Heritage (Monrovia)

Liberia: Ex - Combatants, War Affected Youths Get Relief

A group under the banner Transformation of War Affected Youths has begun a rigorous exercise in Monrovia aimed at transforming the lives of young people who were actively involved in the 14 years of brutal civil crisis and those who were affected as a result of their direct action. The organization, which has begun training several dozens of these war affected youths at various Vocational training centers, had in recent time been visiting several ghettoes and criminal hide outs in Monrovia and its environs to encourage these youths learn life skills.

A Liberian entrepreneur and General Manager of the George Interior Designs and Maintenance Services, Mr. George Smith, is the Organization's Executive Director.

Currently, 30 war affected girls from various communities in Monrovia are being sponsored by the organization in computer education at the Chile Vocational training center is located on Old Road, Monrovia.

Scores of young men, who were also taken from the ghettoes, have been awarded scholarships at the Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Center(LOIC) and selected institutions learning youthful skills.

Renniel J. Moses, a student at the Chile Vocational Training Center, told this paper that she was grateful to the organizers of the program for helping to prepare them for the future.

" I had noting doing until I met Uncle George who gave me the opportunity to acquire this new skill; I was just in the community doing nothing; I hope that after my training, I can get a job." Veronica Freeman another beneficiary of the program told this paper.

Ex-combatants, who are being trained as part of the Transformation of the War Affected Youths Program, lauded the organizers, but want tools distribution to be carried out at the end of the training to help them start their own trade shops.

But the head of the organization disclosed that Lone Star Cell MTN, one of Liberia's biggest GSM companies, has committed itself and prepared a check for 30 girls for the empowerment of the girls after graduation

"This is part of the GSM Company's Corporate Social Responsibility to the communities," Mr. Smith told this writer.

Mr. Smith lauded the GSM giant, but he stressed the need for government to help him mold the minds of these traumatized young people, since the government had spoken of empowerment as part of its one year's agenda for the next six years.

He wants other privileged Liberians and philanthropic organizations to assist him reach every nook and corner of Liberia since the needs in those areas were also grave.

Meanwhile, the beneficiaries have spoken of huge challenges facing them in the pursuit of their education.

They stressed the importance of the provision of transportation, which according to them, the organization sponsoring them is unable to provide at the moment.

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