To highlight our work in slum communities in Liberia, we interviewed our Africa & Caribbean Programme Co-ordinator Alessandra who spent three years working on this project. We’ll be posting a series of short interviews with her explaining more about the project, ahead of our upcoming meeting at the World Urban Forum where we will be represented by one of the young people from our project in Liberia.

What work is Y Care International currently doing with slum communities in Liberia? How long have we been doing this work?

We have been working in Westpoint the largest slum in Monrovia since 2013. Our current project is focused on creating opportunities for young people to access jobs by providing vocational training and life skills training. A lot of the work we are doing there is also gender based, so we try to help young women whose businesses have been directly affected by the Ebola outbreak. Westpoint was one of the communities most affected, with government imposed quarantines stopping many from continuing their businesses as petty trades.

For us it is important to empower young people to actively participate in their communities, so we try to encourage them to become agents of change by giving them peer education and group training, from this they raise their awareness in their community around health, hygiene and disaster risk education. We also give them training on youth led advocacy and we work alongside local leaders and governments to influence change at a policy level. We encourage young slum dwellers to join saving groups and use these savings to improve their conditions in the community.#

Stay tuned for the next part of the interview! In the meantime, find out more about the project.