICEF donation followed the recruitment in February of 11 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) field officers to support the M&E unit of the NYSP as well as the MYS and its partners.
The M&E officers are to ensure that all data related to child sensitive contact tracing collected in the field are collated and reported on time.
They are working alongside NYSP County Program Officers in Maryland, Sinoe, Nimba, Gbarpolu, Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Lofa, Bomi, Bong and Montserrado Counties.
The 15 motorbikes are currently being issued to the M&E field officers to build their logistical capacities.
Meanwhile, several National Volunteers (NVs) who were recalled to form part of the NYSP Ebola Response Team are being transitioned to regular activities, including health, agriculture, youth center management, educational support, and peace building at community level. NVs with backgrounds in various disciplines have been assigned to public schools around the country to provide instructional support, while some are still involved with Ebola prevention awareness and contact tracing in some of the project counties.
The NYSP’s core activities which include support to national development efforts through community service and peace building were temporarily suspended in August, 2014, following the imposition of the state of emergency and the closure of schools by the government due to the Ebola outbreak.
During the peak of the Ebola crisis, the MYS and her partners, including UNICEF decided to reprogram the NYSP to allow national youth volunteers to contribute to the fight against the EVD through a door- to -door Ebola prevention awareness at the community level.
This initiative has yielded maximum results through the total involvement of NYSP management, staff members and youth NVs.
The National Youth Service Programme is an integrated peace building and development program which creates the platform for young Liberians who are college, technical school, and university graduates to be afforded the opportunity to contribute to nation building, while promoting peace and reconciliation in local communities.
Funded by the Peace Building Fund (PBF-L) and the Government of Liberia with support from UNICEF, the program falls under the reconciliation component of the Liberia Peace Building Program (LPP).