The Catholic Relief Services “Connect For Peace” (C4P) project recently conducted a three-day training workshop for about 50 commercial motorcyclists in Ganta, Nimba County.
The training was designed to strengthen vertical and horizontal social cohesion between and among citizens, including some of the motorcyclists, with the broader aim of contributing to the country’s peace. Those trained are expected to serve as ambassadors for peace in their respective communities.
The motorcyclists, most of whom were young people, were trained to harmonize disputes among themselves as well as to avoid participating in violent acts that would cause chaos and undermine the peaceful co– existence of citizens.
The C4P project was designed to apply its principles through people to people training, workshops, consultative public gatherings and social and cultural events by connecting peaceful activities.
Ganta’s motorcyclists have over 2,000 registered motorbikes on commercial purposes, the president, through the reading of statistics, has said.
The issue of violent activities attributed to commercial motorcyclists remains one of the cardinal factors affecting the society in post-conflict Liberia.
However, at the training, many of the participants were happy as they expressed interest, because they believe that the C4P project will help motorcyclists to constructively address some conflict prone issues without resorting to violence
“Activities have been designed to build individual or institutional capacity, and further offer desperate adversarial groups opportunities for reconciliation,” said the chief trainer, Brezhnev D. Paasewe.
Additionally, he said, “the project will support the establishment of trust between citizens and state, reinforcing Indigenous Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms so that all members of the civil society, public sector institutions, and traditional authorities can embrace diversity, resolve differences constructively and establish conditions for positive peace in Liberia.”
Accordingly, in the project, the positive peace context refers to the restoration of relationships and the creation of social systems that serve the needs of the whole population, while resolving conflict in a constructive way.
The project will align with key government policies such as “Liberia Agenda for Transformation, Steps to Liberia Rising 2013, and the Strategic Roadmap for National Healing, Peace Building and Reconciliation in the country.
The 4CP project is a 36-month initiative implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS), with support from USAID (United States Agency for International Development)’s Conflict Mitigation Management program, while the training of motorcyclists was sponsored by the United Nations Peacebuilding Office.