The website of the Rising Voices grantee Ceasefire Liberia project has been launched with a lot of promise.
Its founder, freelance journalist Ruthie Ackerman wrote in the first post:
Ceasefire Liberia is a project that has grown out of my journalism work over the past several years with Liberian youth in both Liberia and in Staten Island, New York. It started off as one story about the reconstruction of Liberia after its 14-year civil war and has grown into an all-encompassing multimedia project, including a book, documentary film work, and now a blogging project. The blogging project is very exciting for me because it’s a way to hear directly from Liberians about their communities –no middlemen — just their voices about the things they care about. My hope is to connect Liberians living in the Diaspora with those who remained in Liberia during and after the war so they can learn about each others’ lives through blogging, video, and photography.
Liberian soccer kids, image by Oso used under a creative commons license
Another entry discusses about amputees in Liberia, who usually have to beg for money to survive. As casualties of the brutal war what future lies for them in Liberia? Highlighting the success of some of these people in the amputee soccer league, Ruthie writes :
Seeing poverty in Africa is not surprising. Even seeing young men begging on the street for the equivalent of 10 cents is not a shock (it happens in New York City as well). But the part of this equation that baffles me, is that some of these young men who beg on Randall Street and sleep on the beach are the same youth who are praised and handed medals out on the soccer field. On the one hand they are outcasts, marginalized from the larger community for their role in the war, and on the other hand they are held up as symbols of hope for their country.
This entry is about a video highlighting the Only The Walls Were Left Standing project, which aims to document the challenges young Liberians face as they try to integrate into the Park Hill, Staten Island, New York community after years of war:
The bitter relationship between Liberian and the African-American communities comes as a surprise for many Liberian migrants.
Prince Tokpah writes about the increase of armed robbery in Liberia. Even after imposing death penalty as the punishment, the crime rate is not going down. The blogger opines that the government should look into the root of the problem and create job opportunities for the citizens.
Image from Liberia by Flickr user Tweefur, used under a creative commons license
Titus Alagba writes about the challenges Liberian communities are facing like flooding due to poor sanitation. He also writes about the ‘Social and Economic Inequality in Liberia”:
Robbers are stealing the nations money every day in the name of misappropriation. Corrupt government officials have decided that the poor masses will not enjoy their economic human rights.
Garretson Sherman is a visual and graphic artist from Liberia based in Park Hill, Staten Island, NY. He promotes peace and awareness through his creative mural and canvas paintings.
Garretson's mural, image by Sierra Beecher
In a recent post in Global Voices Ndesanjo Macha highlighted some more bloggers from Liberia.
Ruthie has this request for the readers:
I hope everyone who comes to the site can join us by writing an encouraging comment, reflecting on their own experiences, or telling us about their communities. The dream is that by communicating here the boundaries that keep us divided will disappear.