In order to maximize the opportunities that sports present for a large number of young people and passing new skills on to them in practical ways, the Gbowee Peace Foundation (GPF) Africa will today, Wednesday July 15, commence its second Annual Youth Camp.
The aim is to promote sharing knowledge, respect, integrity and accountability as the bases for fostering peace among them.
It is also based on the principles of good sportsmanship to accomplish several objectives among which are creating a platform for youths from diverse backgrounds to interact with each other by promoting peace and reconciliation; and increasing youth understanding of the concepts of gender, peace, reconciliation and willingness to seek alternatives to violent settlement of disputes.
The program is held under the theme, “Peace through Fair Play.”
According to Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee, who served as director and lead facilitator of the camp, the four day annual event will provide a sensitization framework to increase awareness among young people on their roles and responsibilities by promoting and giving respect to people with law and order as a basis for responsible citizenship and peaceful social interactions.
She said during the event, kids will visit the Legislature, Judiciary and the Executive branches of government to interact with their officials.
More than 40 children between the ages of 10 and 16 years from various communities are expected attend the camp which will last for four days.
Other events include a career day, learning about peace-making from real-life activists, and a farm excursion to learn about farming, culture and traditional values of Liberia.
She noted that it is no longer a secret that sports in Liberia has not been sufficiently used as a platform or tool for helping young people to improve their life-skills and develop new behaviors as well as attitudes that promote respect for the rule of law and peaceful co-existence.
The Nobel Peace Laureate said at national level, many sporting activities aimed at promoting unity are being held, but have not been strategically narrowed down to specifically targeting the teaching of peace and life-skills to youth, “partly because national programming has for a long time not treated the children and youth class as cross-cutting in all national sectors.”
At the same time, a one day clinic for the camp’s eight volunteers was held on Monday, July 13, at the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa’s Head Office in Congo Town. The purpose of the clinic was to inform the volunteers about the basic rules of safeguarding the children on camp and following strict rules of the EBOLA prevention protocols during the camp.