The Program Officer of Paramount Young Women Initiative (PAYOWI) has called on all stakeholders, especially the National Elections Commission (NEC) to timely disseminate information relative to the 2017 presidential and representatives elections.
Madam Facia Harris said if voters are not provided the necessary information regarding the elections in a timely manner, it questions the integrity of the process.
The PAYOWI Program Officer spoke to The NEWS last Friday at the end of a two-day civic and voter education training campaign for first time female voters. The training, which was held under the banner “Her Vote Counts,” was hosted in Slipway community, Monrovia.
She said, “We do not want for the integrity of this process to be questioned especially as we will be transitioning from one government to another.”
Ms. Harris said it is important for NEC to provide the basic information to certified civil society organizations in a timely manner so they can also disseminate same to the voting population because the commission cannot do it alone.
She said considering the importance her group attaches to the 2017 polls, it has begun training first time young voters by providing them with basic information on democracy, election and the importance of their votes.
Madam Harris said the purpose of the training is to ensure that first time young voters have genral understanding of election and whats it means to them so that they can make informed decision during and beyound 2017 polls.
Already, she said 188 first time female voters have been trained by PAYOWI to serve as peer educators to their colleagues.
She explained that during the first phase of the training, 100 female young voters were trained through the support from PAYOWI and a women group based in the United States.
Facia explained that the second phase was sponsored by the Public Affairs Department at the US Embassy in Liberia which trained 36 participants in Kakata, Margibi and 53 Slipway, Montserrado County.
She said her group decided to target first time female voters because when it comes to information, there are lagging behind.
Ms. Harris said it is important for first time voters to cast their ballots based on informed position rather than during so just for the sake of the contest.
She clarified that her group does not support any political party ideology because it is non-partisan body.
Facia said PAYOWI wants to extend the training to other counties but it is presently out of fund.
She then appealed for support from well meaning institutions in order to continue its work.