MONROVIA – 31 July 2023 – The National Management Team (NMT) of SOS Children’s Villages in Liberia, for the first time since COVID, held its NMT meeting in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
The event was held under the theme: “Our Voice.” The “Our Voices”, echoed the children and young people discussions and pleas for change with recommendations to enable the organization adequately respond to their evolving needs for significant impact on their lives.
“We can only be independent when we are empowered to lead,” says Marie*, a youth participant. During the engagement, children and young people advocated for their full involvement and participation at all levels regarding issues that concern them.
Marie’s* advocacy underscored that empowering children and young people is significant for them to be active participants and become effective guardians of a sustainable future. “It is time for us to take the lead,” Marie added.
Prosper Ndione, the National Director of SOS Children’s Villages in Liberia underlined the fundamental importance of hearing the voices of children and young people. He remarked, “Listening to the concerns and perspectives of the children and young people, as well as fostering their active participation are vital to achieving sustainable development. Investing in them will make significant impact no onlyfor them, but also for their families, and their communities”.
Engaging children and young people for positive change through their voices creates a child-friendly environment and fosters participation and advocacy. The voices of the children and young people reinforce the need to strengthen the role of every programme participant. SOS Children’s Villages strategic direction calls for amplifying and incorporating the voices of all of its progrmme participants – children, young people and families.
The two-day event brought together an assembly of 56 participants, including children, young people, caregivers from SOS Children’s Villages supported programmes, as well as major child protection actors from the government, including the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection Social Workers for Grand Bassa County, the Development superintendent of Grand Bassa County, the Buchanan City Mayor, the Head of the Women & Children Division of the Liberia National Police in Grand Bassa County, and members of the Child Welfare Committees.