As part of activities commemorating the International Day of Education 2021, the Delegation of European Union to Liberia has awarded ten young students who participated in a national Rap/Singing/Poetry contest, dubbed "Da Youth Dem Voice Here."
"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 vision for Liberia and 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. 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, Press and Information Section, Juan Antonio Frutos, expressed his joy at the campaign's enthusiasm and creativity. He said, "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. It has been an honor and privilege to be part of this."
The European Union Delegation to Liberia supports the education sector through its Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) interventions for Liberia's young people. Mr. Frutos emphasized that TVET support is a critical investment in developing young Liberians' skills for a better and brighter future. He said, "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 their thoughts. "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. I believe, we the youth can still change the narrative and rewrite our story".
The 2nd and 3rd places were won by 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 of Madden Christian Academy, and Meldoray Courage Tarr were the other finalists.