National Youth Commission brief on Youth Development Programming
National Youth Commission brief on Youth Development Programming – 3 May 2012 – Since the launch of National Youth Commission by His Excellency on November 25th 2011, the commission has been working hard to establish itself as a functional institution as well as develop programmes and strategies in concert with the Ministry of youth Employment and Sports and development partners.
On Tuesday 1st May, 2012, the Commission signed a Performance Management Contract with H.E. the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for 2012. The Contract has five outcomes namely.
- Operational National Youth Commission (Set up Office, facilities and structures for the operations of NAYCOM)
- Revised the National Youth Policy
- Revised the Youth Employment Strategy.
- Framework for the establishment of a National Youth Service in Sierra Leone developed.
- Promote Youth Employment and Empowerment (Implement the Youth Employment Support Project (YESP)
The biggest intervention at the moment as far as youth employment efforts are concerned is the WB funded Youth Employment Support Project (YESP). The project has just concluded the contracting of three NGOs to implement the second component-Skills Development and Employment Support. The three NGOs are
- PAID – SL: Provision of Skills Development and Employment Support to Rural Youths.
- HELP-SL: Provision of Skills Development and Employment Support to Urban Youth with Low Levels of Education.
- CHILD FUND: Provision of Skills Development and Employment Support to Urban Youth with Low Levels of Education.
These three sub-projects will each target 3,000 youths within a two-year period starting this April 2012. The total beneficiaries therefore will be 9,000 youths in two-year (40% of these- 3,000-in 2012). Urban is defined as “Freetown, Makeni, Bo, Kenema and Koidu” while Rural is defined as “Port Loko, Kambia, Koinadugu, Tonkolili, Moyamba, Pujehun, Bonthe and Kailahun”.
Component one of the project deals with Public Works (Cash for Work-CFW). This component is implemented by NaCSA and has implemented the first 108 sub-projects. 143 sub-projects have kick-off this April, 2012 targeting 10,000 youths. An additional 133 sub-projects will kick-start in June, targeting 9,000 youths. The CFW projects will cover the whole country, 40% percent of the beneficiaries will be women.
The YESP under component three will conduct an impact assessment of the YESP as well as support research and studies on youth employment and policy development. The National Youth Policy review, supported under this component is scheduled to start in June and completed in August, 2012.
The Commission and the Ministry of Youth Employment and Sports has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UNDP that will provide programme interventions that will benefit over 500 youths in the area of Business Development Services, establishment of Youth Resource Centre in Makeni, Bo and Kenema, operationalising the Chief Obansanjo Youth Training Centre in Newton and establishment of Career Advisory and Placement Services (CAPS) Centre’s in Makeni, Bo and Kenema to assist College and Polytechnic students. The intervention will also support the development of a framework for the establishment of a National Youth Service and a Graduate Internship Programme (GIP) for students of tertiary institutions in Sierra Leone as well as revise the 2009 Youth Employment Strategy. Already, the Commission and the UNDP are working on finalizing a five-year Strategy Plan for the National Youth Commission.
- Government however must take the lead in providing the commission with the necessary resources to address those youth needs that might not be of interest to donor. It is on the basis of this that the commission has develop a programme called the YOUTH AGENDA FOR DEVELOPMENT (YAD), which has now been submitted to Government to serve a basis for resource mobilization through the establishment of the SPECIAL YOUTH FUND His Excellency proposed in his statement during the launch of the National Youth Commission.
- Institutional development of NAYCOM. Systems and personnel are being put in place. The NAYCOM headquarters houses a Youth Resource Centre that caters for young people in IT related needs including job search and social networking. The Regional Offices in Makeni, Bo and Kenema will be officially opened in the next few months. Each of these offices will also host a Youth Resource Centre.
- The establishment of the District Youth Councils is on-going. Five DYCs have been established in Kenema, Moyamba, Port Loko, Tonkolili and Western Area Rural Districts have been established. The process is now on for the establishment of the DYCs in Western Area Urban, Kambia, Koinadugu and Kono districts in the next two months.
- Collaboration with stakeholders, youth servicing-agencies and youth organization in the campaign for tolerant and peaceful 2012 elections.
- The commission has developed a web portal that will be launched in a couple of weeks. The web portal will provide facilities for young people to know about the activities of the commission, register online, upload CVs for job search and contribute to chat around key national issues.
- Youth theme group coordination. The commission hosts monthly meetings with NDOs, development partners and other agencies to discus and share experiences on programs and projects undertaken by different stakeholders.
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