Camp for Peace Liberia, a youth-focused non-governmental organization has concluded a one day post-election symposium under the theme “Post Elections: Peace, Reconciliation and Youth Engagement”.
The symposium which brought together 35 participants including students, youth representatives from various political parties, representatives of the Federation of Liberia Motorcyclist Transport Union, researchers, academicians and other development partners was intended to exchange ideas and echo a way forward for national reconciliation and development in Liberia.
As you are aware, the just-ended election stirred up a lot of emotion in people. People on every side of the political divides felt overwhelmed with high expectations having often been disenfranchised, ignored and threatened in so many ways. Camp for Peace Liberia feels that those are threats to Liberia’s emerging democracy and fragile peace. Participants were therefore cautioned to be mindful, loving and patriotic in moving Liberia forward.
Serving as opening speakers at the event, Mr. Josiah F. Joekai, head of Secretariat at the National Commission on Small Armed stressed the important of human security as a strong driver for sustaining peace and development in Liberia. Mr. Joekai used the occasion to inform national government and policy makers of the need to prioritize human security including health, education, better sanitation, etc.
Speaking earlier was the Secretary to the Newly Elected Representative of Electoral District # 4, Montserrado County, Mr. Albert G. Tougbaye. Mr. Tougbaye also stressed the need for Liberian youth to be productive in taking the lead in promoting reconciliation among themselves and their community members. He said Liberia can only get better if the youth treat each other with tolerance and respect.
Other speakers of the event included William Saah, a research consultant, Bill Mulbah of the Liberia Peace Building Office, Jimmy Thompson of the Carter Center and Mr. Charles Coffey. They all spoke of the important of managing high expectations and understanding government, building social cohesion among Liberian youth, promoting national reconciliation and using effective communication as a path to sustaining peace and development in Liberia.
Participants expressed a great delight in the symposium and promised to serve as ambassadors to take the message to their respective institutions and communities. They extended their deepest appreciation to Camp for Peace Liberia team for initiating such a great event that has informed their thinking about how governance works and the roles youth can play in promoting peace, reconciliation and development in Liberia. Participants strongly refused the notion that youth are trouble makers. They considered themselves as agents and ambassadors of peace and development and promised to sustain the peace.
For his part, the Executive Director of Camp for Peace Liberia, Mr. B. Abel Learwellie expressed his deep satisfaction about the symposium. He extended his heartfelt appreciation to all participants and presenters for honoring their invitation to form part of this great event. He used the occasion to outline his organization thematic areas of focus. He said Camp for Peace Liberia runs three thematic programs in rehabilitation and skills training, peace education and Rumie digital library programs. He therefore welcomed and encouraged participants to make use of their expertise and programs to improve their professional skills.