The Administration of the Booker T. Washington Institute in collaboration with GIZ has dedicated a modern Masonry section (shop) and two residential apartments at the Institute worth about fifty thousand United States dollar (US$50,000).
The project which is funded by GIZ and implemented by BWI was dedicated recently at the American Corner Library located on the main campus of the Institute.
Speaking during the turning over ceremony, the Principal and CEO of the BWI extolled the Government of Liberia and partners for the support given to the Institute over the years. Atty. Harris Fomba Tarnue disclosed that the government has been instrumental just in two years in moving the trade shop at BWI to a quality standard.
The Principal stated that when he took over two years ago the biggest challenge his administration thought it could firstly attack was the renovation of the various trade shops and in their 2016/2017 budget the Government supported the renovation of five of the trade shops at BWI ranging from electronics, electrical, Automotive, Business Education and the construction of the science department.
According to him, the Government was forthright in helping to correct the situation of training at BWI something he said his administration thought it was important to turn to their partners to see what help they could add to what government has undertaken. The Principal said they are very thankful that their partners are hearing their cry because the BWI administration is proactively engaging them.
He mentioned that in 2016 there were almost over 50 visits on the Campus by International development partners including GIZ, USAID, the American Embassy, the European Union and the Swedish Government among many other partners who went to see how they could help in the direction of capacity building for young people in Liberia.
Mr. Tarnue added that when the BWI family completed the renovation of the first five trade shops they had another blessing falling from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) under the project to strengthen young people in the carpentry sector noting ‘our carpentry section was renovated and equipped with basic hand tools’.
He explained that as they were ending that then the discussion with GIZ ignited a new fire to roll on capacity building in the transport sector and there is a plan to build a training center terming it as an initial plan.
Atty. Tarnue disclosed that when they discussed all the issues surrounding the construction of a new training center, they ended up with looking at the existing infrastructure that could be upgraded to be used for the project.
He narrated that the best place and home of the project was the masonry section something he said was a relief for his administration because it was the worse building left to be renovated and they were wondering on how to generate money as every time they go to meeting there will be a report of not having money in their project budget even up to date.
The BWI Boss indicated that the intervention by GIZ is timely describing the project as a transformation in terms of the training and learning environment.
“Now the head of the masonry section can say I am pushed to doing more because I have a better working environment now that I can work in” he stated.
“He extended thanks to GIZ through its Country Director and other partners and said his administration was extremely grateful for the intervention and for allowing their students and individual on the Campus to have renovated the facilities.
The Principal said the project has not only given them a new trade shop but an added experience for the young people in terms of the training they acquired during the work. He, at the same time, intoned that the students from the business section now have a new classroom to sit in noting that why it is their right to learn, he is reminded that it is their responsibility to maintain the quality of the facility being provided to them.
Atty. Tarnue however, said the Institute is left with three places to attack which include the drafting the section, the plumbing section and the business section but said they are getting there. He then called on the government and its partners to focus on capacity if they want Liberia to come out of poverty.
Meanwhile, the Project Director of the project capacity development in the transport sector at GIZ; Ulrich Thiier term the project as a good example of his Organization‘s object which speaks about fostering the capability within the BWI.