1000 Youth Enforce VR Awareness

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The youth parading the streets of Ganta

Although the voter registration is ending Tuesday, March 14, over 1000 youth of Nimba County, under the banner, “Mandela Washington Fellowship and Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program,” recently carried out a massive voter registration (VR) awareness campaign in the vote-rich city of Ganta as re-enforcement of the ongoing VR awareness campaign across the country.

The youth carried placards urging citizens of 18 years old to register to turn out for the exercise.

They also urged their colleagues not to compromise their votes by selling their VR cards.

Some of the placards read: “Vote for the benefit of tomorrow; Don’t sell your voting card; If you don’t vote, you are basically leaving someone else to vote to make decisions for you; 2017 election is our future, participate.”

The exercise was one of the biggest VR awareness campaigns by a non-political group since the start of the VR process.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, which started in the US in 2014, is a flagship program of the former US President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.

According to the project coordinator of the campaign, Daniel Riche, in this year alone, the Fellowship will provide up to 1000 outstanding young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to return home with their skills from various US colleges or universities with support for professional development after they return home.

He said up to present, about 50 young professionals from across Liberia have benefited from the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship and Kennedy-Lagar Youth Exchange and Study Program based in Ganta began the civic and voter education project to carry out awareness with the project title: “2017 Election is our future, participate.”

The project is in response to a request the National Elections Commission (NEC) made to civil society organizations to help with the civic and voter education and awareness as the October election remains critical to the transitional process of the country.

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