Community Validation being carried out at the office of EDUCARE, the Service Provider of the Household Enterprise under the Youth Opportunities Project (YOP)

The Youth Opportunities Project (YOP) continues to make headways in recent times as day 2 of the community validation makes progress. Yesterday at the office of EDUCARE, LACE implementing partner worked with the Community Oversight Committee from Cooper Clinic, Red Light, Soniwein, 72nd, and Clara to validate youth who were recruited for the Household Enterprise Component of the YOP. The validation is intended to select youth who met the poverty score bench mark and also were eligible to participate in the project. The underlining factor here is that, the project should benefit those vulnerable youth who are desperately in need. The project is expected to involve youth in business by providing a sum of US$2,400.00 to a group of 8 vulnerable youth within urban Montserrado. A total of 3,000 youth are expected to benefit over a period of 3 years.

Targeted Participants During Recruitment In Grand Kru County

Targeted Participants During Recruitment In Grand Kru County
Sweet Corn Harvest In Memeh Town, Lower Montserrado County
Sweet Corn Harvest In Memeh Town, Lower Montserrado County
Sweet Corn Harvest In Memeh Town, Lower Montserrado County

Cash for Works Temporary Employment Project (CfWTEP): 

The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) launched the Cash for Works Temporary Employment (CfWTEP) in 2008 with a grant of US$3 million from the World Bank to the Government of Liberia.  The objective was to provide short-term employment for 17,000 vulnerable people over a period of 2 years. The project was intended to put money in the pockets of vulnerable people who experienced financial shock as a result of galloping increase in prices of basic commodities around the world (for Liberia it was mainly food commodities, fuel including kerosene for light in villages and towns).  The increase in prices of food and fuel worsen the food insecurity situation for the most vulnerable people especially in the leeward counties.

The CfWTEP was effectively implemented by LACE and its implementing partners, the local NGOs that worked as Community Facilitators in the various counties. The lesson learned was that though the objective of the project was to smoothing consumption, the participants used their wages (US$120.00) each in a more sustainable manner, i.e. one third of the money was used for human development related concerns (health and education), one-third on investment in household assets and agriculture inputs, while the balance was used for consumption (Assessment by the World Bank, 2010). The project contributed immensely to improving the welfare of the participants, as well as engendered productive activities in the beneficiary communities.

Youth Employment Skills (YES) – Community Works Project

After the successful completion of the CfWTEP, the Community   Works/Youth Employment Skills (YES) Project was designed, planned and built upon the   CfWTEP also funded by the World Bank. The four-year project provided employment opportunity for 47,500 vulnerable youths across the country.

The YES-Community Works Project mainly focused on creating temporary employment for vulnerable Liberians especially poor and youth at risks to increase income opportunities; the project   emphasis was placed on   community-based public   works,   to address   some   of   the immediate   economic   and   social   needs   of   poor   communities.

As part of project activities, beneficiaries under the project received life skills trainings including managing money, appropriate hygiene practices, Skills to start and sustain small business amongst others.

YES-Community Livelihood Investment Project (CLIP):

Shifting completely from the traditional public works sub-project activities, the Community Livelihood Investment Project (CLIP) built on lessons learned under Community Works Project activities and expands its focus on productive activities and livelihood development.

Under the Community Livelihood Investment Project (CLIP), 9,000 vulnerable persons are targeted, 80 percent youth (18-35yrs) and 20 percent others (36yrs and above). The Project was officially launched on January 31, 2015 and became effective in February with a funding of US$3,4 million from the World bank and supported by the Government of Liberia.

The project is currently ongoing and will be closing on June 30, 2016; CLIP is focusing on productive public works mainly agriculture with emphases on food crops production throughout the 15 counties of Liberia.

The Additional Financing supporting CLIP aims to encourage activities across all subprojects to provide community investment in sustainable youth livelihood projects.  Under the Community Livelihood Investment Project, project communities received a community investment package, including wage subsidy trainings, and assorted simple farm- tools and planting materials (seeds and cuttings).

