Tuesday, 12 April 2022 14:01

CENTAL Trains Over 40 University Students… To Increase Capacity in Anti-Corruption and Awareness-Raising Featured

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CENTAL Trains Over 40 University Students …To Increase Capacity in Anti-Corruption and Awareness-Raising

Young people are the most important agents of change in the Fight against Corruption. Often overlooked, they offer a chance to reshape norms. In Liberia, where over half of the population are youth, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) is creating a substantial opportunity for youth to reshape corrupt culture into a culture of integrity and transparency.

On April 1, 2022, CENTAL, through its youth engagement and Integrity Club (IClub) Program, concluded a one-day intensive training for over forty (40) university students at the Corina conference hall in Sinkor Monrovia. The training aims to facilitate networking, interaction, and engagement amongst IClub members (youths and students) through learning and sharing of relevant information and building relationships that can be leveraged to enhance anti-corruption and integrity-building efforts in  Universities, High Schools, Communities, and the country at large. Every year, since the implementation of the National Integrity Building and Anti-corruption program (NIBA) at CENTAL, the Integrity Club, one of the many activities under the auspice of the program, recruit, train, and empowered students to engage in active activities in universities and high schools. This time, the previously trained integrity members were relinquishing power to the new batch of students from the University of Liberia (UL), United Methodist University (UMU), African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU), and the Stella Maris Polytechnic University (SMPU) to continue the path of conducting outreaches in schools and universities as done previously.  The outreach activities will start at the University level and then to high schools and communities.

Presenting at the training, CENTAL’s Executive Director Mr. Anderson D. Miamen, succinctly explained the mission and vision of CENTAL. He urged students to believe that corruption can be minimized to an appreciable level only and only if the mindset about corruption is changed. In his speech, He called for collective efforts to fight against corruption and exclaimed that the young people are very crucial to this fight; therefore, their contributions matter the most. He urged members to be attentive and take seriously their role in the ICLUB as the CLUB presents an opportunity for young people to get actively involved in the fight against corruption and contribute to positive change. Further, he explained the opportunity to promote a person’s career could be through active engagement in the IClub activities. To support his statement, he pointed out a few IClubbers who are currently contributing to the activities of CENTAL. Since the establishment of the IClub at the University of Liberia in 2017, these students have been committed to the cause and currently, they are serving the institution.

Also serving as a facilitator, Mr. Alex Divine, CEO/ Youth for Change, Inc., admonished students to stand up and face the reality that corruption is an enemy of development. He assured them about the adverse impacts of corruption. He stated, “Corruption is a lifestyle. The menace has taken hold of generations, and the only way we can curb this is by raising the standards high to uphold our integrity.” He added and urged students with disabilities to get involved in the process as well as they are always part of the society. “Corruption does not respect anyone regardless of who you are. It affects everyone irrespective of your condition.” He faintly added.

To conclude, Youth for Change Inc.’s CEO lamented the poor support given to the fight by those in authority. He, however, encouraged the youth not to be deterred but rather stand for the country and not for themselves.  

CENTAL’s ALAC Legal Officer, Atty. Bendu Kpoto reiterated the points made by Mr. Divine on inclusion. She elaborated on the importance of inclusion and uttered that. “Irrespective of a person’s gender, ability, or disability, literate or illiterate, we all have a part to play in strengthening the fight against corruption.”  She encouraged the full participation of women and girls. According to her, women and girls are less in the fight. They feel that men are the most corrupt in society, so the fight is not pressuring them. On the contrary, their refusal to actively join the fight will have a long-term impact on them.  

Atty. Kpoto concluded that Women are mostly victims of corruption. What supports the claim that corruption causes more suffering for women than men, especially at the university level? By distinguishing between indirect victimization and direct victimization, it is reasonable to assume women suffered more, and differently than men. Nevertheless, a general reduction of gender inequalities can address the root causes of the gendered impacts of corruption and call on all the youths especially the women and girls to do better in the fight against corruption. Without partiality and in an overtone, she promised to render support in her capacity to all students, especially to school-going girls and persons with disability at the University levels.

At the heart of the training, students presented on relevant topics –Corruption and Integrity. A team of 10 persons; four (4) groups presented and gave recommendations. Few among those recommendations were the usage of smart technology to reduce corruption; the incorporation of integrity courses in schools; increasing awareness efforts nationwide; and enforcing punitive measures against corrupt individuals.

The training workshop ended with an introduction to the software. The software is a data collection tool that will enable students to collect data while engaging in outreach activities. Students were excited about the introduction of the data collection software and thanked the institution for being actively involved in the fight against corruption.

Held under the auspices of the National Integrity Building and Anti-Corruption (NIBA) program funded by the Government and the People of Sweden through the Embassy of Sweden near Monrovia with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the training workshop now sets the basis for the students to begin raising awareness about corruption and integrity building at their respective universities, high schools, communities and country at large.

Read 296 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 May 2022 14:38

LOCATION

22nd Street, Sinkor
Tubman Boulevard
Monrovia, Liberia
Phone: +231 88 681 8855
Email: info@cental.org.lr
Website: www.cental.org.lr 

 

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