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Sierra Leone National Youth Commission, UNDP certifies 138 Interns

Sierra Leone National Youth Commission, UNDP certifies 138 Interns

The National Youth Commission with support from United Nations Development Program, and in collaboration with Restless Development, awarded certificates to 138 graduates that successfully completed a three-month internship program in the country. The colourful certification ceremony was held at the Thompsonia Illusion Hall on Tuesday 12th February 2013. The program wass to increase the number of young people benefiting from productive internship opportunities nationwide; and increase the overall quality of intern. It all started with a nationwide recruitment exercise with eight centers opened in strategic areas across the nation. Some 1,023 applications were received for a program that requires only 150 young graduates. After a rigorous screening exercise 142 were later placed in 18 entities that show interest in interns’ intake. Four had to drop out on the way after gaining employment somewhere else.  (Photo: Dignitaries and a cross section of graduates)

Some of the interns were lucky enough to gain permanent employment based on their positive work done in their various places of work.

Nia Seppo, UNDP’s Country Director, noted that they recognize the opportunities and achievements of young people in the project; and added that the challenges facing young people entering the job market is a global problem. “Youths are a force to reckon with because they are capable of creating a positive change in society,” she said.  She noted that the pilot project has been a wonderful experience for the interns, UNDP, Restless Development and National Youth Commission. Madam Seppo admonished the Graduates to continue to build their experiences, knowledge and Curricular Vitae.

UNDP Country Rep, Nia Seppo…distributing certificates

UNDP Country Rep, Nia Seppo…distributing certificates

Commission of National Youth Commission, Anthony Koroma said it takes partnership and collaboration to solve the numerous challenges faced by young people in the country. he said its high time to formulate an Internship Policy for the benefit of young people, and promised that his Commission will advocate to government to make it happen. “I am very proud to know that the interns worked well in their various establishments they served. Our target is to serve the youths of Sierra Leone, which is our guiding policy,” he said. The NAYCOM Boss is hopeful that the project will continue so that more graduates will benefit.

The Country Director of Restless Development, Jamie Bedson said they are aware of the fact that young people have the energy and capability to work and learn which is why they are sending over 200 volunteers annually to serve as volunteers. He added that the Internship Project is not only serving as job opportunity but also teaching young people to become responsible in serving the nation. He commended UNDP and National Youth Commission for being on the forefront in implementing a project that that is yielding dividend. The Country Director concluded by thanking the various institutions that instilled leadership responsibilities in the graduates.

Paul Kamara, the Minister of Youth and Sports. informed the gathering that government is working hard to find a lasting solution to youth unemployment in the nation. “If the Agenda for Prosperity should succeed, the youths have to play a major role – especially those that have graduated from various higher learning institutions,” says the Minister, and further note that they are very happy to have the United nations Development Program as strong partners that fast tracks government vision and initiatives. Minister Paul Kamara said he is very much impressed to realize the zeal and comportment of the Interns.

Other speakers include representatives from employing institutions – the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, London Mining, ChildFund and Urban Planning Project.

The event was chaired by the Board Chairman of National Youth Commission, Umar Farouk Sesay.

Ortorkor Janaba

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