July 3, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Commissioner of the National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) has said that there are hundreds of youths across the country who are looking for opportunity to have skills training but the resources at the commission’s disposal are not enough, thus seeking more support from donor partners to be able to cater for all of them.
Anthony Koroma was speaking on Wednesday (July 1) at the Young Women Christian Association (YMCA) hall in Freetown during the graduation ceremony of 30 most-at-risk youths drawn from Freetown and Makeni. The training, which was supported by NAYCOM and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), ran for nine months and touched on various topics, including Building and Construction, Welding, Electrical Installation and Plumbing.
While registering his commission’s determination and commitment to help the youths to grow, Mr. Koroma urged the graduands to make good use of their certificates by putting into practice what they had learnt at the Murialdo Institute and the Sierra Leone Opportunities Industrialization Center (SLOIC).
He also used the occasion to appeal to the UNFPA to provide them with the necessary support needed to assist the graduands with the tools they require to fend for themselves.
“This is a pilot phase. We have hundreds of youths out there waiting for such an opportunity but we don’t have enough resources to cater for all of them. This is the more reason why we decided to bring onboard donor partners to help,” he said.
UNFPA Assistant Country Representative, I.S Kamara, congratulated the graduands and encouraged them to make good use of the knowledge gained during the nine-month training.
He noted that there has been some misconception by members of the public with regards the perception of youths, especially the notion that youths in the ghettos are perpetrators of violence.
“Every young person has a potential to make it in life but needs the opportunity to realize it,” noted Mr. Kamara. “Sierra Leone will be making a big mistake if it fails to invest in the youths.”
He beseeched the graduands to consider their graduation as an opportunity to make a change and not be a threat to the country’s peace and security.