April 20, 2017

USAID Advancing Youth Project Celebrates Gains in Alternative Basic Education

Officials at the AYP Closing ceremonies include (L-R) USAID’s Sonjai Reynolds Cooper, EDC President David Offensend, Malcolm Phelps of USAID and Nancy Devine, EDC Senior Vice President.

WALTHAM, MA | More than 300 youth participants, Ministry of Education officials, and guests gathered in Monrovia today to mark nearly six years of achievement of the USAID Advancing Youth Project (AYP) implemented by EDC in Liberia. Since 2011, the program has provided quality alternative basic education (ABE), social and leadership development, and livelihoods for thousands of Liberian youth and young adults.

During the AYP close-out ceremonies, which end Friday, April 21, EDC will highlight program achievements and the success stories of youth ages 13–35, many of whom were out of school with low or no reading or math skills before entering the program. Graduates will share their personal stories of determination and perseverance and a Learners Market will feature demonstrations of their new livelihood skills. Closing ceremonies will include remarks by Liberia Minister of Education George Werner, USAID Mission Director Dr. Anthony Chan, EDC President and CEO David Offensend, and EDC Chief of Party Denise Clarke-Reeves.

Advancing Youth is credited for a number of achievements including:

  • Finalizing three levels of ABE curricula to include science, social studies, literacy, numeracy, life skills, work readiness, and agro-enterprise skills
  • Developing program quality standards for alternative basic education
  • Enrolling more than 22,900 learners, of whom 70% were women, in 153 communities
  • Delivering basic skills training, such as in soap making, food preservation, and basket weaving, to improve livelihoods
  • Procuring and distributing more than 340,000 textbooks, learner workbooks, facilitator manuals, and supplementary reading materials
  • Establishing youth clubs with elected officers, of whom 74% were women

“It is heartening that this project has been able to contribute positively to expanding educational opportunities for Liberia’s out-of-school youth,” said Clarke-Reeves. “Even more so, we are proud of the partnerships with the Ministry of Education, local NGOs, training institutions, and communities themselves in making this possible.”

Ongoing Advancing Youth ABE activities will continue in several communities thanks to support from the Ministry of Education. To learn more about Advancing Youth, visit the EDC website.

EDC designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide. Visit www.edc.org or follow us on Twitter at @edctweets.