Students display placards with anti-violence messages
The Young Men Christian Association or YMCA, has launched its second Anti-Violence Campaign in Yekepa, Nimba County. The launch brought together several elementary, junior and secondary schools in Yekepa, including Pentecostal Elementary and Junior High School, Randy Godfray Elementary and Junior High School, Bishop Carroll High School and Arcelor Mittal High School, among others.
Speaking to this paper recently, the branch coordinator for the Yekepa YMCA, Madam Elizabeth Varnnie said, the campaign is intended to sensitize young people how to resist any form of violence that may occur in their respective communities, towns and villages as well as the entire county.
She said, there is need for young people to be involved with skills training and other developmental activities in their communities rather than mob violence. She emphasized that violence cannot develop any nation, but only helps to destroy.
Madam Varnnie pointed out that Liberia is already a victim of 14 years of Civil War, which left no benefit that young people could boost of. She urged young people to instead, help government in the rebuilding process than be involved with acts that promote violence.
Also speaking, the project officer for SHL-YMCA, Mr. Tifinneh A. Tanyon, noted that his organization is involved with empowering young people to become productive rather than see violence as a way of life.
He disclosed that the YMCA is providing skills training for over 300 youths in the areas of Computer, Carpentry, and Electricity, among others, which he said is intended to build their capacity.
For his part, the chairperson for Anti-Violence Campaign at the Yekepa-YMCA, Allenton Menklee told reporters the second phase of the campaign is helping to reduce violence in the county.
He said for the past few months, there has been no new violence or hostility in the once economically viable concession community as a result of the exercise. Mr. Menklee further disclosed that youths are being sensitized to make sure the 2017 elections will be violence-freed in the entire Nimba County.
He said March each year has been set aside for anti-violence activities and young people in the county are fully aware.
According to him, the YMCA is also working with in partnership with the Government of the United Kingdom to provide training programs for the youths to divert their attention from violence to peace.
During the prolonged civil conflict here, young people were exploited by competing armed factions, which used them as child soldiers, leaving them with no skills at the end of hostility except knowledge of the barrel of the gun. Edited by Jonathan Browne