By Washington Tumay Watson –firstname.lastname@example.org
MONROVIA-The Liberian Government says, it is formulating plans through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and other line Ministries and Agencies to transform at-risk youth, commonly known as Zogos.
Zeogar Wilson, Minister of Youth and Sports said the government will need US$13.9 million to address the issue of the at-risk youth within Montserrado County.
Speaking on state radio Tuesday in Paynesville, Minister Wilson said the government and its development partners are taking the issue of the at-risk youth as a sector and not as a project.
According to him, the Ministry will have to renovate the youth center and build other facilities in Youth Camp located in rural Montserrado County.
He told the media that the fundraiser committee is working with its partners to raise the needed money to take those at-risk youth from the streets and transform them into productive citizens through the training program.
He named the Ministries of Gender and Children Protection, Health, Justice, Finance Development Planning, Youth and Sports, the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) as line Ministries and Agencies to lead the steering committee.
Minister Wilson furthered that the process to take those disadvantaged youth to the center will start once the facility is completed and the needed funding is generated, adding that they will have a plan on how to get them enrolled into the program.
He said they will work with some of their friends who have already been transformed and are moving on well with lives in their respective communities and families.
Minister Wilson, however, said government and partners’ vision to transform those at-risk youth is good, but the legislature needs to ensure that both houses concur on the drugs law.
According to him, it will be fair to apprehend through the laws those who are trafficking drugs in the country, substances that are negatively affecting the young people.
He said that those youth who are negatively affected by the action from those drugs smugglers have been treated unfairly by the public, because of their conditions.
The Minister of Youth and Sports further indicated that those who are responsible for the at-risk youth in such a condition are moving freely without being bullied.
Minister Wilson said the Ministry of Youth and Sports is working with the Senate Committee on Youth and Sports to ensure that the House of Representatives concurs on the drug law that was passed by the Liberian Senate.