At least 96 young Liberians have acquired specialized vocational skills in general agriculture, electronic/repairs and food processing from the Center Songhai Liberia (CSL).
The CSL was supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under its project titled: “Support to the Designed and Roll Out of a Youth-Focused Vocational/Life Skills Training Project”. CSL National Programme Director and Team Leader Christopher Fayiasaid the graduates have now joined the network as foot soldiers, to work in their local communities to develop themselves and society.
The trainees acquired specialized vocational skills following four months of intensive training in the following areas; general agriculture -54 (47 males 7 females); 21 in electronics and repairs; and 21 in food processing (2 males and 19 females).
Mr. Fayia said given the high number of young people in the country with less number of small scale agribusinesses and the drive to meet the ever growing market demands, there is a serious need for rehabilitation and construction of additional structures at the CSL to respond and correspond to this challenge.
The CSL Director of Programme disclosed that UNDP has already approved the renovation of one of the female dormitories that will accommodate at least 75 to 100 females. “This renovation will be carried out as another training project where at least 20 young men and women will be recruited under the supervision of mentors in electricity, carpentry, masonry and plumbing” Mr. Fayia said.
He commended UNDP for tremendous support towards the project. He explained that the project is a five -year agro-business and Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) program. Mr. Fayia further noted that they are encouraging partners to support the program which will enable the center enroll over 500 students during a full cycle training and take the program nationwide.
Speaking at the program, UNDP ResidentRepresentative Mr. Antonio Vigilante urged the graduates to make the best out of what they have learned. “You are now graduates with life skills training that you can survive on” Mr. Vigilante said.
He also challenged the students to empower themselves as entrepreneurs by engaging in business instead of waiting for employment. Serving as Keynote Speaker, Youth and Sports Minister SaahN’toh thanked the graduates for taking a great step in improving their lives by gaining such training.
Minister N’toh called on the graduates to see the day as a day of reflection while they celebrate. The Center Songhai Liberia (CSL) is a non-governmental organization operating as an integrated agricultural program that is modeled after the Songhai Regional Center (SRC) in Benin.
The principal business of CSL is the training of men and women and equipping them with the skills to manage small and medium scale, commercially viable and environmentally sustainable agricultural production and agro-based enterprises.-Press release