Red Cross Embarks on Community Initiative

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The Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) and its partners on Tuesday, Septermber 6, launched a two-day community program in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, to promote human rights and gender equality.

With more than 100 participants from Lofa, Bong and Nimba, the initiative is in collaboration with the Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Education, and Justice, including the Liberia Naitonal Police Women and Children Protection Section, and the independent
National Commission on Human Rights.

The objective, according to the organizers, is to promote human rights in rural communities, strengthen gender equality and reduce discrimination.

The program was held under the theme, “Stop Violence Against Women and Girls.” It also seeks to specifically strengthen gender equality and reduce gender-based violence, discrimination and vulnerability in rural communities in the three counties.

The Red Cross focus person at the occasion, Ambullai Perry, said zero tolerance on gender-based violence was necessary to curb the practice across the country.

“Red Cross does not support the act of beating on anybody, whether the person is your child or not. We are not in support of violence of any kind. This is why we are collaborating with the Independent National Human Rights Commission (INHRC) to ensure that violence of any kind is prevented,” Mr. Perry emphasized.

According to him, the organization is opting to spread love among the citizenry, which is one of the key principles of human rights.

The launch also brought several youths together to create a platform for their communities – sharing their experiences, knowledge and lessons learnt with government and other stakeholders.

The youths, through the Behavioral Change Community (BCC), will be empowered to raise awareness on human rights to reduce discrimination and gender-based violence in their various communities and schools.

The program was followed with a working session during which the participants asked questions on various topics that helped them understand key concepts on gender and sex among young people, the effects of harmful traditional practices, and the impact of teenage pregnancy on girls’ education.

The European Union and the Danish Red Cross funded the program.

European Union (EU) Program Manager for Governance in Liberia Erik Kristensen said the EU is committed to helping the LNRCS fight against gender-based violence.

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