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Liberian radio show on civics education

Friday 15 July 2016, by SIGNIS

Monrovia, July, 15th, 2016 (LiberianObserver). In Liberia, a new radio show is now dedicated on civics education. The LAW+YOU radio show, launched on UNMIL Radio 91.5FM on July 5, will be aired every Tuesday at 4:00PM.

The programme is based on the curriculum from Child Steps International Liberia (CSI) and funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). "We began working with CSI Liberia four years ago when they started LAW+YOU in schools. We are thrilled that UNMIL Radio has now provided the platform for open access to it. Access to civics knowledge at home, community and school is one of the most useful keys that open the door to civic participation,” said Massa Crayton, OSIWA Liberia Country Officer.

The "LAW+YOU" programme is a school civics curriculum, launched in elementary, junior and senior high schools in 2013.

The show will cover topics such as the structure of government, property and tax law, corruption and transparency, human rights, voting, conflict resolution, public health, economics and civic participation. “Citizens need to have knowledge of the government before they can participate”, said CSI president and founder Tenneh Johnson Kemah. She adds: "Democracy only works if people participate, and no one can effectively do that if they don’t understand how the government works and what their rights are.”

The show will include interviews with experts and citizens and a segment highlighting the work of individuals improving their communities. "Besides an understanding of government structure and function, we want to highlight the stories of everyday people who are just working hard in their own communities to make a difference," said Henrique Wilson, the show’s host.

The goal of the show is also that people can call and start live discussions and debates on those topics. Listeners can also weigh in on topics using the Facebook page. "We really want open conversations and diverse viewpoints. Liberians are strong enough to handle different opinions. Let’s do it with respect, logic and a true understanding of the law," said Wilson.

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