17 January 2014

Liberia: Partnering With Booker Washington Institute for Liberian Youth

As part of Chevron's commitment to promoting social progress in Liberia, it has formed partnerships focused on education, a building block for improving the quality of life in communities. The company's partnership with Booker Washington Institute (BWI) is just one example.

Established in 1929, BWI is one of the oldest technical learning institutions in the country. The school has about 1,800 students and takes a participatory, hands-on approach for to human resource development.

The civil war wreaked havoc on the institution's equipment, leaving the school with few resources to rebuild its capacity. Chevron Liberia Ltd. has partnered with BWI to help improve the technical and vocational skills it offers to Liberian youth.

The Computer Literacy Improvement Project has refurbished the school's computer lab with new computers, air conditioning units and equipment to encourage learning and skills development. The computer lab supports all 1,800 students in the school and an additional 500 students that visit each month. The school plans to increase the number of hours each student spends on the computer by adding two additional labs.

The welding and carpentry departments have also been outfitted with tools and equipment as well as a generator to support electrical needs in the shops. These two programs have experienced an increase in female students, who can be found alongside their male counterparts learning the basics in these important specialties.

As part of the Agricultural Compost Project, Chevron Liberia Ltd. joined together with Global Communities Partners for Good (formerly CHF International) to implement a compost training facility at BWI. The partners built a new facility in Kakata, Margibi County, which serves over 200 agricultural students who learn organic recycling techniques and utilization.

The idea is to foster improved agricultural practices, create methods of recycling organic material, and enable students to contribute to sustainable farming in the country. And the program has already achieved commercial success; the compost produced by the students at the new facility is already being sold, generating income to sustain the educational program.

Chevron Liberia Ltd. is confident that the development of youth in agriculture will help improve agricultural outputs and food sourcing and provide value-added business opportunities for better livelihoods.

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