Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Youth Icons Ghana looks into the future

Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, Executive Director of Youth Icons Ghana

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 30, 2010
YOUTH ICONS Ghana, an NGO empowering the youth for national development, has dedicated 2011 to build the capacities of Ghanaian youth towards peace-building and non-violence.

“We still have flashpoints across the country where there are periodic conflicts and the youth are mostly used by our politicians and other opinion leaders to cause mayhem. We have to continue to sensitize them on the need to live in peace and harmony for accelerated development,” Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, Executive Director of Youth Icons Ghana has said.

In an interview with DAILY GUIDE in Accra Thursday, Mr. Osei-Darkwa said as part of activities lined up for 2011, Youth Icons Ghana is collaborating with the Center for Peace and Non-violence and Peace Studies at the Rhode Island University, USA to organize a series of training workshops on non-violence for youth coordinators throughout the country.

He said the training programmes would be facilitated by Dr. Bernard Lafayette, an associate of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. and supported by Dr. Paul Bueno; Director of the Center for Non-violence and Peace Studies. Participants would get the chance to study the concept of non-violence, conflict analysis and management as well as the dynamics of social change.

Mr. Osei-Darkwa said Youth Icons played a significant role in ensuring a peaceful general election in 2008 using popular artists such as Byce Osei-Kufuor aka Obuor and others under the ‘One Ghana’ project to sensitize the youth to refrain from violence.

He said the Center for Non-violence and Peace Studies were impressed with their project and have consequently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to be collaborating with them to train more youth for peace-building.

The executive director said the Center for Non-violence and Peace Studies is planning to establish a West African Center for Peace and Non-violence in Ghana. It has been suggested that the center be established at the University of Development Studies in Tamale.

“With Ghana being the bastion of peace, freedom and development, we must be able to put our house in order so that we can continue to lead by example in peace-building.”
“We need to challenge the youth to channel their energies into productive ventures. We need to nurture them to become responsible adults.”

He said “we are committed to ensuring that the agenda for non-violence using the youth is maintained and pursued.”

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