Graham-Royal, who became principal of the institution in 2014, said fixing the pool will be her next ‘big’ project and said she does not intend to begin the project until she is sure she has all the money to complete it as she does not want to start and not be able to finish. “(I need) at least three quarters of it because it wouldn’t make sense; it means work would have stopped,” she told The Gleaner. Students of the school, who train to be teachers of physical education, must now use a tiny pool in Old Harbour for swimming lessons. “So I have to pay more than $10,000 monthly for them to learn to swim. You’re not a complete PE teacher until you’re able to swim,” Graham-Royal, herself a graduate of the G.C. Foster College, who later studied abroad, said. “When I went to the University of Mainz in Germany to study, I could not graduate until I learned to swim,” she added. Meanwhile, Graham-Royal also noted that the institution as also losing money as there were some interested parties who would have used the facility had it been operational. “Just this morning some students from a university in Canada called. They had a contingent of 50 and wanted to come for the summer,” she said. “So we are missing all of that. We really do need some private sector injection. We can’t do it otherwise,” she concluded. GETTING THE MONEY The state of the swimming pool at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport has been a sore point for decades. Current principal of the institution, Dr Joyce Graham-Royal, said it will cost $91 million to repair the facility, which has never been used since it was built in 1980. In late 2014, Minister of Sport Natalie Neita-Headley had announced that Government would be donating the funds to repair the pool via the Sports Development Foundation. However, Graham-Royal told The Gleaner yesterday that she had since learned that the funds, which had been earmarked for the pool work, had been spent on refurbishing the synthetic track at the institution, which was reopened last October. The track cost $171 million to repair. Graham-Royal said because of the clay soil at the Spanish Town-based sporting college, repairing the track had cost much more than the projected figure. Successive principals over the last few years have threshed around with the idea and as recently as 2008, the estimate to repair the Olympic-sized swimming and diving pools was at $50 million.
The YMCA of Liberia has begun the implementation of a post Ebola recovery program aimed at rebuilding stronger and more resilient communities in the aftermath of the virus outbreak, according to a press release.Titled “Mobilizing Young People in Liberia and Sierra Leone to Rebuild Communities Devastated by the Ebola Outbreak,” activities under the project are intended to help rebuild the lives of young people in the project areas, while at the same time increasing security and cohesion, restoring livelihoods to affected beneficiaries, maintaining health & hygiene practices and habits and increasing resilience to future disasters. The proposed activities under the project will include: Psychosocial counseling for 100 young people to manage trauma related to the Ebola outbreak and training of 96 young people in leadership skills.The two year project will also involve the training of 54 young people and 30 teachers in peace education and mediation to establish school peace clubs, the conduct of youth-led peace building events involving 4,500 young people to strengthen community relations and reinforce young people’s role as positive change agents. Additionally, 140 young people and community members will attend engagement meetings with 44 government and CSO representatives to strengthen coordination for Ebola recovery, including peace and security. Two hundred thirty three young people will receive vocational or entrepreneurship and life skills training and post-training kits, and capital to set up or revitalize existing businesses or access employment. These young people will gain access to savings & credit groups to allow 154 young people build resilience.The Liberia YMCA will also under the project train 24 youth peer educators on health & hygiene awareness including Ebola prevention and reach 4,850 young people through a one on one and mass awareness-raising initiatives. This will include referral to health clinics. Eight water points and 8 latrines will be constructed and Water Sanitation and Hygiene committees established to ensure their maintenance.Additionally, 60 portable hand-washing points will be established, intended to improve access to health and WASH information and services to engender behavior change and prevent the spread of Ebola and prevalent diseases.Disaster resilience will be built through psychosocial first aid training for 80 community leaders; Disaster Risk Reduction Training of Trainers for 48 YMCA staff and County/District, Health Workers to deliver DRR training to 112 young people.The YMCA will also train 8 youth-led DRR committees of 56 members who will be established to lead DRR activities identified through HVCAs and reach 1,950 people through awareness raising and implementation of DRR action plans.The program will be implemented over a period of two years, February 1, 2016 to January 31, 2018 in Bong and Margibi Counties. In Margibi, four communities are benefiting which include: Larkayta, Mandingo Quarter, Gio Quarter, while in Bong County, Vi, Faiju, Gbaota and Barwolor communities are benefiting. During the life of the project, a total of 6,596 direct beneficiaries will be reached. The project is being implemented by the Liberia YMCA with funding from Comic Relief through Y Care International.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)