As Africa’s oldest republic, Liberia will this year celebrate 170 years of independence.
This West African coastal country suffered a bloody civil war in the 1990s and is still recovering from the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which left almost 5,000 people dead.
With only 50 doctors in the entire country – just one for every 70,000 people – Liberia was already experiencing a healthcare crisis before the Ebola crisis hit.
ICS volunteers are helping the country’s recovery by working with children and young people to raise awareness on the importance of sanitation, hygiene and sexual and reproductive health (SRH).
Supporting health initiatives
Y Care International has a long relationship with Liberia. Its partner YMCA has built strong relationships with communities over the decades they’ve operated in country. They’ve stood by communities during the civil war, and more recently during the Ebola crisis.
As a Y Care International volunteer, you’ll be training young people to develop and promote messages about staying healthy, through awareness raising sessions on hygiene, sanitation and sexual and reproductive health.
Living in Liberia
There are two project locations in Liberia: Kakata and Monrovia. All volunteers in Liberia live with host families, usually with one other volunteer.
As with other placements, volunteers living with host families will be expected to eat like a local.
Hearty and spicy, Liberian food incorporates West African cooking with traditions from the American South, serving up stews made up of a number of meat, fish, chicken, pork and shellfish, served over rice or fufu, a fermented cassava dumpling.
And it’s not just what happens on placement that counts. As well as these core activities, ICS teams also complete a team-led development challenge where they assess the needs of the community, write a proposal and carry out sustainable activities to find solutions to these problems.