Liberia Initiative for Empowerment Promotes Women, Youth’s Participation in Peace Building and Reconciliation

Todee — As Liberia prepares for the 2023 general elections, Liberia Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) has completed 12 training workshops and 12 town hall meetings in Montserrado and Rivercess Counties.

In Montserrado, four communities benefited while eight communities were covered in Rivercess.

The training workshops and town hall meetings were part of activities of an initiative titled “Understanding and Tearing down the Barriers to Women and Youth Participation in the Liberian Reconciliation Plan and Socio Economic and Livelihood”. It is in line with the project tilted “Delivering Peace Dividend in Liberia: Consolidating National, Regional and Local Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Opportunities”.

The project was funded by the Peacebuilding Fund through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and it seeks to strengthen youth and women’s representation in Liberia’s reconciliation and peace consolidation processes and ultimately empowers women and youth as key stakeholders of the Liberia’s Peace Building Plan (LPP), the National Reconciliation Plan and County Reconciliation Plans.

The project activities commenced in Cestos City, Rivercess County on July 1, 2022. Over the last two months, LIFE has successfully undertaken 12 town hall meetings and 12 training workshops in eight communities in Rivercess County and three communities in Montserrado County.

Each town hall meeting was attended by 24 participants, while each training workshop had 24 participants. The training workshops are intended to equip women and youth with skills to leverage positive relations with local stakeholders to promote collaboration on issues relating to peace, security and reconciliation, in order to achieve tangible results.

The town hall meetings provided the platforms to lay the foundation for a sustainable and widely shared reconciliation agenda from the perspectives of women and young people.

Speaking during the opening of the town hall meeting in Todee District, the Executive Director of LIFE, Mrs. Jodie Reid Seton said that the project will go a long way in infusing a new level of dynamism in the peacebuilding and reconciliation processes in Liberia.

Mrs. Seton described women and youth as the foundation upon which the future of Liberia depends, and called on local communities to remain engaged with women and young people at all level of local governance and peace building.

She encouraged local women participants, who came from different towns in Todee District to serve as “amplifiers” of the project in their local communities and commended the UN Peace Building Fund and UNDP for their level of support to the overall program objectives of LIFE.

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