Liberia: European Union commemorates International Day of Education with “Da Youth Dem Voice Here” Contest
MONROVIA – The Delegation of the European Union to Liberia has commemorated the International Day of Education 2021. It was awarded ten young students who participated in a national Rap/Singing/Poetry contest, dubbed “Da Youth Dem Voice Here” Contest.
“Da Youth Dem Voice Here” Contest was a national Rap/Singing/Poetry contest for young Liberians living in Liberia. It created an opportunity for young Liberians to showcase their youthful creativity while reflecting on their nation-building role. The competition was opened to Liberian High School students from Grade 9-12. The contest was held under the theme, “My Future Liberia.”
Interested young Liberians were encouraged to film themselves either reciting a poem, rapping, or singing about their future aspirations for the country between December 7th, 2020, and January 21st, 2021. Ten top entries were shortlisted for public voting on the Delegations Facebook page. The award ceremony was, therefore, to climax the almost two months-long campaign.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Head of the Political Section, Juan Antonio Frutos Goldaratz, expressed his joy at the campaign’s enthusiasm and creativity. “This was an inspiring event for all of us. We decided to do this because we believe the youth are the future of this country, and your voices are essential in shaping the future. We have seen very talented young people who have shared their thoughts, ideas on education, development, human rights issues, on gender equality, which are very important in Liberia. So it has been an honor and privilege to be part of this.”
He also emphasized the EU will continue to work with Liberia’s young people by investing in developing their skills for a better and brighter future. “The EU is partnering with the Liberian government in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). We want to ensure that the young people of Liberia get equipped with skills for a better future”.
Charlvia Unique Johnson, a 17-year-old student of the Saint Theresa Convent Catholic High School and 1st place winner of the competition, thanked the EU for the platform to express her thoughts and aspirations of Liberia. She said, “I am grateful for the platform given to me and every other youth in Liberia by the EU. I am happy that we can be heard, seen, and listened to on what we think about Liberia. I believe, we the youth can still change the narrative and rewrite our story”.
Speaking about her poem’s background, which was focused on a more united Liberia, she explained, “our politics can be divisive, and unity is one thing that can progress a nation while politics divides us. My poem also talks about the fact that when we are focused on our economy and how we grow it, it will benefit us more than just talking politics”.
The 2nd and third place winners include Devine Saysay from the Life International School and Paula Lela M. Jeremiah of the Spiritan Academy. Steve Collins, of the Bishop Juwle High School in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, Isaac Dolo, James N. Davis SDA School, Scott Johnson, Len Miller High School, Irvin Denzel Nyumah, Paynesville Seventh Day Adventist High School, Elfenesh Ellen Johnson, Aware International School, Numeune Moore Ford Madden Christian Academy, and Meldoray Courage Tarr were the other finalists.
- Images A group photo of award winners and Deputy Head of Mission of the European Union Delegation to Liberia
- Ms. Charlvia Uique Johnson receiving her certificate from Deputy Head of Mission of the European Union Delegation to Liberia