Last Updated on 25 August 2012
In June 2011, the West African Human Rights and Democratization (WAHRD) Alliance
launched its project in Liberia under the theme “enhancing the capacity of political parties for peaceful elections”. The project was launched with a workshop aimed at engaging political communicators, youth wings of political parties and women wings on the need for decent campaigns and the use of violent free language for peaceful elections.
While WAHRD Alliance partners Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP) focused on enhancing the role of communication wings and women wings of political parties, (FOSDA) worked specifically with political party youth wings. At the end of the three day workshop FOSDA was able to bring representatives political party youth wings from the five major political parties to agree to work towards a peaceful election in Liberia.
Liberian youth represent an extremely vulnerable section of the country’s population. The majority of the youth in the past have either engaged themselves as active combatants or missed out on education by being refuges in another country or internally displaced within Liberia. This has created a despondent and desperate youth, vulnerable to political manipulations.
To follow up on the plans made during the workshop FOSDA visited Liberia during the 2011 elections to join its local partner the Liberian Action Network on Small Arms (LANSA) to observe the elections and support the Ballots Not Bullets campaign, being led by the Liberian youth. Youth observers were deployed to polling stations in and around the capital Monrovia, posters and t-shirts were used to spread the Ballots not Bullets message.