Value addition support in the form of agro-processing machines such Cassava processor and rice miller will be provided for post-harvest activities to two communities with the largest and well maintained farms in each county.  Training   for effective management of these agro-machines will be provided to project beneficiary communities especially the leadership structures and assigned community technicians/operators.

Liberia Youth Employment Project (LYEP)

Consistent with the Agenda for Transformation, in 2012, the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Finance, granted to LACE US$600,000.00 to create 2,500 short-term jobs under the Youth Employment Program (YEP). The YEP managed by LACE covered five counties of Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Margibi and Grand Bassa. These short-term employment opportunities had a major impact on the vulnerable youths; their households and children, in terms of increase in income and environmental enhancement.

Project activities were Community Driven. Communities were responsible for identifying and selecting the types of activities to be implemented.

 

The LYEP focused on secondary road maintenance, especially in the rural areas. Under this module, jobs provided for youth in routine maintenance of existing secondary (feeder) roads (e.g. roads joining farms to markets, villages to towns, etc.). The road maintenance activities will include the following:

Farm to market roads

  • Bush brushing;
  • Rock breaking for the roads rehabilitation;
  • Cleaning and replacement of culverts;
  • Excavation and cleaning of drains along roads;
  • Construction or rehabilitation of small wooded bridges along roads;
  • Construction of walking paths or trails, stairs on steep hill sides, etc.;
  • Planting of trees on public land; and
  • Filling of potholes on roads

 

Also in villages and towns, the youth would undertake the below listed activities:

  • Cleaning and disposal of waste;
  • Drainage clearance;
  • Painting of public buildings (particularly needed after the rainy season);
  • Rehabilitation of recreational spaces (football field);
  • Small rehabilitation of schools, health posts and other community buildings;
  • Planting of trees and other gardening activities; and

CHYOA

The Children and Youth in Africa (CHYAO) pilot project evolved out of the Community Based Enterprise Development (CBED) project in Liberia. CHYAO was a new concept that was piloted and utilized best practices income-generating enterprises while sustainably managing the forest resources and other protected areas such as Lake-Piso .

The CHYAO project provided support for the reintegration of youth affected by violence and conflict by empowering them with vocational-skills training and opportunities to develop productive lives.
It [CHYAO] contributed to the implementation of the new regulations of the Liberian government regarding Community forestry from the rationale that there were numerous youths involved in forest related activities specifically pit-sawing. Though pit-sawing provides youths with some income, there are questions regarding its biophysical sustainability.

PROSPECTS

The PROSPECTS Cash for Works Project is a Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)-funded Program with the objective to expand access to employment ready youths to temporary employment programs and to improve youth employability. The Cash for Works component of the PROSPECTS program was under a sub-agreement with Mercy Corps.

PROSPECTS focused its intention to support the Government of Liberia’s (GOL) national strategy to maintain and enhance job security. It included a demand public works program by doing temporary employment, targeting the most vulnerable men and women. The main objective of the CfW was to provide income support to employment ready youths in urban areas.

The total project beneficiary workers of 900 persons completed 18,000 man days of works. The workforce completed tasks such as  surface works involving minimum road side clearing/brushing, hoeing and grubbing out roots;  and activities in earth works  including , drainage cleaning, drainage constructions, ditching, slopping  borrowing, loading  loose soil and garbage into wheelbarrow, hauling and unloading ,  filling  potholes , remove bush and grass cuttings etc.

Emergency Food Distribution

In response to the 2014, Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the country, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), awarded a contract to LACE in October 2014 to cater to Ebola affected communities in Rivercess and Grand Bassa counties, respectively through the distribution of food rations to affected families and communities.

Hence, working along with the County Health Teams and other stakeholders, LACE was able to reach out to 62,029 beneficiaries, representing 33,539 females and 28,490 males, totaling 916.616 metric tons of food distributed. The food distribution project covered 61 towns in the two counties.