Empowering Youth for Transformation

Liberia, along with other West African governments and international organizations, is facing a critical problem known as the “youth bulge” phenomenon. Millions of young people are graduating from schools, universities, and tertiary institutions with limited job opportunities. This has resulted in high levels of unemployment and underemployment, creating significant challenges for Liberia and the sub-region. While meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remains a priority, it is imperative to address this issue urgently and find practical solutions.

VOSIEDA helps young people in Liberia and the Mano River Basin region to prepare for the job market by providing various vocational training. We believe that every young person should have the opportunity and support to pursue their dreams and find meaningful employment, regardless of their background. Our goal is to assist them in transitioning from school to work by providing them with the skills and experience they need. Below are some of our youth empowerment initiatives.

Youth for Agricultural Transformation

Agriculture and forestry are significant to the livelihoods of many Liberians and West Africans, contributing substantially to their economies. Although the agriculture industry presents significant employment opportunities, young people encounter difficulties securing jobs due to an aging farming demographic. Unfortunately, secondary education in Liberia has not prepared young people for agricultural work, which is a cause for concern.

VOSIEDA acknowledges this challenge and provides agribusiness training, vocational education, and entrepreneurship programs to equip young people with the necessary skills to transform agriculture. Additionally, VOSIEDA offers a range of support services to youth-led agribusinesses, SMEs, and farmer groups. These services include inputs, mechanization, and output procurement to help them produce, transform, and supply quality food products. We believe that by increasing the capacities of youth-led businesses in areas such as irrigation, water management, market access, and financial services, smallholder farm productivity will improve. This will help the livelihoods of young people in the agricultural sector to thrive.

Green Skills

The issue of climate change and environmental degradation intersects with aspects of gender, intergenerational, social, and economic justice. It is imperative to address this concern comprehensively, especially because of its adverse effects on the younger generation’s future. As time passes, the youths face the most severe impacts of climate change that cause floods, droughts, extreme temperatures, and other disasters, affecting Liberia and other West African nations. We need to equip the young people of today with green skills, ensuring they play a crucial role in tackling environmental issues.

VOSIEDA is committed to supporting young people, entrepreneurs, and SMEs in West Africa and Liberia to help promote green skills and innovative solutions to tackle climate change. Our team provides comprehensive assistance to accelerate the development, implementation, and transfer of local climate and clean energy technologies. Our focus is on three primary areas, including waste management and organic compost production, smart agriculture, and sustainable energy-efficient housing. We empower young people and encourage them to start green initiatives such as organic composting businesses and promote sustainability and safety. Additionally, we work with entrepreneurs to develop modern agricultural technologies that improve the efficiency of small-scale farming, providing better access to affordable food for communities.

Volunteering and Internship Programs

Internships and volunteering can be highly beneficial for young people. These activities help them identify their interests, establish their objectives, and collaborate with their peers or other entities. In particular, volunteering can be a great way for youths to get involved in development efforts, which is especially important in countries like Liberia and other West African nations that have a high proportion of younger individuals. Due to accelerated social transformation, these countries are experiencing migration, erosion of conventional structures, and unemployment.

VOSEIDA offers volunteer and internship programs in various fields such as women’s empowerment, youth empowerment, climate change and environmental sustainability, food security and livelihoods enhancement, gender equality and social accountability and governance, civil society and media strengthening, and social sustainability advocacy. These programs are conducted in selected disadvantaged rural communities in Liberia and other parts of West Africa to maximize volunteer impact. Our integrated approach to community development ensures community-wide support. Volunteers and interns from different educational and cultural backgrounds participate in these projects, acquire essential skills, and contribute to communities. Overseas volunteers and interns have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and expand their networks and friendships.

Some Supporters and Partners of Empowering Youth for Transformation