Community Youth Network Program (CYNP) is a community-based non-governmental, humanitarian youth organization in Liberia created to increase youth participation in issues that affect them. These include health, agriculture, good governance at the community level, youth empowerment, and networking to contribute to the sustenance of peace and development. CYNP’s efforts focus on educating Liberia’s youth about agriculture while working to encourage youth employment in this sector. As part of their activities, CYNP hosts a young farmers’ forum and works with local community leaders to ensure ownership of their programs. CYNP’s young farmers’ forum activities also extends to communities in neighboring Sierra Leone.
CYNP’s collaborative efforts have led to significant successes in the generation of government-led and supported programs that promote youth involvement in agriculture. As a result of their advocacy work, there is now a section in the government’s poverty reduction strategy that focuses on youth involvement in agriculture. In addition, the Liberian Ministry of Youth and Sports has developed a pilot program involving youth in agriculture.
Update on activities and achievements
CYNP launched the "Youth Connection for the Protection of Women and Children against Violence Project" in April 2011. The project aims to create awareness, train young people on how they can contribute in preventing women and children from violence such as rape and children trafficking; the right to protection by the rule of law; and to create youth watch teams in local communities that involve young people, the police, courts and other government units to discuss and share knowledge in the communities on issues of violence against women and children, and advocate for their protection. CYNP will be training about 40 young people in July and August 2011.
The project will also track government commitments to policies on women and child protection.
CYNP has also launched its "Back to School Guardian Competition" in schools in Monrovia. This project is intended to re-awake the agriculture activities in school and to provide young people with entrepreneurship skills. The project will also advocate for the Ministry of Education in Liberia to add agriculture as a major subject in the school curriculum. The project was launched in May 2011 and is now on going.
- CYNP Executive Director, Junior Toe, attended and participated in the preparation of the Istanbul Declaration of the Youth Forum during the United Nations LDC IV Conference in Istanbul Turkey from May 7- 13, 2011.
- CYNP Executive Director, Junior Toe, was selected as a Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award finalist of African International Achievers [AfIA] 2011.