“A Tiny Drop of Rain Turned into a Mighty Ocean”

In Zwedru city, in the southeastern part of Liberia, a group of young people embarked on a transformative journey that began with a volunteer program initiated by the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL) and supported by UNDP. This program started in August 2023 and aimed to address local environmental challenges confronting the city while empowering the youth. The young volunteers were trained in basic ecological management and financial management skills, enabling them to clean and beautify the city of Zwedru. Their dedication and hard work did not go unnoticed, as UNDP through SCNL provided them with a token of appreciation for $400.00. This amount was a financial incentive and a catalyst for significant personal and community growth.

With the $400.00 provided by the UNDP, these young, ambitious individuals made strategic decisions that altered their futures. Some of the Eco Brigades invested their money in small businesses, leveraging the financial management skills they had gained. These businesses ranged from local retail shops to imported foodstuffs from the neighboring county, Ivory Coast. Others who could not afford to attend school have returned to school, using the funds to cover tuition and educational materials, enhancing their knowledge and future employment prospects. The impact of this life-changing initiative has gone beyond individuals to their families, ensuring that their children’s needs are met daily.

The environmental management skills helped sustain the city’s cleanliness and promote a healthier living environment, while the financial management training equipped the young people with the knowledge to make sound economic decisions. This approach not only improved the physical appearance of the city but also stimulated economic growth and educational advancement. The UNDP’s initiative demonstrates that even small investments in youth development could yield substantial and lasting impacts if they are determined and committed.

In the words of Mr. Louis Kuukpen, the UNDP Resident Representative after listening to the success stories of the Eco brigades during the visit “I am thrilled, marveled and flabbergasted from your testimonies and this shows to the world how a tiny drop of water could be converted into a Might Ocean by a group of united, motivated, and determined youth people”