As Liberia prepares for the 2023 election, Liberia Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) has completed 12 training workshops and 12 town hall meetings in 8 communities in Rivercess and 4 Communities in Montserrado Counties.
The Training workshops and town hall meetings are part of activities of an initiative titled “Understanding and Tearing down the Barriers to Women and Youth Participation in the Liberian Reconciliation Plan and Socio-Economic and Livelihood”, which is in line with the project titled “Delivering Peace Dividend in Liberia: Consolidating National, Regional and Local Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Opportunities”.
It is being funded by the Peacebuilding Fund, through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The project seeks to strengthen youth and women’s representation in Liberia’s reconciliation and peace consolidation processes and ultimately empowers women and youth as key stakeholders of Liberia’s Peace Building Plan (LPP), the National Reconciliation Plan, and County Reconciliation Plans.
The project activities commenced in Cestos City, Rivercess County on 1 July 2022. Over the last two months, LIFE has successfully undertaken 12 town hall meetings and 12 training workshops in eight communities in Rivercess County and three communities in Montserrado County. Each town hall meeting was attended by 24 participants, while each training workshop had 24 participants.
The training workshops are intended to equip women and youth with skills to leverage positive relations with local stakeholders to promote collaboration on issues relating to peace, security, and reconciliation, in order to achieve tangible results. The Town hall meetings provided the platforms to lay the foundation for a sustainable and widely shared reconciliation agenda from the perspectives of women and young people.
Speaking during the Opening of the Town Hall Meeting in Todee District, the Executive Director of LIFE, Mrs. Jodie Reid Seton said that the project will go a long way in infusing a new level of dynamism into the peacebuilding and reconciliation processes in Liberia.
She described women and youth as the foundation upon which the future of Liberia depends, and called on local communities to remain engaged with women and young people at all levels of local governance and peacebuilding. She encouraged local women participants, who came from different towns in the Todee District, to serve as “amplifiers” of the project in their local communities and commended the UN Peace Building Fund and UNDP for their level of support to the overall program objectives of LIFE.