The Youthconnekt Liberia project is one of the many interventions by government and her development partners. Youthconnekt is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth and ICT- Rwanda, UNDP- Rwanda and One UN Rwanda. The program is designed to give young people the space to develop in almost every aspect of the society. Youthconnekt Liberia is model after the Rwanda success story, it inception came as the result the vision of UNDP regional office for Africa for the up scaling of the Rwanda story across Africa. The Ministry of Youth and ICT and UNDP launch the Youthconnekt Africa initiative at an elaborate summit, Youthconnekt Africa Summit 2017 for the purpose of sharing the Rwanda success story on Youthconnekt and up-scaling the program across Africa. At the close of the summit, the UNDP regional director for Africa committed UNDP country offices in Africa full support to Youthconnekt initiative on the continent. Liberia is one of the several countries that currently run a Youthconnekt program.
Aim of the program:
The aim of the project is to create a space for young people to develop into productive citizens
- Create the platform for youth to discuss issues that matters to them, their communities and the nation
- Create awareness and sensitization on the roles and responsibilities of youth
- Bring youth face-to-face with policymakers, development partners, private sector actors
- Create media for information sharing through networking opportunities surrounding youth
- Create gathering for peer interactions and learning
- Create entrepreneurship opportunities for young people
Component of the Program:
The Youthconnekt-Liberia project has six (6) components, iForum, Ámouwolu (Let’s Talk), eCamp, General Assembly, President Young Achiever Awards (PY2A) and the Youth Month.
Two of the six component of the program has been launched (iForum and Youth Month), however there a need to roll out the rest of the component before the end of the year.
- The iForum is designed to bring young people together using information technology. The forum is a platform for the discussion of issues that matters to young people ranging from leadership and civic education, entrepreneurship development and skills, adolescent and reproductive health and more.
- The iForum will serve as the medium edition of the project activities and will be parlor using five (5) of the fifteen (15) counties. A total of 1500 young people from Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Bong and Bomi counties are expected to participate in the medium edition of the forum. The forum will be held once a month beginning November.
- Ámouwolu (Let’s Talk)
The Ámouwolu (Let’s Talk) is a gathering for young people to come face to face with policy makers, development partners, private sector investors, entrepreneurs and other young people who are doing exceptionally well in their areas of involvement in the society. The gathering will be held four time a year beginning February next year.
Young people at the Let’s Talk dialogue will benefit from the expertise of individuals from diverse background and variance roles in the society.
The eCamp is an entrepreneurship skills development camp for young want to be entrepreneurs. The idea of the camp is to recruit young people with bright business ideas, provide them with the necessary skills set require to own and operate a business and give them seed money to setup their own businesses. Every year an application process for business ideas will be open, the applications will be evaluated and the best 30 selected to go into the camp. The 30 participants will be given business development and management skill training for a month, at the close of the camp each participant will be given the opportunities to pitch his or her business idea, 3 of the 30 participants will be selected in the order 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners and given seed money to setup up the business based on the idea develop during the camp. The project time will from time to time monitor the progress of the awardees until such time that they are convince that the business of the awardees is solid enough to avoid breakdown.
- Youth Month
The month component of the project in a volunteerism flagship initiative designed to help young people give back to their respective communities. The program is in twofold: the youth clean-up day that will occur the first Saturday of every month beginning December of this year. Young people will be mobilized through their local communities’ structures, schools, churches, mosque and organizations to provide free cleanup services in their communities. The second face of the program in the youth month that will be held during the academic break from school. The will be a month long activities of providing free community base service in area needed by the communities and this is expected to begin during the vacation of academic 2016/2017
- President Young Achiever Awards (PY2A)
The PY2A component of the project is a platform to shine spotlight on the activities and achievements of young people who had done exceptionally well in their area of work, studies, communities and innovative venture. Every year at the National Youth Assembly a total of 10 (Ten) award will be given in the various areas, ranging from ICT, Sciences, Agriculture, Innovation, Leadership and more.
- National Assembly
The National youth Assembly will be held once every year at a time to be determine. This gathering will bring together young people from the 73 electoral districts of the country, institutions of higher learning, faith based organization, out of school youth, youth of Liberia in the Diaspora and more. The medium edition of the gathering will be presided over by the Minister of Youth and Sports. Young people are expected to discuss issues of the wellbeing, review government and development partners programs and projects designed to empower young people and make recommendations, developed networking opportunities that other young people can benefit from and draw up annual resolution gear towards the improvement and development of the lives of young people.