The NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Development will today officially begin the “Enhancing Youth Participation in the 2017 Legislative and Presidential Electoral Process” project at the YMCA Headquarters on Broad Street.
The project, according to a press release from NAYMOTE, is designed to increase space for youth engagement, dialogue and civic participation to diffuse potential election prone conflicts at community levels and significantly reduce the number of reported incidents of electoral related violence across the 15 counties in Liberia.
The project is funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The event, the release said, will bring together 200 youth representatives from youth networks, disadvantaged youth groups, students and young political leaders from across Montserrado County.
NAYMOTE will release the much talked about peace song and video, which was produced by 15 Liberian entertainers, screen peace messages from the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of UNMIL, and the U.S. and European Ambassadors to Liberia.
There will also be live performances by Liberians entertainers, video documentaries on non-violent elections in Africa, short speeches on democratic values, rights, tolerance and peaceful behavior from the UNDP, UNMIL, NEC and young Liberians. Reverend Foday E. Karpeh will serve as the guest speaker on the topic: “Essence of Peace and Sustaining the Gain.”
As part of the project, NAYMOTE is working with UN Volunteers, Regional Coordinators and youth networks across the country to conduct ‘Youth Awareness Campaigns on Electoral Violence Prevention and strengthen the national youth architecture for the post 2017 youth engagement to advance democracy and sustain peace-building in Liberia.
There will also be regional youth theater group performances creating awareness on peace and conflict management as well as helping the youth to understand their roles, rights and responsibilities as voters. “When we work for peace, we are working for the creation of foundations for respect of human rights and for enabling the development to happen.
“We should not just be demanding politicians to deliver peace. Peace is everyone’s responsibility, particularly the youth,” Farid Zarif, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and Head of UNMIL, said.
To boost the campaign and increase visibility, NAYMOTE has designed and produced 8,000 graphic flyers, 1,000 t-shirts and 40 billboards. These items are being distributed across the country, with billboards already erected in strategic locations. The exercise will last for four months, beginning from August 1 to December 31.
The official launch of the ‘Enhancement of Youth Participation in the 2017 Legislative and Presidential Electoral Process’ will coincide with the International Day of Democracy. Democracy is a universal value based on the freely spoken and expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems in all aspects of their lives. Every year on September 15, the United Nations celebrates these ideals on the International Day of Democracy.