The Center for Youth Empowerment, and most Liberian Refugees at Buduburam, Ghana have now been repatriated. Slabe Sennay and his team have started a new school at Gardnersville, Monrovia, Liberia. Please see new page here. Please scroll down to see the last reports at Buduburam which are retained for historical reasons.

We have no contact with Buduburam and are unable to answer any questions. There are few web pages about Buduburam less than 2 years old. For recent information try:  www.buduburam.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

CENTER FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT.

The Web Page for and by the Liberian Refugee Youths currently situated in Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana.

|| Conditions at Buduburam ||  || Dick Clifford's Report ||  || Page in preparation ||

          || Updated Information ||

STOP PRESS NEWS! 
Strike against UNHCR !  600 women arrested !  Deportations to Liberia !
Mass Repatriation in June ! (March/April 2008) 

 1. OUR ACTIVITIES

 2. EXECUTIVES

 3. PROJECTS

 4. PLIGHT OF THE REFUGEE WOMAN -

 WOMEN EMPOWERMENT COMMITTEE
SPEAKS OUT

 
  5.CONTACT US

The Center For Youth Empowerment formally called the Liberian Refugee Youths For Sustainable Development was organized by war-strickened Liberian youths who fled their country during the height of the Liberian Civil War fearing persecutions and inhumane treatments and at present seeking refuge in Ghana at the Buduburam Refugee Camp. The civil upheaval destroyed many lives and created growing hatred among Liberians. In view of this we decided to respond to this disaster by organizing ourselves under the umbrella of the Center For Youth Empowerment to work together in pursuit of peace, development, education, good health and sanitation.

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Interlocking Hearts and Pentagrams

Henna Patterns

by

Catherine Cartwright-Jones

www.mehandi.com

OUR ACTIVITIES

The Center for Youth Empowerment is involved with the following activities:

AWARDING OF SCHOLARSHIPS TO HOPELESS, ABANDONED AND  ORPHAN CHILDREN

 
PROVIDING COMPUTER LITERACY TRAINING
 
EMPOWERING WOMEN
 
CREATING SANITATION AND HIV/AIDS AWARENESS

MAKING HOPELESS, ABANDONED AND ORPHAN CHILDREN HAPPY AGAIN
 
CHILDREN LIBRARY PROGRAM
 
PEACE BUILDING AND PEACE EDUCATION ACTIVITIES.
 
TRAINING CHILDREN IN ARTS WORK
 
THE LIBRARY PROJECT

      THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
 
Fourteen years of war mean an equivalent number of years of educational stagnation in the lives of the youths. Many children were turned into soldiers and made to depend on guns as a way of survival. Even those who escaped these death traps, and fled to Ghana, have sadly not evaded the doom of failed academic aspirations. Their hopes of continuing their education with the assistance of either the host country or the UNHCR were thwarted. The host country does not grant them the official status of refugees but considered them as asylum seekers even after fourteen years. The high cost of tuition makes it quite impossible for refugee kids to get back to school. As a result of this many them are often forced to become breadwinners for their families and engaged in various forms of damaging and unhealthy activities in order to survive.
 
A vision was therefore needed to educate them and rescue the nation from high level of illiteracy.
 
The Scholarship Program was thus launched with the goal of providing grants to deserving and financially needy refugee children to place them back in school.
At present, fifty (50) refugee kids benefit from the program. They were selected from over five hundred applicants. There are thus many more children seeking assistance from the Center but we are sadly unable to
meet the high demands due  to our own financial limitations. We pay tribute to Mr. Richard Clifford and Sophia Kagan both Australians who currently are our only sources of funding. We appeal for additional sources/funding to enable more unschooled refugee children to receive  a proper education.

  
     PROVIDING COMPUTER LITERACY TRAINING
 
This program enables people to gain literacy in computer programs such as Microsoft Word, Access, Excel, Coral Draw, Powerpoint, Publisher Webpage Designing, Hardware etc. Students are trained in the above courses  for two hours daily. We have now extended our training program to schools. Forty students from various schools on the refugee camp plus twenty-five regular students are currently benefitting. We presently only have four computers and are therefore compelled to make three students share a single computer. Many have expressed interest, unfortunately we are unable to accept all due to our limited stock of computers. We are infact in need of additional computers and international volunteers who are proficient in basic computer programs and are willing to train our staff.
 
