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ActionAid Empowers Youth in Policy Reform

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MONROVIA: ActionAid Liberia conducted a three-day training session for 26 young people from three counties, aiming to build their capacity to lead policy reform advocacy and engage with duty bearers on policy discussions. The training took place from Wednesday, May 29, to Friday, May 31, at the Shark Conference Hall in Sinkor.

Participants included members of Activista Network members, implementing partners, and new allies involved in climate justice advocacy. They engaged in workshops on policy formulation, policy analysis, and effective advocacy techniques. Sessions included hands-on activities such as drafting mock policies, conducting stakeholder analysis, and practicing public speaking for advocacy.

Prince Desmond Gaye, ActionAid Liberia’s Program Learning Officer, provided an overview of the training.

“The training is designed to strengthen young people’s capacity and enhance their work with the government. We believe that young people, in partnership with us, must have a high capacity to logically engage stakeholders,” Gaye explained. “This training aims to enhance their skills in policy reform, policy formulation, and policy analysis, so they can effectively discuss and analyze policies and make informed recommendations.”

The 26 participants came from three ActionAid Liberia project-specific counties: Gbarpolu, Bong, and Montserrado. Each participant brought unique perspectives and local issues to the training, enriching the discussions and collaborative efforts.

During the initial stages of the training, participant Sampson Wheidegar observed that the training would provide them with a better understanding of policies and their elements. “The training helped me understand that not all policies are laws, but laws are combinations of policies. This training built our capacity to advance in civil society,” Whiedegar stated.

David Paye, a member of the Activista Network Bong County chapter, confirmed that the training enabled them to understand how laws are policies, but not all policies are laws. “Before a policy can become a law, it must go through legislative scrutiny and approval.

Based on the knowledge acquired, I intend to address societal issues and advocate for policy changes that will benefit the common people in my community,” Paye declared.
Ms. Dorian Diajin emphasized the importance of research before advocating for policies.
Dorian plans to conduct in-house training with her colleagues on effective research methods for their advocacy activities. “The training was very impactful. What amazed me most was the diversity of the participants. However, I would like to see more environmental organizations represented in future training sessions,” Diajin noted.

Blessing F. Ndupellar expressed her desire to reach out to the government to enforce policies that will benefit citizens’ livelihoods. “We want to advocate for policies that will improve the lives of the people,” Ndupellar disclosed. To measure the impact of the training, ActionAid Liberia will track metrics such as the number of advocacy campaigns initiated by the participants, the number of policy discussions they engage in, and the policy changes influenced by their efforts.

Additionally, follow-up sessions and mentorship programs are planned to ensure ongoing support and development for these young advocates. The training concluded with participants expressing their commitment to applying the knowledge gained to advocate for policy reforms and improve their communities. As ActionAid Liberia continues to empower young leaders, the hope is that their enhanced skills and knowledge will lead to significant policy reforms that address critical issues and improve the lives of many across Liberia

.ActionAid Liberia, part of a global federation working to achieve social justice and gender equality, has a history of empowering marginalized communities. This training is part of their broader mission to involve young people in shaping policies that affect their lives and communities. By building the capacity of youth leaders, ActionAid Liberia aims to foster a generation of informed and active citizens capable of driving meaningful change.

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