After the chaos of Ebola and the violence of civil war, young people are yearning for change in Liberia. We’re transforming the lives of 13,000 people in West Point by empowering young people to be that change the wish for.
About the project
Y Care International’s project partners with YMCA Liberia and has helped to empower 710 young people from slum communities economically and socially.
The young people involved receive support and skills training in health and hygiene, disaster risk reduction (DRR) to enable them to rebuild their lives and become leaders in their communities.
These young people will transform their own lives through the opportunity of decent work and act as catalysts in their communities. This gives the chance of long-term change and will support nearly 13,000 in local communities.
The country’s history
Y Care International has stood side by side with the young people of Liberia since the early 1990’s. It is a fragile country that, over the past three decades, has suffered from the violence of civil war and chaos of Ebola outbreaks. This has devastated the population and results in a country with an average age of just 18 years old.
Two periods of civil war (1989-97; 1999-2003) claimed around 200,000 lives and had severe effects on the country’s infrastructure, economy and education system. The Ebola epidemic that followed claimed over 4,000 lives (as of June 2016), the highest toll in West Africa, as well as destroying businesses and communities.
The country faces problems of extreme poverty, poor health and schooling, and high unemployment. 76% of the population live on under 40p a day. In Monrovia, where Y Care International predominantly works, 70% of people live in slums.
How are we helping?
The current project is training young people in areas of hygiene awareness, Disaster Risk Reduction training and, importantly advocacy. This enables them to provide support to their peers and cause a wider, sustainable change throughout the slum communities. As well as improving health and hygiene standards and reducing the likelihood of any future crisis, the project mobilises young men and women to become community leaders.
The peer education technique will increase the reach to nearly 13,000 slum dwellers and will look to establish a community development fund for youth-led Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) infrastructure projects. Youth-led DRR committees will be established in each zone and capacities developed through training, mentoring and financial support.
Key collaborators for the project is SLUMDAL and Slum Dwellers International (SDI) who will support in strengthening the local community and build their capacity on savings, credit and land rights.
What do we hope to achieve?
60 young people trained as youth peer educators on hygiene awareness (including Ebola prevention) and supported to reach a further 13,000 from local slums
Train 700 local young people in life skills and business support so that they can improve their socio-economic resilience
DRR training for 50 staff members of local youth and community organisations, with further support so that those trained can provide training to 400 additional young people
400 young people given advocacy training and 60 young people given leadership training in advocacy, civic engagement and budget monitoring