Monrovia - Catholic Relief Services and its partners the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) and the Mano River Women’s Peace Network (MARWOPNET) formally launched Connect for Peace (C4P) project on December 6, 2017 in Sanniquellie City, Nimba County.
Connect for Peace is a 36-month initiative that is implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Liberia, with support from USAID Conflict Mitigation and Management program.
C4P is designed to strengthen vertical and horizontal social cohesion between and among citizens, civil society organizations and public officials, with the broader aim of contributing to peace writ large in Liberia.
The project will support the establishment of trust between citizens and state, and will reinforce Indigenous Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms so that all members of civil society (including women and youth), public sector institutions, and traditional authorities embrace diversity, resolve differences constructively, and establish conditions for positive peace in Liberia.
The project was officially launched by Nimba County Secretary to the Office of the Superintendent, Paul K. Karnu, together with USAID Mission Director, Dr. Anthony Chan and CRS’ Regional Director, Jennifer Overton.
The Peace Ambassador, Rev. William R. Tolbert, Officials from Liberia Peacebuilding Office, Civil Society Organizations and the traditional council were also represented.
Dr Chan stated that “Liberians are extremely proud of the peace they have built and sustained in the past 14 years.
The people clearly recognized the inherent importance of this peace for continued development of the county – a development inclusive of all Liberians”.
He added that “CRS’ approach seeks to strengthen existing local conflict mitigation and management processes and structures, providing both community members and local authorities with the tools to better handle their localized problems, while building social cohesion”.
Local Authorities expressed appreciation to CRS for selecting Nimba County as the main targeted location for project activities, highlighting that work in peacebuilding continues to address an important need as a result of more than a decade of civil war and unrest.
Utilizing CRS’s innovative methodology “Applying Appreciative Inquiry to the 3Bs” (3Bs/4Ds), the project will apply its principles through People to People trainings, workshops, consultative public gatherings, social and cultural events, and connector activities.
Activities have been designed to build individual and institutional capacity, and offer disparate adversarial groups opportunities for reconciliation.
CRS is an international humanitarian relief and development organization founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States, and is present in over 100 countries, reaching more than 120 million people on an annual basis.
CRS has been operating in Liberia since 1990, focusing specifically in the sectors of Emergency Response, Health, Justice and Peace, and Agriculture.