YOCEL: against violence in Liberia - KidsRights

YOCEL: against violence in Liberia

Liberian Abraham M. Keita, better known as Keita, is the International Children's Peace Prize Winner of 2015. He fights for justice for children who have been victims of (sexual) violence. This is too common in Liberia; Keita has even seen it happening in his neighborhood. 

To support Keita in his fight, we searched for local project partners with the same goal. This resulted in a long-term collaboration with project partner YOCEL, an organization that works against violence against children in Liberia.

Violence against children in Liberia
Every 5 minutes, somewhere in the world, a child dies from the effects of violence. Liberia is, unfortunately, an example of a society in which violence against children, and in particular sexual violence against girls, is a daily occurrence.

Awareness through social media
Youngsters make extensive use of social media. This is therefore an important way for youngsters and children to make their voices heard and reach many others. The possibilities of using online technologies and protecting children against violence are increasing.

Together with youth organization YOCEL, KidsRights is responding to these developments. For example, a campaign is being conducted via social media to create awareness about violence against children. In addition, children receive training in the fields of social media, leadership and campaigning. This way, children learn how they can start campaigns themselves and spread their knowledge about children's rights. YOCEL consists only of young people up to 25 years, who lead and keep the organization running.

What does YOCEL do?
YOCEL is committed to a world in which every child has equal access to good education, without discrimination. They focus on education, entrepreneurship and lobby. With this, they create a platform of young people who can stand up to make their voices heard. This youth organization was established in 2013.

In the past year, YOCEL & KidsRights have:

  • Made 1000 children a member of the Right Holders Movement. This Movement consists of members aged between 13 and 24, who educate other children about children's rights and the use of social media.
  • The Right Holders Network was established and 15 young leaders were trained and added to it. The members of Right Holders Network serve as leaders for the Right Holders Movement.
  • Better cooperation with the local police, so that young people can report violence more easily.
  • Organized the National Children Education and Development Camp for the first time. At the 4 day camp 100 children were present, coming from different places in Liberia. Here, they were able to talk to each other about their problems and share their experiences. During the camp the most important themes to children were determined. This resulted in three main themes that were central, namely: child marriages, online child abuse and knowledge about children's rights.

The coming year YOCEL & KidsRights want to:

  • Make parents aware of the negative consequences of child marriage.
  • Organize multiple camps such as the National Children Education and Development Camp.
  • Expand the Right Holders Movement.

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