Jan 16, 2009, 5:37 AM
Fifty youths from the Lower River Region have begun a five-month intensive training on life skills under the YMCA Takku Leggey Project in ten different training centres in the region.
The trainees got enrolled to the project based on their learning needs through which they wish to flourish developmentally using their naturally endowed talents.
Speaking at their orientation ceremony at the start of the training, Ebrima Kinteh, YMCA Field Coordinator for the Lower River Region, said the Takku Liggey Project is funded by the Finland YMCA through the Finish Foreign Ministry.
According to him, the initiative seeks to empower youth on skills training and encourage them to set up their own enterprises with the aim of becoming self-reliant.
By December, he said, the skill learners will graduate in different fields such as roofing and carpentry, motorcycle repair and mechanical wiring, hair dressing and beauty therapy, tailoring and tie and dye, soap making and jam processing, solar and electricity installation, weaving and embroidery, plumbing, and upholstery.
Mr Kinteh recalled that one hundred youths and forty women have formed the alumni community of the YMCA in the LRR with several exceptional performances thanks to the Takku Liggey Project on life skills.
Apart from the training, he said, his office gives soft loans to the project alumni to start up their own businesses at low interest rates.
“Upon their successful start and payment of the loans, the money is used to lure more small-scale business entrepreneurs to join in our support and youth empowerment campaign,” he said.
The chairman of the Mansakonko Area Council, Fabakary Sanneh, hailed the initiative as complementary to the council’s goal of transforming the region by participatory development.
“The development we are talking about can be realised as soon as possible by making formal and skills education a realistic goal in the region,” Mr Sanneh said, adding that the programme would thrash the differences among the participants and unite them irrespective of their areas of specialisation, nativity, ages or tribes.