Remarks By Rory Donohoe, USAID/Liberia Deputy Mission Director, at the Youth Advance Activity Certification Event

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Thursday, September 29, 2022
Remarks By Rory Donohoe, USAID/Liberia Deputy Mission Director, at the Youth Advance Activity Certification Event
USAID/Liberia Deputy Mission Director, Rory Donohoe, Making Remarks at the Youth Advance Activity Certification Event
Bendu Nimley, USAID

(As prepared for delivery)

I am delighted to join all of you today to help certify the 155 youth who completed the “Work Ready Now & Be Your Own Boss” training program.  

All of us at USAID, along with our entire U.S. Embassy community, are proud of each of you who is receiving a certificate today.  

What you have learned over the past two months will help you be more productive citizens in your community, and help Liberia achieve all that is possible in this beautiful land.  

I am so thankful for the opportunity to have met and heard from some of you.  Each of you have your own story // your own personal goals // your own personal obstacles.  I hope that what you learned over the last two-months will help you advance along your personal journey. 

I myself benefited greatly from a program very similar to this.  But not in the way you think.  50 years ago in California, my mom was attending an all-girls high school—and my dad was at an all-boys high school.  They both signed up for the same job skills training program for youth, something very similar to this—and there they first met.  So, I guess you could say that I owe my life to programs like this. 

Now, not everyone will meet the love of your life here today, but I hope during the two-month “Work Ready Now and Be Your Own Boss” training you did learn skills that are in-demand—skills like setting goals, communicating effectively, solving problems, resolving conflicts, and managing time. All successful people have these skills—whether they work in an office or a shop, whether they are a public servant, or an entrepreneur. 

I am especially impressed by the story of Emmanuel GAR-GLEN (Garglahn). Despite a physical disability and negative stereotypes, Emmanuel persevered, and set SMART GOALS for himself.

After participating in work-based learning, he acquired hands-on skills in soap making.  With these skills Emmanuel is now employed and making his own income.  

Looking ahead to medium-term goal, Emmanuel has started saving a portion of his income to open his own business. 

And in the long term, he wants to return to school so he can achieve his dream to become a journalist. 

Emmanuel learned these skills in the personal development module of this Work Ready Now program. 

Emmanuel is on the right path to making his dream come true—what an inspiring story! A big congratulations to Emmanuel on the strides he is making towards achieving his dream.

Emmanuel is not the only one on the path to success. USAID’s Youth Advance program aims to teach 21,000 Liberian youth the work and life skills that will help them become success stories just like Emmanuel. 

USAID’s Youth Advance program will continue to make significant contributions toward building a new generation of educated young Liberians.

Together with our partners the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and in alignment with Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, USAID believes in creating jobs that will drive inclusive economic growth for ALL Liberians.

Liberia needs youth like you to drive economic growth. Your energy and dynamism will spur the growth Liberia needs.

Courses like this, which teach market-relevant jobs skills are a pathway to greater employment and prosperity. 

The United States Government is committed to supporting and collaborating with the Government of Liberia, our development partners, the private sector, and civil society.  None of us, acting alone, have the ability to address all of Liberia’s challenges.  We are stronger together, and together as partners we can and will continue to invest in programs like this one. 

As we hand over certificates of completion to these Work Ready Youth today, I want to thank the Ministry of Youth and Sports for their sincere partnership with USAID and all others here today.  It is only by working together that we can ensure the USAID Youth Advance program continues to be successfully implemented for long-lasting impact. 

I would also like to recognize the private sector and training providers for providing opportunities.  The hands-on opportunities you provided allowed participants to acquire the market-relevant skills and work experience they need to find gainful employment. 

Finally, yet most importantly, to the youth here today—I want to say congratulations for your resilient spirit; your commitment to pursue your aspirations; and your willingness to take advantage of this opportunity. 

You are your most important advocate. You are the key to unlocking your own potential. With the support of all those around you here, your future is as bright as your ambition. We are all proud of you and look forward to hearing great things about what you will accomplish. 

Thank you.


Issuing Country 

Last updated: November 18, 2022

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