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Reform Magazine | December 13, 2018

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A letter from… Liberia

A letter from… Liberia

Yusuf learns to sew in Liberia

I am 23 and live in West Point, a township of the Liberian capital city, Monrovia. My home was washed out to sea last September by the coastal erosion taking place here. Since then, I have just been in the community, being passed around. My family did not have the finances to support me.

One day, my friends and I were listening to the radio when we heard the Young Man’s Christian Association (YMCA) were recruiting for some programmes. I went there to ask about the opportunity and filled in the form to apply. They told me to come back. I got the opportunity to go to the YMCA and was told I’d be coming to training.

I learnt sewing – how to become a tailor. It was a whole year of training and I enjoyed it. If you couldn’t get there, the YMCA helped and paid for your transport. Pauline, our trainer, helped me and always encouraged me. I call her my sister.

Now I work and have a shop where my family lives. I help my parents to buy food and to save. The income from tailoring helps me to save money. And I am helping other young people through training…

Yusuf is one of 75,000 people trying to survive in West Point, Liberia. The country has experienced violent civil war and mass tragedy caused by the Ebola epidemic. The average age of Liberians is now 18.

Y Care International is the Young Man’s Christian Association (YMCA)’s global lead in youth enterprise and employment; it works in 15 of the world’s poorest countries, supporting disadvantaged young people. Y Care International aims to create one million work opportunities by 2030. Yusuf’s story is shared as part of Y Care International’s Christmas appeal. Donations to the charity will be doubled by match funding. To donate, call 020 7549 3175 or visit ycareinternational.org/appeal/Liberia

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the December 2018 / January 2019 edition of  Reform

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