To prevent elections violence and maintain Liberia’s peace during the 2017 elections, the National Youth Council and Change Agents of YMCA Liberia conducted a one-day National Peace dialogue. The theme of the dialogue: “Peace and Security: A path way to sustainable Development” saw 100 young people participating. They took home messages of peace and were encouraged to lead peace within their respective communities. The Africa we want can never be achieved in the absence of peace and as youth, we see these forums as a means of engaging on how we can collectively promote for the Africa we want.
This activity was attended by the National General Secretary of YMCA Liberia, Mr. E. Timotheus Kamaboakai, Mr. A. Marcus Freeman, Operations Manager, YMCA of Liberia, the National Elections Commission of Liberia through its representative Mr. Sensee Freeman/NEC and Amb. William R Tolbert; Peace Ambassador; Republic of Liberia.
The forum provided channels for control mechanism that young people can use to avoid themselves being misused by politicians.
The objective of the forum was:
- To strengthen the role of young people and community members in identifying and speaking against issues that could spark up conflict, including discrimination, hate speeches, divisive politics. By fostering cooperation with key stakeholders, partners, political parties and community based structures to work in the field of peace-building in order to promote liberalization;
- To develop the Civic competences of youth and community members in promoting conflict transformation, peace-building and intercultural dialogue;
- To advance youth policy’s role (the National Youth manifesto) in peace-building and conflict transformation.
This critical YMCA Liberia intercession led to young people committing themselves to taking home peace by saying no to violence and yes to peaceful elections.
By: Lawrence S. Dolo Jr
Change Agent, YMCA of Liberia