FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2014
AYM Center in Mattru Jong, Bonthe District, Sierra Leone
Worldwide (aym-inc.org) – We hereby inform the public that the AYM Social Enterprise & Business Incubator Center located at 41A-B Momaligi Road, Mattru Jong, Sierra Leone, West Africa will be temporarily closed, effective September 17, 2014. By this decision, all operating ventures at the center are affected. We regret this abrupt decision to temporarily discontinue operations in Bonthe District. Please be assured that this is a temporary decision and that we shall commence operations as soon as feasible.
The decision to close is due to two reasons. First, the thefts of AYM properties, including 21 cell phones belonging to customers at the center. This incident took place on August 12, 2014. Second, the current Ebola crisis. Both events have had a negative impact on our ability to continue functioning under the present climate, without oversight from our U.S operations.
Attempts to hire qualified persons to manage the center failed because none of the new hirees were willing to relocate to Mattru Jong from Freetown at this time. Besides, if anything drastic should happen at the center now, a lot of logistical problems will prevent immediate intervention from us.
If the AYM program is to grow and flourish in Bonthe District, different sets of skills and capacities will be required to manage the affairs of the center. The absence of qualified employees in business management and social entrepreneurship makes this impossible at the moment.
Meanwhile, we have launched a post Ebola crisis strategy that entails, among other things, a chili pepper challenge (#aympepperchallenge) to immediately jump-start our vegetable garden program by engaging in large-scale pepper farming along with varieties of other vegetables to provide immediate employment for our affected youths.
We are praying and hoping that the Ebola crisis will be overcome and business will return to normal as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we want to assure our supporters, donors and the general public of our commitment to developing a sustainable youth employment program in the Bonthe District.