First YOP Farm Harvested
June 22, 2018 – Monrovia, Liberia: Led by Deputy Youth Development Minister Isaac Doe, an array of government officials and World Bank staff on Thursday, June 21, defied a gloomy weather and intermittent rain falls to launch the harvest of a booming seven-acre corn field.
The corn field, first farm to be reaped under the Productive Public Works component of the Youth Opportunities Project (YOP), is located near the lower Gbarpolu County village of Dollehla – some three hours’ drive from Monrovia. It is part of 35 acres being operated by a 28-member farming group of 14 males and 14 females.
Mrs. Victoria, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports and Mr. Joseph T. Williams, LACE
Deputy Director for Administration harvested for product of sweet corn in Gbarpolu County
Launched in Monrovia in January 2017, YOP is a Government of Liberia initiative funded by a US$10m. loan from the World Bank. The scheme, under the supervision of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, seeks to address critical areas of youth development, including improving their access to income generation, and strengthening the government’s capacity to implement its cash transfer program across the country.
YOP’s Productive Public Works component, run by Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), supports vulnerable rural youth, aged 18-35 years, with simple farm tools and planting materials as well as labor subsidy to engage in communal farming,
By officially commencing the June 21 harvest, Deputy Minister Doe led a successful exercise that ended with the beneficiaries experiencing the first purchase of their corn produce, as the launchers, including the deputy minister, LACE Deputy Executive Director Joseph T. Williams, the visiting World Bank team, and some senior staff of WFP chipped in.
Additionally, Deputy Minister Doe, Deputy Executive Director Williams, as well as the World Bank and WFP teams, lauded the farming group for making a significant contribution to food security in Liberia, feasting on a good quantity of the harvested corn – roasted and boiled.
“Economic viability of any society depends on agriculture; it doesn’t matter if it is corn, or rice, or some other crops. Once the people can put their efforts into farming, thereby having something to sustain themselves, I can safely say, their economy will be at an improved stage,” the deputy minister asserted.
Deputy Minister Doe also used the YOP corn harvest to admonish fellow Liberians to take advantage of unlimited opportunities in the agricultural and other productive sectors of the country to ensure economic success.
Having seen the fruits of the project on the Dollehla village farm, Deputy Minister Doe signaled the need for financing scale up YOP, in order to reach out to more beneficiaries.
LACE, implementer of the YOP Productive Public Works component was also full of praise for its beneficiaries, as expressed through by Deputy Executive
Mr. Williams conveyed similar warm impression of his Executive Director, Quiwu P. Yeke, and assured Government and the World Bank team of LAC’s firm commitment to excellently implementing its component of the project..
“The cash-for-work project is good, like you see today, the beneficiaries are being paid while they harvest what belongs to them, so it is a good thing that we continue this process, and build upon it so that we can sustain the gain made; because if we just do this and after three months we let it go, there will be no positive outcome.,” Noted William.
Said Bondo Baker, chairman of the farm, “I am happy for YOP, because it has given us the opportunity to work for ourselves, save money from our labor in order to carry out projects we like for our community and help our families.”
Ror her part, the chairlady of the farm, Vanah Zennah, added, “The project is alright, because it has brought us (farmers) together to help ourselves. The main reason we will save portion of the money raised from the farm is for us to build a community guest house”.
World Bank Head of Mission Visits LACE New Executive Director
World Bank delegates in meeting with LACE new Executive Director, Mr. Quiwu Yeke at LACE Office
Monrovia: February 9, 2017 – World Bank Liberia Country Manager, Larisa Leshchenko, has expressed the commitment of the Bank in working collaboratively with the Liberian Government to address issues of youth empowerment and employment through support to social protection programs such as the Youth Opportunities Project (YOP).
The World Bank County Manager said, joblessness and lack of skills for employment amongst the youth of Liberia are of paramount concerns to the Bank. Madam Leshchenko was speaking Friday, February 9, 2018, when she paid a courtesy call on the Executive Director of the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), Quiwu Yeke, at his Capitol Hill office in Monrovia.
