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Now that the conflict in Liberia is over, it is worth seeing what has been done to improve the situation for young people and what still needs to be done. Education and training are key to the future peace of the country.
LIBERIA: Dreams Deferred – Educational and skills building needs and opportunities for youth [publication]
As part of a global, multi-year research and advocacy project focused on strengthening educational and job training programmes for displaced, conflict-affected young people, the Women’s Refugee Commission undertook a field mission to the Republic of Liberia to look at young people’s education and skills-building needs and opportunities. With the demobilisation, disarmament, rehabilitation and reintegration process, which was completed in July 2009, now an opportune time to take stock of the youth employment training that has been ongoing since the end of Liberia’s 14-year civil war in 2003—and to find better ways forward.
While connecting youth to wage employment is challenging given the weak job market in Liberia, the Women’s Refugee Commission, through interviews with national and international organisations, local businesses and young people, identified a number of sectors with potential high labour demand for young people. Specific fields are listed in this report, with special attention to the needs of young people in rural areas where wage jobs in traditional trades are nearly non-existent.
The assessment found that the most successful training programs are those that offer a holistic package of services with literacy/numeracy and life skills in addition to market-driven livelihoods skills training. The best programmes also ensure close linkages between services and pay special attention to graduates’ progress over an extended period after completion of training. The assessment also identified lessons learned and offers recommendations to strengthen future projects and programmes.
For more information, contact:
Women’s Refugee Commission
122 East 42nd Street, 12th Floor, New York NY 10168 – 1289
Tel: + 1 212 551 3140
- Read the report
- Mental health of children formerly associated with the fighting forces in Liberia (Plan International – West Africa, September 2008)
- Liberia: Special court for sexual violence underway (IRIN, March 2008)
- More on children and armed conflict in Liberia