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Monrovia, Liberia: 8 December 2022: Some 120 youths selected and trained to become Eco-brigades in Buchanan and Greenville have been urged to become ambassadors for their respective cities by initiating businesses that will transform Buchanan and Greenville into clean, green cities.

Officially launching the Youth Eco Brigade in Buchanan, the Superintendent of Grand Bassa County, Mr. Janjay Baikpeh, said the youth were being empowered to help clean up the port city of Buchanan and its environs.

“We had a meeting with UNDP and asked where they could help the youth of the county; today we are excited to see 60 youth empowered for the benefit of Grand Bassa County.” “I encourage each of you to take ownership of the opportunity given and make use of what you learned during the training to initiate businesses that will keep the city clean,” said Mr. Janjay Baikpeh.

“You must become ambassadors for positive change.” You have to take charge of the opportunity you have and let people see your work and your leadership in action. “You have a greater opportunity ahead of you, so take the Youth Eco-Brigade Program seriously,” he added.

The Executive Director of the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL), which is the implementing partner for the Eco-brigade, Mr. Michael F. Garbo, said the program was designed to empower young men and women to give a facelift to Buchanan and Greenville, calling on the local leadership and the entire citizenry of both cities to join the youths in keeping the environment clean.

Buchanan is a lovely city in Liberia.

We have to clean it, so let’s do it together. The grant of $400.00 you will receive isn’t payable. “UNDP empowers youth with business start-up funds to help you generate an income while cleaning your city,” said Mr. Garbo.

UNDP’s representative, Ms. Gboryonon B. Z. Williams from the GEF Small Grants Programme, said: “This program is an income and livelihood alternative for you.” Most times, we ask you to protect the environment, stop killing animals, etc. without providing an alternative. This program now provides an alternative source of income for the youth, and we hope you make the best use of it.

She said UNDP promotes a culture of engagement where people are involved and participate in serving their communities, promoting youth leadership.

Samuel K. Mappy, the Coordinator of the Cadet Program in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, extended thanks to UNDP and its partners, calling on the citizens and the youth to work together to keep the city clean.

In Greenville, Barbara M. Keah, the Assistant Superintendent of Sinoe County, and Mr. Otis Seton, the City Mayor, also extended their appreciation to UNDP, the Government of Liberia, and SCNL for empowering 60 youth in the County and pledged to work with the youth for the improvement of Greenville.

Last month, 120 youth eco-brigades were selected from Grand Bassa and Sinoe counties. The Youth Eco-brigade in Sinoe County is named “Snokrol Ecobrigades,” meaning “we live inside here,” while the Youth Eco-brigade in Grand Bassa County is “Gbehzohn Eco-brigade.”

Eco-brigades are groups of vulnerable youth 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.

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