November 9, 2022, Monrovia, Liberia:The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, has recruited 120 youth from Sinoe and Grand Bassa Counties to become Eco-brigades.
Eco-brigades are groups of vulnerable youth volunteers empowered to initiate livelihood and income-generating activities that generate an income while protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources in a bid to ensure the country builds back its economy better through youth-driven green recovery initiatives such as providing environmental sanitation services or eco-tourism.
The Youth Eco-Brigades are vulnerable youth who are currently unemployed and economically marginalized in Sinoe and Grand Bassa. They will be trained and equipped to start and manage clean, green income-generating activities.
The Eco-Brigade project is being implemented by the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL), with funding from UNDP. SCNL will train the Youth Eco-Brigades in environmental stewardship and business start-up and management.
SCNL will also provide toolkit materials to clean their cities, provide a grant for the beneficiaries, and monitor their progress.
The Youth Eco-brigade in Sinoe County is named “Snokrol Eco-brigade,” meaning “Inside Here We Live,” and the one in Grand Bassa County is called “Gbehzohn Eco-brigade.”
The selection of eco-brigades in Sinoe was done. On October 26, 2022, during a meeting that was graced by hundreds of stakeholders, the City Council, represented by Mr. Otis K. Seton, the Mayor of the City of Greenville, met with local community leaders from the 49 communities in Greenville, youth, as well as media representatives.
Mr. Seton embraced the establishment of the 60 eco-brigades and expressed appreciation to UNDP for supporting the project that is helping unemployed youth in Liberia.
On November 5, 2022, 60 more youth eco-brigades were selected in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. The successful youth were grateful and excited about the opportunity to volunteer and be trained, saying the initiative would empower them and reduce poverty.
Making remarks in Buchanan, Mr. Michael F. Garbo, the Executive Director of the Society for the Conservation of Nature in Liberia, said the selected youth and the local officials would benefit from the Eco-Brigade project if they applied themselves fully to the implementation of the activities.
Last year, the first youth eco-brigade was established in Roberts Sport, Grand Cape County, known as the “Pisco eco-brigade.”
The 60 youth conserved the environment by providing environmental stewardship and benefitted from business management training as well as a small grant of USD $400.