3 January 2018

Liberia: 'An Uneducated Society Is a Threat to Peace' - Alex Devine, Youth for Change

Alex Devine, executive director of Youth for Change, a non-governmental organization, has said the incoming government should invest in education if it is to maintain the country's peace.

Devine, speaking at the close of the national youth camp in Salala, Bong County said, "Peace is important for the socioeconomic development of any nation, but when illiteracy rate becomes high, the people resort to violence through which they express their dissatisfaction on issues affecting their welfare. Politicians often lie to illiterate people to satisfy their selfish interest," he observed.

On the theme, "Consolidating Young People's Peace," Devine noted that the 12 years of relative peace the country has enjoyed could come under threat if the citizens remained uneducated.

The program was organized by the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in collaboration with leadership of the National Service Learning Institute (NSLI).

Devine said that in a society where the citizens are highly educated, the fight to preserve peace is not so difficult, adding, "this is why it so important that the government should invest in education to develop the minds of its citizens, because when the citizens are highly educated, they possess knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, which are important tools for any country's peace, and Liberia is not exempted. Education can help promote peace and provide safe environments, he added.

"The main purpose of education is to enlighten people's minds, so that they can have a proper understanding of the prevailing issues," Devine stated.

Nerwon S. Suah, YMCA National Youth Council president, said the campaign is intended to raise awareness on peace and to also train young people to serve as peace ambassadors.

The program has trained over 300 youth over the last three years in leadership development, peace building, conflict transformation and access to justice.

Alex Devine, founder of Devine Event Consultancy and organizer of the Montserrado County Inter-High School Debate competition.

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