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Playlist: Liberia

Compiled By: Eva Breneman

Caption: PRX default Playlist image
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Motorbikes in Monrovia

From UNICEF | Part of the Digital Diaries: Liberian Youth Voices series | 08:23

Josephine Zogbaye, 18, talks about motos and road safety in Liberia.

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As useful as motorbikes are in Liberia, a country still recovering from a 14-year-long civil war, there are downsides. 

“Motorcyclists in Liberia don’t drive with care,” Josephine says.  “If you’re not careful, they will damage your life.”

Monrovia radio workshop

In August, Josephine was one of the participants in a weeklong radio production workshop for 7 young people from Liberia. UNICEF Radio – in partnership with UNICEF's ‘Back on Track’ programme on Education in Emergencies and Post-Crisis Transition, the UNICEF Liberia programme and Talking Drum Studios – conducted the workshop with three boys and four girls chosen from around the country.

The youths learned how to record, edit, write and produce a radio story of their own.

Josephine visited the trauma unit of a hospital, the police headquarters, and a Monrovia motorbike union to tell her story.  She learned that serious motorbike accidents happen daily, often because moto drivers are not using the proper helmets, shoes, or a driving recklessly. 

But Josephine also learned that the life of a motorbike driver is far from easy.  Many of the bikers are former soldiers.  Most have little education and struggle to make enough money to support their families.

“I have two living children,” the head of the motorbike union told Josephine.  “If they take my motorbike from me, how will they go to school?”  

UNICEF’s Liberia programme will broadcast Josephine’s story to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The CRC grants children the right to a safe environment, among other rights.

Emmanuel's Story: Child's Right to Religion

From UNICEF | Part of the Digital Diaries: Liberian Youth Voices series | 07:10

Emmanuel Mulbah, 18, from Zorzor, Liberia, explains why he wants the right to choose his religion.

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When Emmanuel Mulbah, 18, moved in with his uncle several years ago, they became extremely close.  Emmanuel worked in his uncle’s shop, then started to run it when his uncle was away. 

But recently, their easy rapport has become strained.  Emmanuel, who was raised Lutheran has decided to become part of the Seventh Day Adventist church in Liberia.  Emmanuel’s uncle says his nephew should stay Lutheran and has ordered him not to attend the Adventist services. 

“My uncle says ‘Our forefathers, our parents have been in that church; they grew up in that church, they died in that church’ and he says we should also imitate them,” Emmanuel says.

“I want my uncle to understand that everyone has the right to freedom of religion.”

Monrovia radio workshop

In August, Emmanuel was one of the participants in a week-long radio production workshop for 7 young people from Liberia. UNICEF Radio – in partnership with UNICEF's ‘Back on Track’ programme on Education in Emergencies and Post-Crisis Transition, the UNICEF Liberia programme and Talking Drum Studios – conducted the workshop with three boys and four girls chosen from around the country.

 

The youths learned how to record, edit, write and produce a radio story of their own.

 

Emmanuel’s story took him to a Lutheran church and a Seventh Day Adventist church in Monrovia to discuss the two Christian churches’ different beliefs about the Sabbath day. 

After meeting with the Lutheran pastor, Emmanuel said he felt liberated by the pastor when he told him, “Hold strong to your faith, and it’s not so much the day that matters, but what you do on that day.” 

Now, even in spite of his uncle’s hesitations, Emmanuel is thinking about becoming a pastor himself, in the Adventist Church.

UNICEF’s Liberia programme will broadcast all the youth’s stories too celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The CRC grants children the right to freedom of thought and religion, among other rights.

 

Bright Minds, Dim Future

From UNICEF | Part of the Digital Diaries: Liberian Youth Voices series | 07:02

Emmanuel Woanyean, 16, from Monrovia, Liberia, was first in his class and wants to be an engineer -- but he can’t afford the university fees.

Default-piece-image-2 "I want to be an engineer and be a part of the reconstruction of my country," says Emmanuel Woanyean, 16, from Monrovia, Liberia.

But in spite of finishing first in his class in high school, Emmanuel will not be attending school next semester.  After his one-year scholarship to technical school ended in June, he realized he could not afford to continue.

“My mother is classroom teacher and she makes about $100 a month, or $1200 a year,” Emmanuel says.  By happenstance, that’s exactly how much a year of engineering school costs.  But his mother needs to pay rent, buy food, and pay school fees for Emmanuel’s younger sister.  

“She’s doing her best, but it just doesn’t seem to be working.  It’s heartbreaking,” Emmanuel says. 

Monrovia radio workshop

In August, Emmanuel was one of the participants in a week-long radio production workshop for 7 young people from Liberia. UNICEF Radio – in partnership with UNICEF's ‘Back on Track’ programme on Education in Emergencies and Post-Crisis Transition, the UNICEF Liberia programme and Talking Drum Studios – conducted the workshop with three boys and four girls chosen from around the country.

The youths learned how to record, edit, write and produce a radio story of their own.

Emmanuel's story talked about what it is like to be a motivated, bright young man in Liberia without the means to continue studying.  One of Emmanuel’s professors tried to encourage him.  “This is a post-war country and people are facing the global [economic] crisis,” the professor said.  “You can’t be complacent.”

He told Emmanuel to apply for more scholarships from the ministry of education.  “If you go through with that with the requisite grade point average, I think you can be there as an engineer and you will be a prospect for your country.” 

UNICEF’s Liberia programme will broadcast all the youth’s stories too celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The CRC grants children the right to a quality education, among other rights.

 


Karsumo's Story

From Hana Baba | 16:55

How one man went from an African war zone to performing on the stages of California.

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Karsumo's Story
From
Hana Baba

Default-piece-image-2 Oakland is home to one of the country?s largest African dance companies, Diamono Coura. Overall, the troupe has 60 dancers, which makes it closer to the size of a major metropolitan ballet company than an independent African dance troupe from Oakland. But Diamano Coura does get around, performing extensively in the US, Canada, and Europe. One of its star dancers is Liberian Karsumo Massaquoi - a man who loves, and lives, to dance. But, he almost did not survive to do either. Hana Baba has his story.