BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – Grand Bassa’s first district is expected to shortly receive its first youth development center in April this year.
The youth center is being implemented by the Community Safety Initiative, a non-profit organization operating in Liberia.
The center will have offices, bathrooms, and a training hall. It will also be accessible to handicapped persons. Construction of the facility is almost complete and all that remains is a hand pump that needs to be built outside of the youth center.
The project was funded by the Japanese government under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project as part of a US$348,613 grant provided to four local NGOs to implement community-based projects across Liberia. The signing of the grant took place on February 28, 2018, in Monrovia. The four local NGOs included the Community Safety Initiative, Community Health Initiative, Nay-youger Wulakellen Empowerment Program, and Peer Vision Educational Network Liberia.
Community Safety Initiative received US$90,760 to implement the youth center project. It also hired SIDCOM, a Liberian construction company, to implement the project.
Cecelia Dennis, who represents the project, said when the facility is complete, it will be used to build the capacity of the youth in the district. She promised that skillsets such as driving, tie and dying, and computer literacy would be taught at the facility.
“We have to improve the lives of our young people because they are the future leaders and if we can’t provide them the needed skills right now, then we should not blame them in the future for any wrongdoing,” she noted.
“This project is a dream-come-true for the young people of Grand Bassa. They need to embrace it – see it as their own building in terms of maintaining it.”
Dennis said facility users would be required to pay a small fee to participate in the various programs available.
“They will pay small thing to maintain the building and to buy soup for those that will be teaching or providing the knowledge,” she added.
The district’s youth coordinator, Edmond Barkon, described the youth center as a dream-come-true for the district’s youth.
He thanked the Japanese government and Community Safety Initiative for choosing the district for such a project.
“They would have chosen different district for this project, but God spoke to their hearts – Madam Cecelia Dennis and her team from CSI. So, we want to be grateful to them. We are overwhelmed for the project and we are going to protect it from our hearts,” Barkon added.
“We have been traveling to other districts where we see their youth centers, but this district [had] no youth center at all. So we are grateful and will do our best to encourage young people of the district to make use of the project.”
Featured photo by Sampson David