Liberia to Launch Rehab Centers in Four Counties.

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The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. D. Zeogar Wilson has announced the launch of rehabilitation centers for at-risk youth across four counties in Liberia. The project targets Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Bomi, and Margibi Counties, respectively.

Scheduled to commence on 21 August 2023, the program’s initial phase aims to relocate more than 1,000 at-risk youth to rehabilitation centers across the four counties.

They will be taken to those centers for screening and comprehensive support, effectively addressing the diverse challenges they encounter.

Minister Wilson disclosed that there are plans for an additional six detoxification centers and thirteen rehabilitation centers to be distributed across the four respective counties.

“For the detoxification centers, Montserrado and Margibi are each set to have two centers, while Bomi and Bassa will each host one center.”

He further expressed hope that the at-risk youth will embrace the program and actively participate in its recruitment process.

During the early 2023 fundraising campaign for at-risk youth, President George Manneh Weah pledged $1 million. Meanwhile, Minister Wilson has highlighted the government’s achievement in raising $556,000 to fund the project.”

He said the recruitment process for the at-risk youth is expected to take place across several locations, including Montserrado County at the Pennoh Building on Center Street, and the Invincible Sports Park in Sinkor. Bomi and Brand Bassa counties will have two recruitment sites each.

According to Mr. Wilson, the process has been underway in collaboration with multiple partners for several years. He indicated that President Weah’s stance is to maintain a non-political approach that clearly focuses on addressing the prevailing issue.

Wilson revealed that while the program is administered by the government, its progress was impeded by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges, he said the previous year still saw significant advancements.

For her part, the United Nations Liberia Resident Coordinator Christian N. Umutoni has appreciated the government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and other line ministries for their collaboration on the at-risk youth program.

She noted that the collaborative effort between the Government of Liberia, the United Nations, and its partners reflects the commitment to securing a brighter future for Liberian youth and contributing to lasting peace and stability.

She noted that by harnessing the collective effort of the United Nations and the Government of Liberia, they seek to provide comprehensive support of $3 Million that will empower at-risk youth, nurture their potential, and guide them toward positive contributions to society.

“However, this is just the beginning, the emergency plans will pave the way for a wilder and more sustained program that will address the multifaceted challenges faced by at-risk youth in Liberia over the coming years,” she said.

Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, the Minister of Health, said the government’s technical team had been diligently working behind the scenes to create a viable evidence-based model for treating individuals with drug addiction.

She advised people with medical or addiction problems to seek help through the various facilities that were listed.

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