MONROVIA-The Executive Director of Youth Network for Positive Change (YOUNETPO) says the institution remains committed to youth empowerment as one of its main goals as a Civil Society Organization in Liberia.
In this direction, Amb. Leo E. Tiah and his group have embarked on series of actives to be implicated between now and December of this year.
Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, June 2, 2021, Amb. Tiah said as part of their activities, the institution has introduced Montserrado Bee Program which runs from June 2021-July 2022 in Montserrado County, the Annual Youth Education and Leadership Conference which is an Annual conference of young people which is being implemented every year since it was introduced in 2016.
Addition, he said they have also put in place what they named and styled “Fishing for Success Business Plan Competition” this according to him targets 25 Senior High School students representing thirteen (13) high schools within Montserrado County to participate in a Business Plan Competition.
They include: Education, Health, Good Governance and Environment. We plan, create programs and establish partnerships to enable us achieve our mandate as an institution.
He said, “At YOUNETPO, we have a soft spot in our hearts for girls’ improvement. It is in this light; we have as part of our activities introduced Empowering Girls for the Future Program.”
He said the program is an educative program designed to help 60 school going adolescent girls from two high schools within Montserrado County build self-confidence and become leaders who will play key roles within our society.
According to him, decades back, young women and adolescent girls have remained at a much high risk of rape, sexual violence and illiteracy in Liberia adding that many women feel that their views have been taken for granted due to cultural barriers and stereotype that surrounds them.
He added, “Children are often left on their own to struggle in the absence of their parental love and care. Some parents are even reluctant to assume parental responsibilities when they know they are too poor to provide for their children.” He went on to say that the platform seeks to break the barriers and give a new hope and create girls support groups through the establishment of girls’ clubs, organizing events where successful women leaders will provide mentorship to these adolescent girls to develop them into realizing their full potential.
During the press conference, Amb. Tiah said Youth Network for Positive Change is currently into a partnership agreement with Pan African Think Tank; a US based organization which has agreed to closely with them in a partnership in achieving their goals.
According to him, through partnership, Pan African Think Tank has committed to award the winners of the mini–Spelling Bee competition organized by YOUNETPO at Jerusalem Brighter Primary Learning School a one-year scholarship beginning 2022 and moving forward indicating that since the team consists of two people, $200.00 USD has been approved within Pan African Think Tank yearly budget for this initiative.
Speaking additionally on the partnership, Tiah said his partner has pledged a one-time donation in the tune of LR$31,450 as support toward the construction of a modern toilet facility on the campus an elementary school located in keyhole Old Road.
He said, “The total cost of this project is LRD$93,840.00 (US$552.00).”
He added, “The official grand breaking ceremony for this project took place on May 13, 2021; a program which was attended by Hon. Alexander N. Deputy Minister for Instructions; Ministry of Education and Board Member at YOUNETPO.”
Speaking additionally of their partners, Tiah said Pan African Think Tank has shown interest in their Entrepreneurship contest where they have also committed an amount LR$42,500 (US$250.00) as Business Start-up grant for the winner of the Fishing for Success Business Plan Competition.
He said, “The total cost of this project is LR$124,100 (USD$730.00) and this program is expected to last for three (3) months June 15, 2021- August 31, 2021.”
Moreover, he further in the partnership with Pan African Think Tank, they are currently discussing the possibilities of organizing a fashion designer contest among the youth and letting the public to choose a winner.
He said, “From there we could talk about investing into a fashion business in order to make those clothes come to life, which could also create employment opportunities for some Liberians.”
He went on to say, “We think our partnerships with this unique organization in a very short period of time fruits are visible with the outline of activities planned.”
Youth Network for Positive Change is one of Liberia’s outstanding youth organizations with a Mission to promote youth education, health and empowerment through skills and capacity development, volunteerism and advocacy, thus re-orientating the youths to be productive citizens, thereby sustaining the peace and transforming our society to create positive change and a vision to create a self-sustaining generation of youth by helping them realize their full potential through equal access to education and opportunities; YOUNETPO’s as an institution has four key thematic areas in which all programs and projects are being carried out.