Liberia Youth Corps Project

Conservation and school gardening activities that enables young people in becoming environmental steward within their communities.

Daniel Kofi Abu

Age 31, Liberia

PROJECT: Conservation and school gardening activities that enables young people in becoming environmental steward within their communities.

Get in touch with Greening Youth Foundation-Liberia by emailing dabu@gyfoundation.org

Tell us about the work you are doing to create a wilder world.
The Greening Youth Foundation’s (GYF) mission is to work with diverse, underserved and underrepresented children, youth and young adults in an effort to develop and nurture enthusiastic and responsible environmental stewards. GYF’s culturally based environmental education programming engages children from local communities and exposes them to healthy lifestyle choices in order to create an overall healthy community.
GYF believes that youth and young adults from diverse backgrounds can greatly benefit from the career opportunities presented within the state and land management sectors. In an effort to bridge the opportunity gap between the need for sustainable forest management, the reduction of deforestation and the ongoing mission to provide skilled employment opportunities to the country’s youth, the Greening Youth Foundation (GYF) has designed a yearlong Forest Management Training Program (FMTP). FMTP is a unique, youth-targeted environmental management, prescribed burn and mechanical fuels reduction program.
The program brings together, young adults in need of employable training, local youth serving organizations, and the US Forest Service (USFS) in a collective effort to reduce deforestation, while providing employment opportunities for Liberian youth.

 

What are some of your short term goals to accomplish in the next 1-2 years
1. To improve the income earning capacities and livelihoods of disadvantaged youth in urban and rural communities of Liberia.
2. To forge strategic partnerships with private and public entities for effective youth empowerment.
3. To facilitate the provision of psycho-social and emotional support for vulnerable youth and young adult.
4. To marshal and harness community support for youth empowerment.
5. To support and create a dialogue space for the implementation of national policy on agriculture and forestry.
6. To mobilize resources and put in place mechanisms for enhancing the sustainability of GYF Liberia operations and programs.

 

What are five (5) of your long term goals to accomplish in the next 5-10 years?
1. To enhance the sustained income earning capacities and livelihoods of disadvantaged youth in urban and rural Liberia.
2. To deepen and build sustained strategic partnerships with donor institutions and other CSO’s.
3. To expand operations and reach more than 15 counties in Liberia within the next decade.
4. To facilitate the continuous provision of psycho-social and emotional support for vulnerable youth.
5. To mobilize resources and put in place mechanisms for enhancing the sustainability of GYF Liberia operations and programs.

 

How can others help you accomplish these goals?
Your generous donations will assist GYF Liberia to reinforce agricultural programs in various public schools to reawaken the spirit of agriculture as a sustainable career path. We will be forever thankful for your contributions which help establish an agricultural infrastructure of paramount importance for Liberia, where nearly half of its entire population of 4.3 million is considered vulnerable to food insecurity. We are also open to new partners who believe in the mission of GYF Liberia Project.

 

How can the public get involved with your project/work?
The public as well as the benefitting community remain our stakeholders in the implementation and evaluation of our projects. We remain open to new partners, ideas and suggestions. Any individual, donor or institution willing to get involved in our work should send an email to info@gyfoundation.org or call +1(404) 254-4827.

 

What have been some successes you have had?
GYF recruits students from minority-serving institutions, as well as public and private colleges and universities around the United States of America. Selected students have the opportunity to put their unique skills and talents to work in an effort to preserve and share contributions to the nation’s history and culture.  This provides real world, on-the- job experience as they explore careers in the U.S. National Park Service, mentor and introduce students across all majors to conservation.
We are a member organization of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps with over 7 years of experience working with the National Park Service. Over the last 5 years one of our programs Historical Black Colleges and Universities Internship (HBCUI) has placed over 140 interns from 40 different colleges across the United States and have engaged over 40 national parks. The same model which has successfully worked in the United States is what GYF Liberia seeks to implement.

 

What are some lessons you have learned/what would you have done differently?
We have always been taught that it’s a good practice to carry out a post-project review at the end of the project and to write up a lessons-learned report. This has been a routine practice, but will need to be enhanced to include other project stakeholders. We want to continuously learn and adjust as the project progresses. An ideal way to do this is by collaboratively reviewing what is going well and not so well at the end of each stage, or iteration. Listen to our user’s feedback and to our own internal staff.

 

 

This program will improved agricultural techniques that would help build the career of the youth and their children’s futures.

The belief is that school gardens can become a seed ground for a nation’s health and security.

It’s a good practice to carry out a post-project review at the end of the project and to write up a lessons-learned report.

Over the last 5 years one of our programs, Historical Black Colleges and Universities Internship, has placed over 140 interns from 40 different colleges across the United States and have engaged over 40 national parks.