In an effort to support the Government of Liberia Pro-Poor Agenda through capacity building and contribution to under privileged Liberians including women and youth, Mercy Corps-Liberia has graduated and certificated fifty-four beneficiaries from its PROSPECTs Program in Gbarnga, Bong County, Writes D. Patrick Tokpah
The Prospects program is being implemented by Mercy Corps with supports from the Swedish Embassy in Liberia, EXXON Mobile/NOCAL and Coca Cola Africa Foundation.
Prospects is a youth empowerment program which works with youth, businesses, government, education institutions and other service providers to support Liberian youth to be better positioned to take advantage of employment opportunities in order to gain economic and social empowerment.
Prospects combines direct service delivery with efforts to stimulate positive universal changes in terms of youths’ role in the labor and hiring markets.
Giving overview of the Prospect program, Mercy Corps Prospects Program Manager, Nyema Richards said the program is intended to help built the capacity of young people in the county.
He believes that young people have the greatest potential to make whatever positive change in whatever condition or location.
Mr. Richards further stated that the program started in 2017 and is expected to end on October 2020, adding that they intend to target twenty thousand (20,000) young people in the Country.
“Because of our strong conviction in positive transformation, we believe that every young person should have access to educational opportunities as a right in Liberia. We want to extend our gratitude to the business community for the employment of some of the participants who benefited from Mercy Corps program,” Mr. Richard stressed.
The Mercy Corps Executive recounted that at present, the NGO have trained at least 11, 0000 youths in Liberia.
According to him, Mercy Corps works with a range of partnerships to deliver specialized services, adding Mercy Corps partners with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to implement the National Cadet Program, through which promising youth undertake placements in government ministries.
Additionally, he said the program has worked across the full spectrum of youth demographics in Montserrado, Grand Bassa, and Bong counties and it is expected to expand into Nimba County respectively.
Meanwhile, Mr. Richards at the same time used the medium to call on the youthful populace to make used of their programs for the betterment of environments.
Also speaking at the end of the graduation exercise, two beneficiaries of the program, Emmanuel Harris and Betty Tutu- Girl King commended the management and staff of Mercy Corps for the training provided them.
Betty and Emmanuel on behalf of their colleagues promised to implement the knowledge and skills acquired from the training.
The graduation ceremony which took place over the weekend in Gbarnga, brought together, Executives of Mercy Corps, business representatives, members of the civil society and the media respectively.