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UNFPA, Mineke Foundation launch Youth Empowerment Project

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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Mineke Foundation (MF) has launched a new storytelling project for youth in Monrovia. The project is aimed at getting an insight in the lives of adolescents and young people in Liberia with digital storytelling through social media.

A group of young people will be reporting on their own lives and their friends. They will show what social issues affecting them in their communities, and who and what inspires them.
The goal is to use these digital stories to give an insight into their lives and raise awareness on their day to day social challenges, barriers, needs, aspirations, lessons and successes. These stories will be used for advocacy to get more attention for and focus on youth in Liberia.

UNFPA and Mineke Foundation share similar objectives. Both organizations are committed to ensuring that young people fulfill their potential, and seek ways to empower them to do so. “We are very happy we can combine our strengths to empower Liberia youth” says Tonia Dabwe, Founder and Chair of Mineke Foundation.

UNFPA Liberia Country Representative, Dr. OluremiSogunro notes, “We want to inspire young people to use what they have and start where they are to make changes both in their own lives and in their communities; providing them the opportunity to avoid early pregnancy, child marriage and sexual exploitation, …as examples of social barriers to their personal development.” 

In the first phase of the project, selected members of Mineke Foundation’s Adolescent and Youth Club will use mobile phones to document and report stories from different dimensions of their lives, narrating their day to day social challenges, barriers to social services, needs, aspirations, lessons and successes, among others.

These stories show the various challenges Liberia’s youth is experiencing and gives them an opportunity to bring their plight to various key decision makers and stakeholders for action, while lifting the voices of vulnerable young people in identified communities. 

The project will also empower participants to access knowledge on social media and internet, gain journalistic skills and positively utilize existing national and global forums of young social media activists to bring about desired change in communities with an anticipated result of increasing their active participation in advocating for change and constructively seeking social accountability from all concerned duty bearers.

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