ChildFund and Partners Tackle Youth Unemployment in Sierra Leone

by Abu Bakarr Conteh, ChildFund Sierra Leone

ChildFund has launched a Youth Employment Support Project (YESP) in five districts of Sierra Leone, with the goal of reducing the high rate of youth unemployment in the country.

men and women at table

ChildFund Sierra Leone National Director Billy Abimbilla (standing) meets with project officers and training staff in the southern city of Bo.

The project is being implemented in partnership with Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the National Youth Commission, with funding from the World Bank. Some 3,000 youth with low levels of education will receive skills training over the next two years to improve their prospects for employment.

youth in line

Youth wait in line to register for the skills-training program in Sierra Leone.

ChildFund is working with a variety of training institutions in Freetown, Bo, Makeni, Kenema and Koidu cities to implement YESP. “We expect that about 60 percent of the trained youth will find employment at a living wage in the private sector or will be self-employed entrepreneurs after the training,” says Billy Abimbilla, national director in Sierra Leone.

Hundreds of young men and women who meet the criteria of being 14 to 25 years of age with little formal education are already queuing up at ChildFund’s area offices to register for the program.

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