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Ceasefire Liberia: Providing a Platform For Liberians

Ceasefire Liberia is an unique project which aims to connect the Liberia based Liberian community with the rest of the diaspora in order to create a dialogue between them. The communities are using social media to share information and comments via prose, poetry, pictures & videos and using the Ceasefire Liberia blog to publish them online.

Tobias Eigen at Kabissa hails the project:

The founder, Ruthie Ackerman, was recently interviewed on Media Bistro, which you can listen to online here. (via Rising Voices mailing list)

I recommend the interview if you have the bandwidth to listen to it. In it, Ruthie explains Liberia and the project to an American audience – her perspective is very interesting and she's clearly committed to Liberia and to providing a platform for Liberians to have a voice and to connect with each other, both in Liberia and in the Diaspora.

The blogging project is described as “hyper local” which I found illuminating and worth emulating in other communities, the idea being to create blogging clubs in local communities that meet regularly and encourage more people to get involved in blogging – in this case in Staten Island, New York and Monrovia. The benefits then are larger since it is a social media powered online project, so people around the world can participate.

350.org, an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis, thanks Ceasefire Liberia and writes:

On October 24, Ceasefire Liberia, a citizen media project of Rising Voices, joined members of their own community, and the rest of the world, in lending their voices to demand swift action on climate change. The day included a parade, educational programs, and the signing of a global petition, as well as enabled Liberia to connect their efforts to the global 350 movement.

Saki G writes in the CeaseFire Liberia Blog:

In Liberia, the youth of Wood Camp in collaboration with the Youth Crime Watch of Liberia in Paynesville, added their voices to the global chorus, challenging key stakeholders who will be meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009, to commit themselves to the climate deal that will define a new direction in the fight against climate change.  The campaign, which started with a parade through the principal streets of Wood Camp, saw students from three schools in Paynesville forming part of the campaign.

Saki G took this video in the Wood Camp area of Paynesville, Monrovia as part of the day of climate action on October 24, 2009:

In a recent roundup of the project, Ruthie Ackerman notes:

October has proven to be our best month yet (so far). We have hit a new record with the sheer number of blog posts we have published on the site and we are being inundated with requests from bloggers to blog for us. This proves that Liberians want to interact more in the blogosphere and just needed a space to do so collectively. Many of our bloggers are now on Facebook as well so the social media contagion is really catching on.

Read the roundup in details.

Now we will highlight some of the interesting blog posts written and published by the Ceasefire Liberia Bloggers:

Liberia is launching new biometric passports:

Passports2The new biometric Liberian passports are being introduced in order to put Liberia on par with all other countries the world over to meet the global requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Compliant Machine Readable Passports.

Photography workshop Monrovia -by Ruthie Ackerman:

Photographer Glenna Gordon recently concluded a UNICEF-sponsored photography training workshop in Monrovia, which trained Liberian journalists on editing, picture taking skills, and street photography.

Glenna Gordon comments on the workshop:

The hardest thing is communicating the idea that you have to spend a lot of time working at taking pictures before you actually take good pictures. And a lot of time in one place, working on one story. Everyone in the workshop wants to do that, but wanting to do that and having the resources to do that are two very different things.

Combating Corruption:

Saliho Donzo urges Liberians to use common sense to combat corruption:

many Liberians are asking themselves this simple question: What is the way out? I strongly believe that there are ways out. Below are some possible solutions:

  • 1. Nationalism: We must at all times demonstrate love and devotion to our country. This is the only way forward as a people.
  • 2.Government Priorities: One way to minimize corruption is for the government to prioritize the following: construction of infrastructure, building of roads or the reconstruction of already damaged roads, the availability of safe drinking water and electricity, good health system, and education, and paying civil servants on time.

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