Young people from West Point slum in Liberia’s capital Monrovia are being given the chance to rebuild their lives through entrepreneurship after the Ebola outbreak devastated the country, through a new project supported by the Turing Foundation.
When the Ebola outbreak hit Liberia, young people’s education and livelihoods were often completely destroyed; an impact felt long after the cases of the deadly disease had been reduced. However, a new project launched by Y Care International in partnership with the Turing Foundation will give young people in West Point the entrepreneurial skills to launch their own small businesses – generating themselves an income to help escape the terrible poverty Ebola thrust them further into.
The project will initially train 250 young slum dwellers from West Point in valuable business and vocational skills, as well as business revitalisation training to those young people who previously had small businesses but haven’t been able to make a profit since Ebola struck.
Over the next three years, these 250 Liberians will then receive entrepreneurial mentoring and a business start-up kit, allowing them to use their new skills to earn themselves an income, with advice and guidance on hand to get their new enterprise off the ground.
Lizz Harrison, Y Care International’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergencies Advisor recently visited West Point, and said: “The Ebola outbreak didn’t just result in the loss of friends, family and neighbours, but also jobs, markets and opportunities. West Point was quarantined after a number of cases of the deadly virus were found here last summer. People were not allowed to enter or leave, and since then fewer people come to market. The local economy has collapsed and people are struggling to recover. We need to stay here to support the young people of West Point to rebuild their livelihoods, by providing tools, training, and hope.”
The trainees will share their knowledge of how to successfully start and run a small business with other young people in the community, meaning hundreds of young slum dwellers will be reached as a result of this investment in skills training. Coaching on other life skills, such as building confidence and using savings schemes (to help insure against another disaster) will also be given, with the necessary support provided for up to a year after the project comes to an end.
We are also raising funds for this vital work thought our Tools for Recovery campaign where the UK government will match every donation pound for pound until the end of July. Donate online or text YGIV30 £10 to 70070.