Youth Dialogue and Mediation Training, Liberia, by Scott Martin, Mediator & Conflict Coach
Messengers of Peace, Liberia (MOP) is a youth-lead NGO operating out of Monrovia. The Executive Director, Gwendolyn Meyers, was a panelist at the 2017 Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) Conference at The Hague and has been recognized by the African Union for her leadership. In the lead up to national run-off elections, Ms. Meyers and her team received funding (from UNDP) to train youth from each of the 15 counties of Liberia in conflict resolution, mediation and dialogue. MBBI was asked to support the week-long training of over 30 participants ages ranging from 19-29 years old and took place December 17th-23rd.
After meeting the MOP volunteer team, it was determined that they were capable of delivering a majority of the training themselves. Working with the MBBI lead trainer, Scott Martin, they re-wrote scripts and role plays in their own words and delivered the material in pairs. Every day, participants were video interviewed on cell phones and their comprehension and retention of key concepts was impressive.
On Election Day, these youths participated in a network of phone banks to report and manage minor conflicts as they arose in their local neighborhoods throughout the country and proudly played a key role in Liberia’s first peaceful, democratic transition of power in almost 80 years.