MONROVIA-The Ministry of Youth and Sport in collaboration with their developing Partners and the Government of Liberia has launched US$13,872,500.00 Fund Drive to address the plights of over 100,000 At-Risk-Youth, commonly known as Zogos, to mitigate the socio-economic and national security risk posed to the country and their own future in Liberia.
Speaking at a one-day conference held on Thursday, June 30, 2022 at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, the Youth And Sports Minister, Mr. D. Zeogar Wilson gave a background on the At-Risk-Youth program for Rehabilitation and Empowerment.
He mentioned that in 2019 the Youth and Sport was very strong with President George M. Weah in engaging developing partners to see how best to find a solution for the At-Risk-Youth in Liberia.
He further said, “We engaged two ghettos in king-Gray within the grave-yard where they lived”.
He added that, “it was intended to show to the partners that the Government of Liberia is ready to rehabilitate all At-Risk-Youth from around Montserrado County”.
Meanwhile, the one day Conference was highly attended by the head of state, President George M Weah, Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Minister D. Zeogar Wilson and some international guests.
According to Wilson, the National Fund Drive for the reclaiming of the At-Risk-Youth for a better Liberia ,is to consult and raise US$13,872,500.00 (Thirteen Million Eight Hundred Seventy Two Thousand Five Hundred United States Dollars) for the implementation of the At-Risk-Youth Empowerment program.
He further outlined funding solicitation strategies that involved the following: government budgetary allocation, determined specialized MACs support, the development partners’ contribution, business community’s support, civil society/national contribution, Diaspora Liberian/general contribution and individuals’ contributions.
He mentioned that, the National Fund Drive will achieve the following: assess to the current state of At-Risk-Youth, Understanding the impact of current interventions and attending gaps, Establishing the root causes of issues affecting this population of our youth, assessing current legislative enactments and their effectiveness with the goal to strengthen the laws and assessing government’s appropriations and fiscal policies towards enhancing youth development.
Meanwhile, steering Committee of the National Fund Drive for the rehabilitation and Empowerment of the At-Risk-Youth (Zogos) has called on all UN agencies, Embassies, World Bank, African Development Bank, IMF, and International NGOs fall under Development partners to reclaim the youth of Liberia for a better Liberia.
However, the Minister for Youth And Sport, Wilson, explained on three phases of the rehabilitation program of the At-Risk-Youth; phase one will focus on the selection, orientation and rehabilitation, phase two will highlight on the vocational training, capacity building, and social reintegration, while phase three will also focus on Job creation and linkages to Business Support Services.