On Saturday, December 17, 67 War Affected Youth from across Liberia graduated from the Lutheran Vocational Training Institute in various local disciplines backed with psychosocial support in Salayea, Lofa County.
The ceremony was the conclusion of a nine month vocational training aimed at providing residential vocational skills Training opportunity to war affected youth in the country to improve their socio-economic status for job opportunities and livelihood sustainability. The training also provided psychosocial support to students to help with their successful reintegration back into society.
Significant to the event was the recognition of Camp for Peace Liberia Effort that sponsored 30 of the 67 students that graduated through financial and mentoring support. It can be record that since 2012, Camp for Pace Liberia (CfP) has graduated over 150 War Affected Youths in various disciplines ranging from literacy, life and vocation education such as agriculture, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electricity, drafting and building trades.
Speaking at the occasion, the Founder and Executive Director, B. Abel Learwellie commended the youths’ resilience, commitment and dedication to acquire knowledge that will create them a space and voice to take their rightful places back in society. He however expressed gratitude to his partners for the contributions they have made and will continue to make in Liberia’s post war development process.
In a special remark, the students speaking through one of their colleagues thanked CfP Liberia, the partners and the LTI administration for their generous support and help, citing the “incredible atmosphere” of the Lutheran Vocational School. He said that their learning wouldn’t have been possible if CfP Liberia and its partners including the Lutheran family had not given them the opportunity to learn. He therefore promised to put the training in use. Above all, he said, “the way we came here, is not the way we are going back to our communities. We are now going to take on responsible roles as trained entrepreneurs and managers accountable to ourselves and our society. He further said, we are no more called former child soldiers neither ex-combatants, rather peacemakers, change-makers and bridge builders of our country.
In his words to the students, the Deputy Ministry of Youth and Sports, Hon. Rufus Neville, praise the students for their resilience and urge them to continue the struggle for greater opportunities.
In a special remark, the Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Jensen Sanyenwolo also extend his deepest gratitude to the students first and then to the teachers and all sponsors for the achievement done so far. He said “You can make the difference with the skills you have acquired”. He therefore congratulated the students for their preferment.
We want to be grateful for all our sponsors, the Metropolitan New York Synod, the Steel Workers Humanity Fund, Center for Sacred Studies, Healing Exchange Canada, Ann Beckett, Global Giving, Marilyn Satterfield, Upper Susquehanna Synod, all for their moral and financial support.