IMPACT REPORT I September 2019

2019 Quardu-Gboni Peace and Reconciliation Initiative in Lofa County, Liberia

The Quardu-Gboni Peace and Reconciliation Initiative was successfully held between September 10 to 14 of this year in Quardu-Gboni District, Lofa County. The theme of the peace initiative was Understanding Elections and Civil Responsibilities for Sustainable Peace. In consultation with the Consortium of Quardu-Gboni District Youth Organizations (CQGDYO), Better Understanding for a Better Liberia (BUBL) organized the three-day peace initiative in which 160 young and adultly people received peacebuilding training in three main towns namely: Sarkonedu, Barkedu, and Sarmodu in Quardu-Gboni District.  Our group of panelists and guest speakers for the peace initiative included local leaders and members of these prominent towns. 

 

These trained individuals have returned to their respective towns to engage with their fellow Liberians of different youth, religious, and cultural groups to further collective understanding and peacebuilding in the district. This aims to bring people together to participate peacefully in Liberia's Senatorial Election in 2020 and work collectively with each other to resolve conflicts that may occur during the election period. The impact of the Quardu-Gboni Peace and Reconciliation Initiative is not only promoting sustainable peace between people in Quardu-Gboni District but across Lofa County and Liberia at large. 

 

The district commissioner Mr. Sedeke Kamara spoke during the peace initiative workshop for unifying people in the district.

" The peace initiative is the first of its kind to reconcile our district. We are happy that you considered our problems and making efforts to unite our people. " 

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Mr. Kamara is among the district’s leaders that participated in the peace and reconciliation initiative. In addition, some of the female participants expressed the last elections brought misunderstandings to their marriages and were forced by their husbands to vote for candidates they [the women] did not support. 

 

"Every disagreement about the elections led to conflict or divorce," said Madam Fatu J. Kanneh, a female participant from Barkedu.

 

She also said she and other women hope the peace initiative promotes family-relations to help them live together in harmony regardless of political differences.

 

BUBL's Communications and Development Director Losene A.M. Talawally, supervising our volunteer team during the peace initiative, said "the purpose of the Quardu-Gboni Peace and Reconciliation Initiative was fully welcomed and climaxed by soccer games for peace, that there were even more than 100 people who came out together to embrace the peace initiative."  

She also said she and other women hope the peace initiative promotes family-relations to help them live together in harmony regardless of political differences.

 

BUBL's Communications and Development Director Losene A.M. Talawally, supervising our volunteer team during the peace initiative, said "the purpose of the Quardu-Gboni Peace and Reconciliation Initiative was fully welcomed and climaxed by soccer games for peace, that there were even more than 100 people who came out together to embrace the peace initiative." 

 

"Residents including chiefs, elders, young people, and district officials were astonished by the peace initiative and felt appreciated to receive peace training that will develop collective understanding and peace among themselves," he added.

 

The chief of Sarmodu town, Mr. Sedekie Jabateh said that peaceful dialogues should continue in order to have sustainable peace in the district.

We thought this peace initiative was something else, but we have learned important things, and there is a great need to extend a similar peace initiative in and around Quardu-Gboni District. "

Funding for the Quardu-Gboni Peace and Reconciliation Initiative was received from the United States Department of State through the American Councils for International Education and the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study. We BUBL volunteers couldn’t have achieved the peace initiative without the cooperative efforts we received from people in the three towns. We extend our appreciation to our network of organizations, donors, and our own volunteer members for the contributions they are making for people and communities in Liberia.

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