During the month of October, AAY Sustainability Review Team led by John Haddock and Osborne Wanyama, visited Liberia YMCA to provide insight on the Liberia YMCA strategies for sustainability and align them to the Social Enterprise Framework.
The team visited 16 out of 19 properties and assets located in local Branches across Liberia. During the visit, the staff and volunteer leadership gave an understanding on the social, economic and cultural contexts to which the YMCA branches operate and exists. Crucial to this, was exploring opportunities for Social Enterprise (SE) development.
The task for the review team was to provide insight to the National General Secretary Mr Tim Kamaboakai and his team of staff and volunteer leadership, on what activities are doable in a short, medium and long term.
During the visit, a number of things stood out and most especially: The recognition and appreciation of the YMCA by the Youth as the ‘’Place to GO’’ – Liberia YMCA is a hive of activities for the youth all day and early night 7 days a week. The Population of youth streaming in and out the Larger property at Broad Street, Crown Hill Monrovia is overstretched. The Power Spaces, the ICT training are a niche that the YMCA has to attract the youth including the reputation the YMCA has acquired through service to the community overtime.
The good will; The Liberia YMCA earns reputational equity and is recognized by communities and people of Liberia, the government, private sector and development agencies. However, the Liberia YMCA should not be too comfortable as this can lead to complacency and derail the YMCA focus to its mission.
This good will is an opportunity that gives the YMCA a bargaining power to restructure programs receiving grants from development agencies to ensure the power spaces and the sustainability components are embedded in programming.
The YMCAs readiness to engage sustainability through the Social Enterprise approach is demonstrating through;
The Liberia YMCA has been on planning mode and now with the recommendations provided by the review team including tools to enable various related processes, Liberia YMCA is now at Action Mode to execute its enhanced strategy on Social Enterprise. We wish them all the best in their execution.