Peace and Reconciliation Musical Festival Held in Gbarnga

GBARNGA, Bong – The Development Education Network Liberia (DEN-L), a non-governmental organization, has concluded a peace and reconciliation musical show in Gbarnga.

The ‘Grand Peace Musical Extravaganza’ was a part of DEN-L’s 2017 elections project being implemented in collaboration with the Catholic Agency for Oversea Development, with funding from UNMIL.

DEN’L’s executive director, Dorothy Toomann, said the festival was meant for citizens of Bong, including elected officials and defeated contestants, to unite and work towards the development of the county.

“We have asked you to join us here today to celebrate peace in Bong County, to celebrate our contributions to making the 2017 Elections peaceful,” Toomann said at the gathering.

An array of local artists featured at the festival in live performances including famous Kpelleh gospel musician, David Grualee; the Victory Kids Singing Ministry; and the G Record Dance Crew of Gbarnga. The artists sang and danced to songs with messages of peace and reconciliation, receiving loud cheers from the audience.

Bong’s relieving commissioner, Nanyuwah Darwokalar, hailed the organizers and donor for the project that gave rise to the peace and reconciliation festival.

“On behalf of the local authority of Bong County, we are committed to peace,” Darwokalar said.

He said the event was a good start in cementing peace and reconciliation among citizens and their leaders who were on different sides of the political divide during the elections.

Representatives from UNMIL also attended the festival and made remarks.

Popular Kpelleh gospel musician in Liberia, David Grualee, performing live at the event. Photo: Moses Bailey.

Tooman also informed The Bush Chicken that similar musical festivals would be held in Lofa, Nimba, and Grand Gedeh, the other counties where the project is being implemented.

The Support Constructive Engagement of High Risks Youth project engaged 500 youths including young women and men in the four counties, according to Toomann.

“We had to develop a training module that brings together contents [such as] good governance, peace building, the rule of law and information about our 2017 elections,” Toomann noted.

She said DEN-L and its partners used the module and trained 266 young people from the four counties where its being implemented, while more than 300 are currently linked with 34 service providers learning different life skills programs.

Tooman lauded UNMIL for providing funding for the project and appreciated the beneficiaries for their willingness and commitment to the initiative.

Featured photo by Moses Bailey

Moses Bailey

Moses started his journalism career in 2010 as a reporter at Radio Gbarnga. In 2011, the Press Union of Liberia recognized him as the Human Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2017, he was the Development Reporter of the Year. He is also an Internews Health Journalism Fellow. Moses is also the regional coordinator for NAYMOTE-Liberia, an organization working with youth to promote democratic governance.

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