October 19, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
In a bid to empower young people in slum communities to be self-reliant, the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA), through their Slum Livelihood Project, last Friday, 16 October provided start-up kits to 153 slum dwellers who have completed vocational training at various vocational institutes in Freetown.
YMCA National General Secretary, Christian M. Kamara, said the Slum Livelihood Project had helped many young people in slum communities across the country and that they distribute start-up kits every year to slum dwellers who have concluded various skills training from vocational institutes, adding that such was their own way of complementing government’s effort in empowering youths in Sierra Leone.
He called on the beneficiaries to use the kits to empower themselves and support their families, as well as help others in their communities.
“The aim of the project is to complement government’s effort and cut down on the level of youth unemployment in the country. That is why we paid money and sent them to learn various skills and in return be self-employed,” he said.
Also speaking, Youth Commissioner at the National Youth Commission, Anthony Koroma, thanked YMCA for their great work with young people in slums around the country.
He noted that through their ‘Pul Slum Pa People Project’ the YMCA has done extremely well in transforming the lives of people in slum communities across Freetown.
Minister of Youth Affairs, Alimamy Kamara, thanked YMCA for providing vocational training to slum dwellers, noting that since he took over as minister, he had realized that YMCA was the oldest and most reliable non-governmental organisation in the country that has helped to empower young people.
“Our problem in this country is that people don’t believe in vocational institutions because they are of the belief that people who go to vocational institutions are dropouts. The country needs you and you people stand a chance to make it in life,” he said.
He called on the beneficiaries to put into good use the materials provided to them and to also empower themselves.