Minister D. Zeogar Wilson Along With His Special Assistant, Mr. John N. Sunday, In Photo With “Zoegos”
The Minister of Youth and Sports D. Zeogar Wilson has given hope to several street thugs otherwise known here as “zoegos.”
Minister Wilson, who spoke at the weekend during an interactive forum held at the Friends of the Friends Hatire Center (FOFHA), told the street thugs that government has a special plan for them aimed at changing their story for the better.
The purpose of the interactive discussion was to listen to their plight and to unveil government’s plan for their lives.
In their many recommendations, several of the zoegos requested the government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports to provide them empowerment opportunities such as skills training.
“We want to be empowered. We need opportunities that will enable us work for ourselves. And so the best thing the government can do is to empower us through skills training,” they recommended.
Chairman of the group, only identified as “Ghankay”, also called on the Liberian government through the Ministry to build a rehabilitation center that would transform their lives to become acceptable in society.
“Mr. Minister, we want the government to build a rehabilitation site for us. We are saying this because some of us have been addicted to other harmful substances, and these substances need to leave our body before you can think about providing any skills training and jobs for us,” said Chairman Ghankay.
One of the zoegoes, David Tweh, notes, “Most times people come to us and take our names but to no avail. They take down our names and we never see them again and so we hope that you are not like one of those people. We need your help because we are really bad off. We need you to really be with us; we are not crazy and we are not lazy, but people think we are,” David laments.
In response, Minister Wilson assures that government will do as much it can to help them.
He discloses that the Ministry of Youth and Sports is already providing help and support to some underprivileged youth through the effort of the Dream Team under the auspices of the Destiny Recovery Program, at the Redeemed Church of God at Nee-Zoe junction in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The Destiny Recovery Program is a Christian initiative that is rehabilitating young street children through Christianity.
“There are vocational training centers run by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and we will be giving some of you scholarship to have quality vocational training, which will enable you fit into society,” says the Minister.
“Because you; youth, cover about 60% of our country’s population, we need to put plans together that will help all of you. The Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Lebanese NGO and the Ministry of Public Works are working on a piece of property on the highway around German Camp to provide vocation and skills training for you.”
The Minister reiterated that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government headed by President George Manneh Weah remains committed to the empowerment of youth.
“Government can’t employ everyone but with good skills training you can get employment and create jobs,” Minister Wilson added.
James Koryor, Secretary General of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), in remarks, lauds the Youth and Sports Minister for considering the zoegos under its youth development program, saying, “This is the first time for a government official to meet these zoegos face-to-face for an open discussion, given that these guys pose serious threat to our national security.” Editing by Jonathan Browne