Below, Edward E. Gboe from Liberia recounts his recent experiences with Ebola in his community. The Africa Alliance of YMCAs calls for solidarity from all our partners and member YMCAs during this difficult and still frightening time by contributing resources and financial support to the prevention activities of the affected YMCAs.
“The toll on lives and the resulting social and economic difficulties as a result of this health emergency are obvious for the long haul. We are making some efforts and reaching out from realigned budget lines under existing health projects and have a presence [amongst] all national and local civil society and sector coordination groups. We however need to begin thinking beyond awareness and bracing ourselves for peace-building and food security interventions. Liberia is a food deficit country with only 10% of the stable food produced locally. 90% of rice is imported. Already, early and continuous rainfall before the Ebola outbreak [left] rice fields, including mine, unplanted. Jobs and businesses have shut down and income lost. There was an economic recession prior to the health emergency.
The general level of poverty in the country need no further emphasis. Quarantined communities are lacking food, water and basic supplies and therefore threatening to break out of quarantine. The government is overwhelmed and the health care system overly stretched to breaking point. Nearly all health facilities are closed except for ebola treatment centers. Aid has not begun to come. A small batch of technical support groups or experts have arrived but breaking the chain of infection remains the greatest challenge as this largely rests with the individual persons and communities.
The fragility of the state is being stretched further by the health crisis. There is high level of distrust in the public sector. Communities are polarised along political, tribal and religious lines leading to conflict and rumors of insurrections in the midst of the health emergency. A state of emergency is imposed and nationwide curfew [is] in effect (9pm - 6am). The military has been deployed.
By these notes, you realise that the situation is tensed. The government alone can't manage the extent of the crisis.
Thanks for your concern."
By E. Edward Gboe, National General Secretary, Liberia YMCA
A graduation ceremony was held recently for 578 trainees in the Liberia YMCA computer programme at the Liberia YMCA gymnasium on Broad Street in Monrovia. The keynote speaker at the program, Montserrado County-District No. 8 Representative, Moses Acarous Gray, told the graduates that Information Technology has given a number of advantages to young people in the region. “Information technology has impacted offices and technology,” Representative Gray said.
Speaking on the theme: “The Impact of Information Technology on the Economy of Liberia”, Representative Gray said that there are an increasing number of technology related job opportunities around the world, especially with the introduction of cell phones.
During the ceremony, Development Secretary of the Liberia YMCA, Timotheus Kamaboakai, told graduates that it was important to advance oneself in the area of information technology, but that their graduation was just the first step and challenged them to take the opportunity to advance themselves in other areas like video editing and web design.
He revealed that the 21st cycle of the computer programme will become more flexible with the addition of night classes and that the YMCA had also acquired 350 used computers.
“We will work with young people in different ways to acquire skills for their advancement,” he said.
Earlier the coordinator of the computer program, Derrick Barshell, told the gathering that the computer center was established for young people to learn skills for the 21st century.
Mr Barshell announced that 11,613 persons had been trained since the programme was established. Among these, 53% are female while 47% are male.
The trainees were made up of beginners, intermediate and advance levels. Some of the courses offered during the training included Introduction to Computer System and Window-MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint. While at the intermediate level trainees undergo courses in Database Management, Layout Design, and Graphic Design among others.
Meanwhile, registration for cycle 21 has already begun.
Source: Liberia YMCA
The queen’s young leaders programme is searching for inspirational young people across the commonwealth who are making a difference in their communities.
Exceptional people aged 18-29 will receive awards for leading the way where they live, in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth. The awards will support them to do more life-changing work.
Grants will be made to organisations in selected Commonwealth countries that can show they are improving the lives of young people. The grants will help individuals gain new skills, employment and a voice in their communities.
The AAYMCA encourages all Change Agents, S2C Ambassadors and other youth involved in the African YMCA movement to nominate themselves or people they know for the award. The work the YMCAs do in Africa is crucial to the advancement of youth development and it would be great for you all to be recognised for the remarkable impact you have on your communities.
Taimanda Shalhona, the General Secretary of YMCA Jos has been asked to deliver a speech at the 4th International Young leaders assembly being held from August 11-20, 2014, in the USA. The assembly is themed, “Moral and Innovative Leadership: Vision, Service, and Entrepreneurship”.
Below is the text of the speech:
“Let me Dream for the young African Leaders and for them, let me speak… Today, I speak to you, my friends, representing no race, religion or nationality. I have come to you driven by the dictates of my conscience to which humanity is beyond all nations. I have chosen to be here to share with you what I know, what I feel and more importantly what I believe about Africa, the World and leadership.
The Africa that I know is the world’s second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. Spread over 30.2 million km including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4 % of the total land area. With a billion people in 61 territories (54 countries) it accounts for about 14.72% of the world’s human population.
The Africa of my imagination is endowed with vast natural resources like Gold, Diamonds, Bauxite, Oil, Coal, Uranium, and several other rare minerals. It is blessed with around 85% of the world’s known reserves of platinum and chromium. It has 60% of reserves of Manganese and Cobalt. It also accounts for 10% of the world’s Oil’s reserves.
This very land of my dreams is enriched with countless commodities that earn huge quantum of Foreign exchange -Oil in Chad, Angola and Nigeria, Copper in Zambia, and Tourism in Kenya- continue to fill the coffers of these countries. Five countries dominate Africa’s upstream oil production. Together they account for 85% of the continent’s oil production and are, in order of decreasing output, Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Angola. Other oil producing countries are Gabon, Congo, Cameroun, Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). More exploration is taking place in a number of other countries that aim to increase their output or become first time producers. Included in this list are Chad, Sudan, Namibia, South Africa and Madagascar while Mozambique and Tanzania are potential Gas producers.
The Africa of my thoughts contains many lakes and rivers, allowing in some small fishing industry. The deep rivers of Africa have significant hydroelectric value. Lake Victoria is Africa’s biggest lake. Lake Volta in Ghana is the world’s largest artificial lake. The Atlantic and Indian Oceans allow further enterprises such as: fishing, mining and offshore oil drilling. Its coastlines are teeming with fish and other sea life.
Source: YMCA Jos