Challenge

A decade removed from political conflict, Liberians are optimistic that peace and prosperity lie ahead. But the country’s two civil wars have left a gap in the education sector, resulting in a “lost generation” of youth with limited education and employabl skills.

EDC helped to rebuild Liberia’s educational and economic infrastructure through the USAID Advancing Youth Project. Advancing Youth was a holistic program that provided increased access to quality alternative basic education (ABE), social and leadership development, and livelihood training for out-of-school youth ages 13–35 with no or marginal literacy and numeracy skills. The project also offered work-based learning opportunities, with an emphasis on youth clubs and local cross-sectoral alliances to enhance youths’ experiences.

Key Activities

Advancing Youth activities included the following:

  • Worked closely with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and community-based organizations to build their capacity for program management
  • Trained facilitators to deliver ABE
  • Provided youth with work-based learning, skills, and entrepreneurship training
  • Developed public-private partnerships, youth clubs, and local alliances to support economic opportunity
  • Developed three levels of curriculum in literacy, numeracy, life skills, and work readiness mapped to the academic content of grades 1–6 in the formal education sector but adapted for the context and needs of older out-of-school youth
  • Delivered educational programming via radio during the Ebola crisis in 2015

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Impact

  • Trained 1,026 MoE teachers and administrators, as well as developed and delivered the first national, credit-bearing introductory course for ABE facilitators and administrators with a recognized Liberian Teacher Training institution
  • Enrolled 22,250 learners, of which 69 percent were women, in 150 communities across six counties for ABE classes
  • Enrolled over 3,200 youth enrolled in agriculture-related training
  • Worked with three private sector partners to implement on-the-job literacy and work readiness training for employees
  • Integrated livelihoods interventions (such as village savings and loans associations and short-term skills training) provided to learners through a variety of partners
  • Provided additional training on HIV/AIDS prevention and family planning to 70 communities as a part of a partnership with Population Services International (PSI), reaching 3,300 learners and community members

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PROJECT DIRECTOR
Sarah Nogueira Sanca
DURATION
2011–2016
FUNDED BY
U.S. Agency for International Development
PARTNERS

Ministry of Education, YMCA of Liberia