 
             WOMEN  EMPOWERMENT  PROGRAM
 
The goal of this program is to strategize ways to enable women become self reliant, refuse prostitution as a way of survival, giving them career, providing scholarships to enable them enrole in academic or vocational schools. At present the Center is training females in tie-dye, conducting HIV/AIDS  awareness and counselling, campaigning against abortion, teenage pregnancy, female circumcision  gender inequality and advocating girl child education. We appeal to individuals and other like minded organizations to help us achieve our goals in this direction.
 

      SANITATION & HIV/AIDS
 
Under this program, we conduct workshops on the importance of keeping our environment clean and mobilize the communities to engage in clean-up
exercises and explaining to them the danger of HIV/AIDS. Towards this end, we post sanitation and HIV/AIDS messages in various communities informing their members of the benefits of a hygienic and healthy neighbourhood and ways to avoid contracting the deadly disease AIDS. Moreover selected HIV/AIDS volunteers conduct  peer-to-peer counselling, visitation of hospitals to encourage AIDS victims. The results we have seen so far from these exercises are encouraging.  Hence the Sanitation and HIV/AIDS Programs require funds to hold workshops, create awareness and purchase sanitation tools such as buckets, wheel barrels, shovels, booths, dis-infectants etc. We also appeal for international volunteers in these areas.

          MAKING THE CHILDREN HAPPY AGAIN
 
The goal of this program is to show love and care to the children. We screen entertaining movies, organized various games including soccer matches, tennis, basketball and provide refreshments and also distribute gift items. The success of this program relies on donations.
We need toys and similar gifts to give to the children. We pay tribute to Sophia Kagan who is currently the only source of funding for this program.
We are also looking for additional funding to finance the organized activities and refreshments.
 
     
       THE CHILDREN LIBRARY PROGRAM
 
The program aims at developing the reading skills of the youths. Children enrolled in this program go the library every Saturdays from 2pm to 5pm. They are thought how to make proper use of the resources available to them at the library and are encouraged to select and read books that are of interest to them. Volunteers are available to help and guide them during library hours. Children who demonstrate good reading skills receive motivating gifts. Refreshments are always provided at the end of each session. As a result of this project, many children have developed a good reading habit. We appeal for funds and gift items to continue to run this program.
 

    PEACE BUILDING AND PEACE EDUCATION ACTIVITIES
 
The goal of this project is to find a common ground to resolving our differences so as to build a stable society.

Conflicts come about from differences in needs, values and motivations. Sometimes we complement each other through these differences and sometimes also we conflict. Conflict is not a problem in itself but how we handle it is absolutely what matters.

The Liberian Civil Conflict was not handled properly hence it blew out of proportions and the cataclysmic effects resulting are today still fresh in the minds of all Liberians. They still mourned their loved ones, their lives are shattered, perhaps and they languish in displaced and refugee camps both home and away.
This has given birth to deep seated hatred as each one blames someone and one tribe blames the other for the war.

Since the eruption of the Liberian Civil Conflict in 1989 up to 2003, the international Community had brokered lots of peace agreements. But they all do not survive beyond the signing points. One outstanding exception is the recently brokered Accra Peace Agreement that is still on course. Liberia today enjoys an aura of real peace to an extent that UNHCR is now contemplating a voluntary repatriation of Liberians in refugee camps.

The Center For Youth Empowerment holds the thoughts that past agreements failed as soon as they were born because they blatantly ignored the issue of reconciliation. Peace and reconciliation must coexist for the realization of genuine and sustainable peace.

When peace replaces war and love, forgiveness and unity all relaces hatred then conflict will either disappear or be handled maturely.

We have over the years been involved with peace and reconciliation activities on the Buduburam Refugee Camp. We disseminate peace messages, conduct reconciliation workshops and seminars. Thanks to the unflinching efforts of Mr Dick Clifford, we have received training materials from The Conflict Resolution Network, an Australian based Organization.

Considering the mammoth task of reconciling Liberians beyond the refugee camp, it becomes necessary to sincerely appeal for assistance so as to successfully achieve our goal and save our nation from the dreadful effects of peace without reconciliation.

      THE CHILD ART PROGRAM
              
The goal of this program is to help develop the artistic skills of kids, detraumatize them, make them to think creatively, use their artistic talents to preach peace, reconcilliation, HIV/AIDS awareness, health and sanitation and make them responsible citizens.
  
We currently have forty kids from age six to fourteen years on the program. We appeal for funds and arts materials to increase this number and continue running the program.
 
