By Darius Gbaa (YES 2018-2019, Liberia, placed by AIFS/AYA in Elmira, OR)
Myself and other YES alumni in Liberia designed an inclusive workshop under the theme “Gender Equality and Gender-Based Violence”. The workshop was held on Friday, April 29 at the Bassa Community Town Hall. For the workshop, we brought together 30 students between the ages of 13-19 from four different high schools in central Monrovia.
Our goal for the workshop was to provide education on social injustices to help solve the problems of gender-based violence across the country while spreading the message of gender equality through the students’ communities. The other YES alumni and I believe that if the problem of gender-based violence and inequality is to be solved, it must start with teenagers and high school students. They are the ones that can continue to provide public awareness in their homes, communities, religious sectors, and schools.
The workshop was set up in two sessions. First, two YES alumni served as speakers where they educated participants on the danger of gender-based violence, the effects of gender inequality on a nation’s economy, and the benefits of gender balance. In the next session, participants were placed into groups where they were mentored to design ways of carrying on awareness to stop gender-based violence and promote gender equality in their communities. Each group then had the chance to present the various measures which each participant can use to stop gender-based violence across the country. At the end of the workshop, students from the different schools created their own social unions to help them work in a team to achieve these goals.