University of Liberia Students Complete Internship at MNG Gold

MNG’s executives and University of Liberia’s Engineering students posed for a photo after the certification

Kokoyah, Bong County Seven students studying Engineering at the University of Liberia have completed a two-month internship training at MNG Gold site in Kokoyah, Bong County.

Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]

The interns were taught practical drilling, blasting, excavation, mines equipment operation and gold processing.

MNG’s General Manager Guven Gokturk said the training was intended to build life and engineering skills of the students that would translate to meaningful employment and self-sufficiency. “We at MNG decided to organize training of such to encourage students who are studying Engineering. It’s important because whatever knowledge they acquired during the period of their internship would be a help to them upon graduation,” he said.

Gokturk believed the training enhanced the students’ personal development and self-sustenance. Gokturk hoped the students understand the importance of the skills acquired as well as the role of mentorship, which the company provided.

He added that MNG remains committed to doing its part to assist government in resolving some of the human resource development challenges of the youth by embarking on such initiatives.

Gokturk said the company was committed to helping the youth, especially engineering students unearth their potentials through this kind of initiative. “We are here to buttress government’s efforts in addressing some of the challenges confronting youth empowerment,” he said.

Kebeh Leaman, who spoke on behalf of her colleagues, lauded the company for the farsightedness and said knowledge acquired will go a long way in their respective professions. “On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to thank the management and staff of MNG for this great opportunity provided us to learn a lot more about drilling, blasting, excavation, mines equipment operation and gold processing. To be frank, what we learned during the period under review will have a great impact on us as Engineering students of the University of Liberia,” she said.

Eugine Kollie , MNG Gold’s Department of Government and Community Relations Supervisor and Public Relations Officer, Lloyd Ngwayah at one of the meetings with citizens in the affected communities

She added: “The company has demonstrated that it has come to help Liberians not only with employment opportunities but capacity building.”

MNG, Citizens to Embark on Communal Farming

In another development, citizens of the company’s affected areas are expected to start a vegetable farming, which will generate money for their livelihoods. The process will be supported by the company.

The disclosure was made in the affected communities including Sayewheh Town, Bahn Town, Bohn Town, Qua-Garyeazon Town, Free Town, Dahnway Village, Dolo Town, Dorbor Town, Cee Town, David Dean Town and surrounding areas.

The supervisor of MNG Gold’s Department of Government and Community Relations and the company’s Public Relations Officer both said the company would provide earthmoving equipment to clear 10 hectares of land that will be divided into four farmlands in four of the communities.

Eugine Kollie and Lloyd Ngwayah said the company will also provide seeds and agricultural implements to help the farmers enhance their productivity.

“The agriculture project component of our community initiative is meant to empower local farmers and give them the necessary training, implements and that of the means of growing some vegetables that they can sell to the company to generate some income,” said Ngwayah, the public relations officer; adding: “The company cannot employ everyone.”

He further said the company will partner with the Sustainable Integrated Development Initiatives for Africa (SIDIA), a local NGO, to train and empower 120 women household heads and interested illicit gold miners in the cultivation of 10 hectares of a variety of seasonal food crops.

The citizens and the company reached the decision recently during their regular monthly meetings in the district.

Eugine Kollie, who supervises government and community relations for the company, said the monthly meetings are intended for the company to listen to the concerns of the citizens for possible redress.

“In our last meeting with the citizens in January, they raised concerns about damaged hand pumps in their communities. From that meeting, we were able to kickoff renovation works on 36 hand pumps in the different communities. Today, we have completed 26 of those pumps and they are functional,” Kollie said.

A cross-section of citizens in Bohn Town during one of the meetings

He said his department would continue with the monthly meetings with the communities as a means of improving the company’s relationship with the citizens through effective communication.

Meanwhile, Gibson Boyah, a resident of Bohn Town and chief elder of Kokoyah Statutory District, has welcomed the farming decision and agreed to make available land for one of the four communal farms.

“This is the kind of things that we want the company and the citizens to be doing. Because we know everybody will not work with this company,” Chief Boyah said.

Chief Boyah called on the citizens to take the agriculture project seriously, nothing that it will help them raise money to take care of their financial needs.

Yah Garyeazon of Qua-Garyeazon is one of the leaders of the women in her community. She said the agriculture project is especially important for women, who are in most instances unable to do the hard labor on the company’s mining site.

“Today, we are happy for what MNG Gold told us about helping us to do agriculture. This idea is a very, very good idea,” Garyeazon told reporters following a meeting in Bahn Town with the company and citizens.

She encouraged citizens of her community, especially women and older people to get involved with the agriculture project to help improve their livelihood.