 
       THE LIBRARY PROJECT
 
In November 2002, Mr. Dick Clifford, V. President South Australian Humanist Society, suggested to us on the need to establish a library because a well informed people make sound decisions to improve their lives as well as their communities. Hence we began mobilizing the community to see how best collectively this dream can come to pass. Since the Kolleh Library was in existence but lacks up-to-date reading materials, it was agreed that the books be supplied to the library through the Liberian Refugee Youths For Sustainable Development now Called Center For Youth Empowerment for the use of the community. In December 2002, Mr.Clifford again connected us to Books for Africa an organization based in Ohio, USA headed by Mr. and Mrs. Bromley. Books for Africa sets up libraries, supplies books and educational supplements annually in Ghana.
In January 2003, we attended the annual conference of Books for Africa in the Eastern Region of Ghana where plans were finalized to include the refugee communities in their project. In May 2003, the first consignment of books were supplied to the Kolleh Library through us.

The library today has a total number of three thousand four hundred and six (3,406) up-to-date books all professions and subjects for all ages and levels. The Library has a Board of Trustees selected from the cross section of the refugee community plus two members of the Center for Youths Empowerment.

The number of persons visiting the library has increased considerably. This serves as the only resource center for the refugee camp and its environs.
We therefore appeal for more assistance.
 

        THE  EXECUTIVES

Slabe Sennay Executive Director
Linus T Gedeo CYE Representative - Liberia
Alfred W Tarley Director, Peace Department
Joe S Nyenpan Financial Officer
Norah N Dorbor Gender Base
Sarah Blawah Directrix, Women Department
T Mark Jackson Director, Children Department
Daniel B Warlo Project Officer
This list updated September 2007

                        

            PROJECTS
 
The following projects are currently seeking sponsorship. Interested individuals or organizations can contact us for their details. They are:
 
      Computer literacy project
 
      Women empowerment project
 
      Scholarship project
 
      Peace education and peace building project
 
      Child art project
 
      HIV/AIDS AND Sanitation Awareness Project
 
      Make The Refugee Child Happy Project
 
 
    THE PLIGHT OF THE REFUGEE WOMAN- 
    CYE WOMEN COMMITTEE SPEAKS OUT
 
Wars have always had grave effects on women. They are brutally raped, maimed and even killed by all belligerent factions in a war. No zone, absolutely no zone is safe haven for them. UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Anna's confirmation of sexual exploitations by UN's Peace Keepers in the war ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo, clearly indicates that there is no hiding place for the woman.
 
The story obviously did not change in the case of the Liberian Civil War. It only got worse. Rebels bet on the sex of the unborn child and open up the pregnant woman to see who carried the bet. Many were gang raped and later pierced with sharp rods. They die in severe agony! Even the peace keepers could not save the women. Rather, they exploited them sexually, impregnated them and left them as single mothers.
These are not exaggerations. They are but very few of the truthful accounts of women's story in the fourteen long years of the Liberian civil war. Volumes would actually be needed to chronicle the rest of the unbelievable story.
 
Even long after the guns have silenced and evil goes with impunity, the Liberian woman, the single mother, the sex slave and the widow only survives to face rounded chains of frustrations and destitutions.
 
The women that fled to safety to other neighbouring countries and now residing on refugee camps have sadly not evaded the doom of destitutions. In Ghana at the Buduburam Refugee Camp for instance, the high cost of living in the midst of poverty have compelled most Liberian Refugee Women to result to unhealthy alternatives to survival.
 
Prostitution involving both old and young, very young is prevalent . Teenage pregnancy with girls as young as twelve years  is rising. Many have died from abortions. The rate of deadly HIV/AIDS infection must be growing here.
 
We solemnly call on people of good will, the international community and other organizations to come to assist us in turning this ugly and pitiful situation around. We need  a way to get the girls off the streets and back to schools. We need to give them hope for the future.
 
Please see our contact (Below) and get to us if you can help.
 
  
                  CONTACT US
 
POSTAL ADDRESS:  CENTER FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
                 ZONE 7 H/NO 59, BUDUBURAM REFUGEE CAMP
                  C/O BOX 46, STATE HOUSE ACCRA, GHANA
 
EMAIL:  cyeliberia2009@yahoo.co.uk
This is the new address in Liberia  

Readers of these pages (see links at top of page) will be asking "How can I help?" There are many ways. Do you know of a college who can give a scholarship to any of the people mentioned in the above paragraph headed "EXECUTIVES" who had all started degree courses in Liberia but the war forced them to leave and go to a camp where there is no higher education ? If so please write to the Email address (above)

DONATIONS
- Please go to Help Liberian Kids

We are seeking International Volunteers in the area of peace building, computer literacy, health,  sanitation and education. Volunteers should be willing to stay with us for a month or two, or more. Please contact us by email.

