It was a joyous day in the lives of vulnerable youth here commonly known as zogos, when over 400 of them received assorted food and nonfood items from the office of Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee and the West African Children Support Network or (WACSN).
Addressing reporters following the distribution exercise Monday, March 2, at the MCC Service Center down UN Drive in Monrovia, Mayor Koijee said the exercise was in fulfillment of promise made to the vulnerable young people, who are in the streets complimenting MCC’s efforts in making sure the city is clean and safe.
He said the beneficiaries were placed on a one year project titled; City Maintenance Workers to enable young people take care of various waste buckets at every street corner.
He said the MCC realized the city was challenged, so it initiated a project for communities and the people themselves to get involved in cleaning the city.
Koijee continues cleaning of the city can’t be with the city government alone as its requires collective efforts in giving Monrovia and parts adjacent facelift, not only looking at the people who own properties.
“In doing this; we weren’t only looking at the able-people, but vulnerable people, the less fortunate young people commonly called zogos. They also matter despite their conditions, and people look up to them.”
“ I took upon myself and reached them in the ghettoes, and informed them how they can be productive and they first started as volunteers and they are about 625 hired to be manning the waste buckets.”
“They are there to ensure that if the skip buckets are filled to talk to the community people to take the wastes back home and return later when the buckets are empty.”
He said initially the project was very costly for the city and they couldn’t maintain beyond one year, adding that the resources generated from the President’s pictures sale were used to pay members of the CMW, giving each person LRD5, 000.00 monthly for a year, something the MCC couldn’t continue due to financial constraints.
Also speaking, Ms. Maria Luykeh of the West African Children Support Network (WACSN) a partner to the MCC said as a philanthropist, she was moved by the good work of the young people as initiated by Mayor Koijee. “We will support him not only in the city, but outside of the city as well.”
She added the Network seeks to empower young girls in the streets; “we have flour that has all the ingredients in it; everything one will think of and the only thing they need is water. We want to start doing business for them and hopefully, they can start making their own money and stop hanging around the street,” Madam Luykeh said.By Lewis S. Teh