Speaking during the acquaintance meeting, the Executive Director of LACE, Quiwu Yeke, commended the World Bank for its strong support to skills training and employment programs in Liberia under its funding, through the government.
Mr. Yeke promised to sustain the cordial ties between LACE and the World Bank, and conveyed President George Weah’s message of appreciation to the Bank through its Country Manager, for supporting youth empowerment projects in Liberia. Madam Leshchenko was taken on a guided tour of LACE’s facilities and introduced to project Staff and Managers.
Under a World Bank loan, Liberia is implementing the Youth Opportunities Project (YOP), which is a 5-year social protection intervention aimed at reducing vulnerability and unemployment amongst the young people of Liberia.
The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), is one of three government implementing institutions for the YOP. The Agency is implementing Component-1, which is Household Enterprise (HHE), and Component-2, which is Productive Public Works (PPW).
The Youth Opportunities Project is targeting the empowerment of 15,000 young people across the Country.
The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) has gotten new Executive Director. Mr. Quiwu Yeke received appointment from His Excellency, President George Manneh Weah as Executive Director following confirmation from the Senate.
Mr. Quiwu Yeke the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment new Executive Director
The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) is an autonomous Agency of the Government of Liberia established on July 22, 2004 under the new Executive Law, Title 12 Chapter 50.B of the Liberian Code of Laws, also known as the “Community Empowerment Act”. The Primary Goals of the Agency is engendering national Initiatives and Strategies geared towards alleviating poverty, and towards reaching the Millennium Goals in Liberia through Community Driven Development ( CDD) .
The Primary objectives of the Agency is to improve the living standards of poor communities through the provisions and strengthening of basic social services and to promote a community based approach in sub-project identification, preparation, implementation , administration and maintenance of community driven development projects funded by the Government of Liberia , World Bank, European Union, African Development Bank and other donors .
LACE started actual operations in January 2005 with a bridging grant of 1.1million dollars administered by Mercy Corps-Liberia, an international NGO.
The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment since its establishment, has been successful in the execution of the Community Empowerment Project (CEP 1&2) especially constructions’ of basic social infrastructure such as school buildings, Latrines & Water-wells, bridges etc through the country .
In addition, LACE With support from the World Bank, the Government of Liberia and other development partners, LACE has effectively and successfully implemented the scores of social protection initiatives across Liberia. They include: Cash for Works Temporary Employment Project (CfWTEP), Youth Employment Skills-Community Works Project (YES-CWP), the Children and Youth in Africa (CHYAO) project, the Government of Liberia Youth Employment Project (LYEP), the SIDA Cash for Works and the World Food Programme/LACE food distribution to persons effected by the deadly Ebola virus and the ongoing YES- Community Livelihood Investment Project (CLIP).
The mission of LACE
To assist in the consolidation of Liberia’s peace process by creating an enabling environment for social-economic revival of warn torn communities, and lay firm foundation for improved economic and social governance.
Vision of LACE
To ensure that almost all parts of Liberia are empowered through the Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), empowering the people to develop their own communities; to take charge of their own development processes; provide social protection and basic social services, and to re-build their capacity for collective action.
The objectives of the Agency are to improve the living standards of poor communities through the provisions and strengthening of basic social services and to promote a community-based approach in sub-project identification, preparation, implementation, administration and maintenance of community driven development projects funded by the Government of Liberia, the World Bank, SIDA and other donors.
Key Strategies/Approaches of Implementation:
In its implementation of projects, LACE adopts Community Driven Development Approach. LACE works through Local NGOs (Community Facilitators) ,and promotes a Community based approach .
The LACE team mobilizes local authorities, NGO counterparts, Line-ministries and Local communities to collectively participate in identification, preparation, implementation, administration of interventions around the country.
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