ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Livelihood Program for affected persons from around Mt. Tokadeh footprint in Nimba County continues despite the Ebola here, with Land Access, Livelihood Restoration, Vulnerable People Assistance Program, and Cultural Heritage Management forming key components of the current scope of activities.
A release issued by the company says each month, ArcelorMittal Liberia’s community liaison department, through its NGO partner VOSIEDA (volunteers to support international efforts in developing Africa) continues to supply 25kg bags of rice to each of the 90 persons with various forms of vulnerabilities in the four mine-affected communities of Gbapa, Zolowee, Makinto and Sehyi-Geh.
The release says 28 of the 90 persons have agreed to transition from receiving food to participating in petty trade and cattle husbandry. It added that 145 learners have successfully completed basic literacy and numeracy, and are awaiting graduation.
This is the program’s way of not only empowering affected persons, but also improving their participation in further skills development. These learners can now perform basic tasks like writing their names and phone numbers.
Sixty-five youths from the program are currently participating in skills development in the areas of hairdressing, tailoring, and arts & crafts. The youths receive a $50.00 monthly allowance for food and transportation. Additionally, 100 youths are participating in practical agriculture training, using the Farmers Field School/Demonstration Sites in Makinto, Gbapa, Zolowee and Sehyi-Geh communities.
In addition to other improved farming practices, 180 farmers received agronomic support, through extension services, including weeding and fencing, using the one hectare replacement land provided through the Land Access Program. The farmers receive support in the form of farm clearing and seed reimbursement payments.