Youth For Community Academic And Development Services is a Liberian development organisation working in Clara Town and Sonewein communities and attempting to give youth in the slums of Monrovia new local perspectives.
Football & Culture – using sport to positively impact society: Football has been the most popular sport among Liberians. Over the years, football has proven to be the only unifying force that brings people together across ethnic, religious and social divides. It increases life options and capacitates communities to reconcile heal and manage tension and grievances through non violence approaches, reduces of fear and mistrust, hatred and division amongst youths and adults, boys, girls and other community stakeholders, it creates more cohesive relationship between and amongst ethnic and other social groups.
Problem to be tackled
There are many basic challenges like water supply, lack of sanitary facilities but the major challenges that Monrovia’s slum youth express today are limited vocational training and employment opportunities, insufficient business start-up capital, as well as inadequate sports and recreational facilities.
YOCADS implements the project which aims at empowering the youth using sports. Within the trainings, team spirit and tournaments, the youth develop more self confidence, are able to speak up for themselves and see them as playing an important role within the community. This and many more of the fostered soft skills help in finding a job and investing in a future.
Beneficiaries, aged 10 to 30 years, 50% boys and 50% girls, in and out of school respectively employment, are selected first and foremost on their interest and commitment to be part of the project and in consonance with their various community structures. They are identified based on their vulnerability, underprivileged and social profile. YOCADS includes youth who do not have other opportunities to be part in a club or regular training, but focus on the ones that wouldn’t get any support or have materials to play with or have a regular group training them without this project.
The socio-economic background can be summarised as deplorable and underprivileged with a lack of opportunities for education, learning technical skills and deficient support network.
With the support of The SOL Foundation YOCADS will be able to improve their existing programmes using football and cultural dance to strengthen civil society and social bonds and to reduce youth unemployment.
Youth For Community Academic And Development Services – in short YOCADS – is a registered Non-Governmental Organisation in Liberia with the mission to develop, promote and empower the local youth and to organise meaningful programmes that will render them productive members of their society and the respect for human dignity.
The project “Kick for your future!” is also supported by cooperaxion.org, a Swiss based initiative, that has been involved in the project for many years and that is in dialogue with The SOL Foundation as well.