EU to Invest US$1.2M in New Youth Program

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The Search for Common Ground(SFCG)-Talking Drum Studio in collaboration with the European Union, has launched a regional program aimed as targeting over 2,000 children and youth across the region, with the European Union investing 1.2 million Euros.

Speaking at the official launch of the program at Corina Hotel in Sinkor, Thursday, March 27, the Country Director for SFCG, Mr. Oscar Bloh said the project will focus on the research that will utilize a listening and learning approach that will benefit children and youth from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Madam Henrietta Madia Peters from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Youth Liaison to the President of Liberia, officially launched the program, with the theme: ‘Engaging Children and Youth in the Prevention of Violence Against Children in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone’.

She explained that this was a good initiative by SFCG that could bring a good future to the children and youth of the country, especially children whose rights have been violated over a period of time.

According to Mr. Bloh, the program will focus on conducting conversations with 2,000 children and youth from across the region about violence and abuse affecting them (children, youth).

Mr. Bloh said the “aims of the project are to contribute to the eradication of all forms of violence against children and young people across the region.

“Our objectives are to identify the worst forms of violence against children and to understand the cumulative impact of the current approaches in addressing them. Two: utilize children and youth recommendations to influence country level program and policy actions to involve children and youth.”

“Objective three talks about the mainstream findings at the social level to enable communities to prevent the worst forms of violence; the project has a cross-cutting objective of building capacity of children and youth to advocate for their needs and prevent violence against their peers.”

In Liberia, SFCG is partnering with the Federation of Liberia Youth (FLY) to introduce youth to research, using an innovative “listening and learning’ methodology.

The research will consists of more than 600 conversation led by young people with their peers about violence affecting them as well as community and policy maker responses to this violence.

The research will also conducts interviews with key stakeholders in child and youth violence prevention such as the Ministry of Children and Youth, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the UNICEF.

Once the field-based research is completed, SFCG and FLY will conduct a series of curriculum summits with young people where the research findings will be shared and recommendations generated.

He further explained that the project will rely on children and youth centered and youth led research and recommendations to advocate for governments, multinational corporations, communities, and other stakeholders to implement actions and new politics to address the needs of children and youth.

“We will be using the recommendations of the youth from this SFCG and partners then organize curriculum summits to develop toolkits to use to train adults, policy makers, and other stakeholders including (children and youth) on how best they can involve young people in addressing their needs.”

The findings of the toolkits will be use to produce children and youth-led radio programming in each of the targeted countries, in hopes of identifying potential beneficiaries.

The project entitle: Engaging Children and Youth in the Prevention of Abuse against Children, will give equal opportunity to each of the beneficiary countries.

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