MONROVIA – A civil society organization, the Mano River Youth Network of Liberia (MaRioNet Liberia) recently launched its community awareness campaign on the prevention of the coronavirus disease and to end violence against children.
The official launch of the community engagement took place recently in the King Gray Community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Giving the overview of the launch, the co-chairperson for Operation of MaRioNet Liberia, Benjamin Varney said the campaign is intended to create awareness on the prevention of the deadly coronavirus disease and to end violence against youth and children in the communities.
“We want to make sure that communities’ dwellers continue to take those measures that will help us to be safe from the deadly Corona Virus. We also want to see that children are not abused in the communities.”
Varney continues: “Even during Corona Virus’ time, there are violations of children’s rights. Parents beat on their children, we hear men raped children and other different things that affect children in the communities. So, we want to see how best to put an end to those different problems.”
Also, officially launching the campaign, the Chairperson of MaRioNet Liberia, Pauline F. Gartor said the essence of the awareness is to also build the capacity of young people to be able to champion the cause on issues that affect them.
“While it is true that statistics have proven that there are lot of elderly people who have died from theCovid-19, we are also taking into consideration the economic impact of Covid-19 in Liberia.
Today, lot of parents are out of jobs, our businesses are not going like before, so you see more kids in the streets vulnerable. Parents sent them to sell, teenage pregnancy is in the increase, something the Mano River Youth Network Liberia and our sponsor, The Fund for Global Human Rights takes very seriously,” She said.
Madam Gartor added that the awareness will take place in five communities in Montserrado County. Those communities to benefit are: King Gray Community, Slip Way Community, New Kru Town Community, and other communities.
She said one of the objective of the MaRioNet Liberia is to promote human rights through youth leadership, noting that youth participation is key to the growth and development of every communities or countries. “At the MaRioNet Liberia, our objective is to promote human rights through youth leadership, so, this awareness is about the young people and children. If you look at the issues of teenage pregnancy, poverty and amongst others. The young people, the women, the girls are mostly affected so in order for us to solve those issues. We, ourselves need to champion them,” She added.
At the same time, she named pregnancy, rape, sexual and gender based violence among others as issues affecting youth and children in various communities.
“While it is true that the country is hard, do not sent your child or children in the streets to sell or look for food for you and your family. These things make children vulnerable to rape, trafficking, and others abuse,” She urged parents.
For her part, Ruth Mendscole, a resident of the King Gray Community thanked the youth group for the initiative.
She, however called for a collective effort in the fight against rape, teenage pregnancy and other forms of violence and youth and children.
“King Gray is one of the communities’ with huge number of underprivileged young children. So, we hope that the campaign will help us in the fight against violence against children youths,” Madam Mendscole added.
The Mano River Youth Network is a subset of the Mano River Youth Parliament that specifically focuses on youth leadership development, building youth capacity, and to end violence against youth and children.