The Catholic Relief Services on Wednesday, December 6, launched a new peace initiative in the country; specifically in the provincial city of Sanniquellie, Nimba County.
The new peace initiative, “Connect for Peace,” is expected to target about 300,000 citizens in two counties Nimba and some parts of Montserrado County, specifically Monrovia.
At the launching ceremony, the Regional Director of CRS, Madam Jennifer Overton said the Connect for Peace Project is a 36 month initiative implemented by the Catholic Relief Services, with support from USAID Conflict Mitigation and Management Program, the Government of Liberia and partners, including the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission and the Mano River Women’s Peace Network.
She said the Connect for Peace Project is designed to strengthen vertical and horizontal social cohesion among and between citizens, civil society organizations, and public officials with the broader aim of contributing to peace in Liberia.
She said the CRS will utilize what she called CRS methodology, which is known as Applying Appreciative Inquiry to the 3Bs (binding, bonding and bridging) and 4Ds (discover, dream, design and deliver).
“This project will apply its principles through people to people training, workshops, consultative public gatherings, social and cultural events and connector activities,” she said.
“Activities have been designed to build individual and institutional capacity, offer desperate adversarial groups opportunities for reconciliation,” she added.
She explained that the project will support the establishment of trust between citizens and the state and also reinforce ‘Indigenous Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism’ so that all members of civil society, including women and youth, public sector institutions and traditional authorities embrace diversity, resolve differences constructively and establish a condition for positive peace in Liberia.
“By adopting a community-centered approach to reconcile Liberians and establish a positive peace, the project will align with key government policies, such as Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation, Steps to Liberia Rising 2030, the Strategic Road-Map for National Healing and the peace-building and reconciliation in Liberia,” she said.
The ceremony was attended by USAID Country Director Dr. Anthony Chan; Mr. Edward Mulbah, and Executive Director of Liberia Peacebuilding Office; Rev. Dr. Richard R. Tolbert II, Liberia Peace Ambassador; local government officials, chiefs, women and youth representative, among others.
The USAID Country Director Dr. Chan expressed satisfaction about the launch and urged Liberians to work together to sustain the peace in the country.
He said the United States remains committed to working with partners to ensure that peace is sustained.
Dr. Tolbert explained that much more coordination is always necessary for peacebuilding, where he said, more cohesion is required in the peacebuilding process in Liberia.
However, the secretary to Superintendent Dorr Cooper, Mr. Paul Karnue, hailed the CRS and its’ partners for the initiative that is expected to reach about 300,000 citizens.
He said the government remains committed to peace in Liberia and said in the absence of peace there would not be any development in the county and the country at large.