The project is designed to increase leadership and participation of youths in electoral and post electoral me and processes for peacebuilding at all levels. It increased youth participation in the 2017 elections process as well as dissuade them from engaging in Electoral Violence, including gender-based electoral violence by reducing their vulnerability for political manipulations , recruitment; and Specifically engage with youth audiences to provide civic education and democratic values and processes.
Despite 65% youth population, Liberian youth lack the training or skills needed to substantively and meaningfully engage in peacebuilding and social cohesion processes around elections processes. Averting the perception of youth political exclusion that brings suspicion about the integrity of electoral processes and an environment in which it is difficult to engage in genuine dialogue on peacebuilding was an important element during the 2017 elections.
What Have we Accomplished So Far?
The project provided training in all 15 Counties on information Communication Technology (ICT), community policing, detecting and reporting Early Warning Signs of Conflict, for specific units of the Liberian National Police (LNP) and youth groups, mainly female youth for information sharing.
The project also conducted confidence and trust-building activities between youth and Security Agencies and among youths organizations and communities in the form of cultural and sporting events and partnership conferences.
Conducted mass awareness on the importance of peaceful electoral process through caravans, street theatres and dramas, radio talk shows, sports & cultural activities and conflict resolution and mediation initiatives for youth on the prevention and management of potential electoral violence, including sexual and gender based electoral violence.
Face to face dialogue forums of legislative candidates (winners and losers) and their community youth supporters were held and aired on community and national radios.
15,000 Campaign Messages were developed, 15 Bill Boards erected and 60 civic education events held. 17 confidence and trust building activities conducted in all 15 counties. 2,250 Youth (40% female) were trained in Community Policing, Peacebuilding, Detecting and Reporting Early Warning and Response Signs of Conflicts. 15 County Youth Peace Committees (YPCs) were established in all 15 counties. 25 youth leaders from the 15 counties were trained in dispute resolution and mediation, while engements with people with disabilities in all of the 73 national electoral districts were conducted.
150 LNP Officers were trained to actively engage with youth in community policing. 5 capacity building/skills development workshops were held for 30 female youth groups in conflict prone areas and training on Security Council Resolution 2250 and 1325 was conducted for 1,875 high school and university students. Gender sensitive training was also for 375 young female officers, while training on Violence Against Women Education (VAWE) for 500 National Elections Commission (NEC) staff including244 young women and another for media personnel were conducted on how to use sensitive information to promote peaceful co-existence, prevention of elections violence, SGBV etc.
These activitives helped immesely in preventing pre and post violence by the young people of Liberia during the 2017 elections.