Youth Action International’s priority economic empowerment program are as follows:
AGRICULTURE INITIATIVE: Agriculture initiatives will be the largest focus of YAI’s work starting in 2018. This comes from several studies that show that the best option for Liberia and Liberians to break out of poverty is to invest heavily in education and agriculture. Over the years the organization has implemented successful sustainable agriculture initiatives in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
YAI’s programs in agriculture seeks to encourage the active involvement and participation of both rural and urban young people in agriculture as a way to earn an income and break out of the vicious circle of poverty. Key partner partners for this project are Greener Diamond and AgroTech.
The project provides the motivation, encouragement, skills training, and business startup capital for 100 young people a year in Liberia. This project is aimed at economically empowering communities especially youth with income generating projects to make them self-sustainable. There are two groups of youth targeted by the project: (a) young people from the villages and towns where the farm is located are trained in sustainable agriculture methods and poultry. The trainings are will be conducted on an existing agriculture facility that we have already developed. Upon completion of their training, each of the participants will receive seed support to start their own mini groups or small poultry. (b.) Urban young people are trained in marketing and sales.
MICROLOANS PROGRAM: With the onset of COVID-19 and the imposition of mandatory curfews, YAI begun to provide emergency food aid to vulnerable families. Close to 1,000 households received food aid packages from YAI during COVID-19.
Once restrictions eased, we immediately turned our attention to supporting the recovery of small businesses that had been severely affected by the disease. Our immediate initial target was 100 young entrepreneurs and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
We hope to continue to grow this program and eventually impact the lives of thousands of women and young entrepreneurs in both Liberia and Sierra Leone. Photos and inspirational stories from some of the beneficiaries are now on our web site.