5 December 2012

Liberia: Two Young Liberians Off for International Confab

Two youth will be representing the youth of Liberia at the Global Youth Forum under the theme Youth Rights at the Heart of Development in Bali, Indonesia from December 4th to 6th this year. Laura Golakeh and Joseph Cheayan were selected by conference secretariat among dozens of Liberian youth and will be sponsored by UNFPA Liberia to attend the program. The participants were selected based on their contribution to youth development, their abilities to contribute to issues that will be discussed at the forum and their commitment to become youth leaders in their various countries and communities. The conference is the first ever major global mobilization of young people to discuss issues relevant to realizing their rights, well-being and human-centered development. It will be co-hosted by the Government of Indonesia and the United Nations and will bring together 1000participants, comprising governments, youth representatives from each United Nations member state, youth networks, NGOs, journalists, the private sector, educational institutions, and the United Nations system.

The aim of the conference is to bring together young people and all relevant stakeholders, under the leadership of young people, to address issues related to young people staying healthy; getting comprehensive education; transiting to decent work; to sexuality, families and rights; and leadership and meaningful youth participation and to identify concrete recommendations for achieving the rights and development goals of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) beyond 2014 and for a credible United Nations development agenda beyond 2015. Through the innovative use of web and mobile technologies, the Forum also aims at creating national and global platforms for sustained conversation on youth issues that enable young people to influence policy at country, regional and global levels. According to a member of the conference secretariat, Ms. Noemi Espinoza the conference will also lay a heavy focus on communication via social networks, capitalizing on new and still-evolving technologies. Ms. Laura Golakeh one of the two youth selected is currently the founder and Executive Director of Right to Read a Non-Profit Organization in Liberia focusing on Education for young students with more emphasis on building their reading and writing skills so as to foster and sustain their interest in reading and writing for their own enjoyment, information and communication and career benefits. She also works as Communications Officer at the Angie Brooks International Centre and formerly Media Monitor at the Liberia Media Center and Gender Coordinator of Youth Crime Watch of Liberia. She is a 2010 graduate of the African Methodist Episcopal University and has work at many national and international organizations as researcher and volunteer. She has represented the youth of Liberia at international levels and was recently among the group of Liberian youth transporting peace to the people of Sierra Leone during their just ended elections. According to Laura Golakeh being selected as a participant to the youth forum is a manifestation of the work she has done at the grass root level to improve the rights of youth especially young women in Liberia. Laura is a writer and is the creator of the famous "Letter to Grandma"column in the Analyst Newspaper.

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