Eddie Jarwolo, current Reagan-Fascell democracy fellow at NED, seized the opportunity that in 2005 during the presidential election presented to launched an initiative with the National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections-Partners for Democratic Development (NAYMOTE). This organization “provides young Liberians opportunities to participate in decision-making processes, governance, leadership, and community service.” Jarwolo’s civic education campaign sought to increase the participation of young Liberians in the elections as NAYMOTE’s strategic approach enlists youth, including disabled individuals and ex-combatants, to be civic educators. This tactic not only engaged youth in the political process but also empowered them to shape the future of
Mr. Jarwolo’s initiatives responded to the lack civic studies during the war. In 2006, the Liberian Ministry of Education began to once again integrate civic education into the school curriculum. Mr. Jarwolo believes that “civic education can provide a link between education and action, empowering actors with skills and methods needed to effect change.” Post-election NAYMOTE’s activities include launching youth networks in other countries, establishing democracy clubs at the local level, organizing citizen’s forums and student debates, airing radio programs for youth, and utilizing other media.
Of particular interest is NAYMOTE’s initiative of “finding common ground through sports.” Following the elections,
Following Mr. Jarwolo’s presentation, Dave Peterson (the senior program director for
- its emphasis on political neutrality
- its emphasis on empowering the indigenous civil society
- its inclusion of ex-combatants which allows redemption and reconciliation
- its empowerment of marginalized groups
- its effective use of the media
Dave Peterson believes that NAYMOTE brings experience, teaches values, and establishes a strong presence in Liberian civil society. Mr. Jarwolo’s organization’s successes serve as a compelling example of civic education.
Sponsor: The National Endowment for Democracy
Date: July 10, 2008
Time: 12-2 p.m.
Representative Attending: Jessica Walker