Slabe Sennay <cyeliberia2009@yahoo.co.uk 

Hosted by the Web page of Dick Clifford, Adelaide, South Australia

Visits: since 31 5 04                                                     Page entirely revised March 05

                                                                                         Many photos added March 06. The first 4 pictures show damaged school buildings due to the storm on 26th March 2007. The next pictures show finished repairs, school feeding program, Guest House for International Volunteers and the women's skills program. These photos were added on 11th October. The remaining photos were were taken in 05/06 or even earlier.

STORM DAMAGE TO SCHOOL BUILDING 26/3/2007

 

STORM DAMAGE TO SCHOOL BUILDING 26/3/2007

 

STORM DAMAGE TO SCHOOL BUILDING 26/3/2007

 

STORM DAMAGE TO SCHOOL BUILDING 26/3/2007

 

SCHOOL RENOVATION COMPLETE   (SEPT 2007)

 

STORM DAMAGE REPAIRED  (Sept 2007)

 

SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAM  (Sept 2007)

 

CYE Guest House for International Volunteers  (Sept 2007)

 

Refugee Women acquiring skills to be self reliant at CYE  (Sept 2007)

 

STUDENTS SHOWING THEIR FOOD PACKETS

 

SARAH ANGUS DISTRIBUTING FOOD PACKETS

 

CROSS SECTION OF STUDENTS AT CYE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

 

JANE AND SARAH, VOLUNTEERS FROM QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA, PRESENTING KEYS OF THE ANNEX (BUILT WITH FUNDS FROM AUSTRALIAN AID TO AFRICA) TO 
SLABE SENNAY, PRESIDENT OF CYE.  

 

SCHOOL OF COSMETOLOGY (Hair platting and Beauty care)

 

CROSS SECTION OF ELDERLY REFUGEES WHO RECEIVED FOOD RATION 
AT CYE HEAD OFFICE

 

FEMALE REFUGEES GRADUATED FROM CYE SCHOOL OF COSMETOLOGY

 

VOLUNTEERS TEACHING CONFLICT RESOLUTION SKILLS AT 
PETER BURRUS SCHOOL, BUDUBURAM CAMP

 

(19) SLABE SENNAY (4th from left) WITH STUDENTS AND LOCAL VOLUNTEERS

 

(20) PARTICIPANTS OF THE TWO DAY PEACE AND RECONCILIATION WORKSHOP

 

(21) STUDENTS DISPLAY THEIR ARTWORKS

 

(23) SCHOLARSHIP STUDENTS AT BAPTIST FUNDAMENTAL SCHOOL

 

(24) SLABE SENNAY TEACHING PEACE EDUCATION AT VICTORY PRAISE SCHOOL

 

(25) CROSS SECTION OF STUDENTS OF CYE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

 

(26) REFUGEE CHILDREN AT THE CYE AFTERNOON SCHOOL PROGRAM TUTORIAL CLASSES

 

(27) STAFF OF CYE

 

(28) SCHOLARSHIP CHILDREN WITH SLABE SENNAY

 

(29) THE HONOUR INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERS, SARAH ANGUS AND JOSE

 

CENTRAL OFFICE FOR THE CENTER OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AT BUDUBURAM CAMP

 

 

CROSS SECTION OF STUDENTS AT SCHOOL OF COSMETOLOGY
WOMENS EMPOWERMENT DEPARTMENT CYE

Note: Pictures above this point were received recently (February 2006) and many refer to the recent takeover by CYE  of the Church of Christ School. For details scroll to top of page and click on stop press news.

 

 Youth Empowerment volunteers cleaning clogged drains at Buduburam Camp

OFFICES of the CENTER for YOUTH EMPOWERMENT, BUDUBURAM CAMP

TYE AND DYE PROJECT - WOMEN EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM

 

WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM - PASTA CLASS

SLABE SENNAY DISTRIBUTING COPY BOOKS

STUDENTS PROUDLY DISPLAYING COPY BOOKS

CHILDREN'S LIBRARY PROGRAM       KOLLEH LIBRARY

 CHILDREN BENEFITING FROM THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

PARTY TIME FOR SCHOLARSHIP CHILDREN

(Slabe Sennay at rear center right)

THE TYE AND DYE PROJECT

Display of finished products of the Tye and Dye project of the women empowerment program.

Students of the COMPUTER LITERACY PROGRAM in class.

Naylor Handi - a visiting Harvard University student conducting a research on child and women abuse/violence with some executives and a selected number of abused and orphan children currently benefiting from our children programs.