The Liberia YALI Alumni Chapter has been launched in Monrovia. Present at the event was a team from the YALI Regional Leadership Center (RLC) West Africa, Accra office, led by Project Director, Dr. Shola Safo-Duodu. This brings to four the number of national Alumni chapters formed in the nine countries within the YALI Regional Leadership Center’s scope. Nigeria, The Gambia and host, Ghana, have already established national Alumni chapters.
The two-day event started with a mentoring session for some selected high school graduates. The mentoring session was organized by the Executive of the Liberia Chapter and had in attendance the RLC team. Key speakers included the YALI Project Director, who introduced mentees to the YALI program, the program’s objectives and some achievements of the initiative so far. Other mentors included YALI Alumni who shared their experiences after the training program.
YALI RLC Project Director, Dr. Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu (left) and an executive of the Liberia Alumni (right) take turns to mentor high school students at the mentoring session
Participants at the Alumni launch included members of the Alumni, the RLC delegation, a representative from the US Embassy in Liberia and some media personnel. Dr. Shola Safo-Duodu, RLC Project Director, in her speech, reiterated the importance of networking, collaboration and continuous engagement of the alumni. The Project Director also stressed the need for Alumni to fully utilize the almabase, an online database where alumni can access relevant resource materials and engage more with other alumni of the RLC. The event saw the Executive of the Liberia Chapter inaugurated into office.
Executive of the Liberia Alumni pose with RLC staff
YALI RLC West Africa, currently in its final year of implementation of the YALI project, has put much effort into the consolidation and harvesting of successes, networks and impact of alumni in all nine participating West African countries. Significant among this has been the launch of various country chapters in the respective countries.
A cross section of Alumni and invited guests at the launch
The purpose of alumni outreach activities is expressed in one of the short-term outcomes of the YALI program to ensure that ‘RLC graduates have increased levels of networking and collaboration among themselves and with supporting stakeholders’.
After the event, the Accra RLC team was honored with an invitation by Mr. Paul Hinshaw, Public Affairs Officer at the Embassy of the United States of America in Liberia. During the visit, the Project Director highlighted the alumni networking site, ‘almabase’ (the alumni platform), the inauguration of the YALI Alumni Innovative Fund (YAIF), progress and achievements of the RLC and the outlook of the YALI program. Mr. Hinshaw, who was impressed with the achievements of the RLC, outlined the support the Embassy was offering the alumni, such as the use of the Embassy’s library, and the provision of space for alumni activities. He also expressed his delight about the outreach nature of the program regarding recruitment where a lot of non-Monrovians and especially those in the rural areas are selected for the program.