The current YMCA facility in Central Monrovia serves over 50,000 users a year (at least 200 users per work day). It hosts the largest annual vacation children development program in Monrovia for over 800 kids; and the largest low cost youth computer training program (over 1,000 learners per 4-month cycles); and hosts the YMCA administrative offices. Its indoor gym hosts games and practice sessions of university teams, basketball leagues, etc. The facility's conference hall hosts seminars, workshops, and community events. This physical asset is the largest contributor to our local revenue with a resounding management record. The new facility will increase our reach to youth and communities and generate additional revenue for programs and overheads.
In the face of the extreme limitation of safe spaces and social programs, the Y is a glaring hub for our youth and children. One recreational space near Monrovia takes in kids at a membership fee of US$8.00 per visit; a fee not affordable for average Liberian families. Our facility will charge membership fee of US$4.00 per month per child (5-13years) and US$5.00 per youth and midgets (14-25) and give our children the joy and benefits of play and learning.
Today, the challenges include youth idleness, limited family time, poverty, and the lack of programs and safe spaces for youth and children to play and learn. The YMCA wants to work with youth themselves and the community to help address some of these challenges in the Congo Town Community and its environs (consisting 8 other communities with an estimated 300,000 people). The Maye Howell Community YMCA would serve at least 38,475 youth and residents per year with services in sports and recreation, health and wellness, workshop/conference services, theatre, peace and cultural programs.
The facility will respond to these needs and the associated social issues and influence personal and social changes by increasing youth access to supervised sports leagues, dance classes, arts and crafts, life-skills workshops, leadership development & volunteerism, and providing services for adults and families for health & wellness, group exercise & fitness (cardio, aerobics, muscular conditioning). Local institutions will also benefit the convenience of our meeting and conference spaces and be saved the inconvenience and cost of traffic and expensive venues for similar quality of service in central town
This YMCA will be a community asset that will make our community an even better place to live and work. It will be enjoyed by people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
In addition to social impact, the facility will generate revenue (est. $225,000 per annum) on a fees-for-service basis and will cover 100% its operational cost, provide 43 local jobs (full time and part time) and contribute to the Liberia YMCA's overhead cost thereby being a model sustainable social project.
The Liberia YMCA is expected to begin the construction of a multi-purpose community youth center in Congo Town/Old road community, Monrovia if all goes well with plans and arrangements with its local and international partners.
This was made known at a news conference in Monrovia by the National General Secretary of the Liberia YMCA, E. Edward Gboe and the Vice President of the International Division of the US YMCA, Tom Valentine
Bill Hidell and Tony Blaas recently spent a week in Liberia to unveil conceptual drawings for the new Maye Howell Community Center. Bill and Tony were able to visit many sites and share in the culture of this unique country.