During the period 2016 – 2018, Camp for Peace Liberia enrolled and trained 200 vulnerable youths in vocational skills in general construction and agriculture. The training activities covered theoretical and practical as well as on-the-job. Small Enterprise Development (SED) training was taught at a very minimum level for all trainees in order to expose them to business establishment, management and record keeping. Fifteen (80) students completed studies in general construction which include masonry, carpentry and plumbing while 120 completed training in Agriculture. Of the total number of students, 75 were females and 25 males in the following age range: 30 students (19 – 24 years), 135 students (25 – 30) years and 45 students (31 – 36 years). The number of females was less than male participants due to the long distances students have to commute in getting from their communities to the training centre. Another possible reason was the cultural norms that affect female participation in most programs in rural communities including education and training.
The overall impact of the training has been very positive in creating change towards confidence and trust among participants and their families as well as the community members. Participants have acquired basic skills in agriculture and general building construction. These career areas remain essential for economic growth and reconstruction in Liberia. Lofa County, where the training is being conducted, had a very good history of high productivity in producing rice which is Liberia’s staple food and other agricultural products. However, this was interrupted as a result of the civil war. With the help of the training, participants stand a better chance of exploring opportunity in food production and initiating self-help projects for self-sustainability and employment.