SMART Liberia, an organisation whose work is to empower Liberian youth through education, entrepreneurship and technology, just won the 2020 Liberian Learning Awards, which was sponsored by iCampus with support from the Liberia Accountability Initiative (LAVI) of USAID.
The second annual Learning Awards brought together people from civil society, business and the media. Students were also strongly represented at the event. Out of the eight civil society organisations that applied for the awards, three were shortlisted. A panel comprising six judges then reviewed the shortlist, and SMART Liberia came first, followed by Inclusive Development Initiative (IDI), an organisation that advocates for people with disability. The Pan Afrikan Volunteers Network (PAVON) took third place.
The Executive Director of SMART Liberia, Dieudonné K. Perry, was overjoyed that his organisation won the award. He said, ‘[I]t feels good to be recognised for promoting a culture of learning in our organisation. Going through the application process made me realise that we have a lot of successes. SMART Liberia envisions well-educated, value-driven young leaders who are equipped with the tools to drive social change in Liberia’.
The Manager of iCampus, Luther Jeke, also stated at the event that the organisers had been working with local CSOs to promote learning since 2016. According to him, more than 10,000 people from civil society, the media, education sector, and business have visited iCampus for events that support learning and collaboration over the last three years. He said that the Learning Awards was created based on a mapping exercise conducted to identify the gaps in learning among civil society organisations.
Also speaking at the event was the Deputy Chief of Party of USAID LAVI, Franklin Bonner, who noted that ‘one of LAVI’s main objectives is to establish a culture of learning to ensure that development partners apply and share effective advocacy and accountability methods. The award winners have cultivated an environment for learning in their organisations and provided opportunities for other organisations to learn from their successes and failures’.
Source: Liberian Observer
Photo source: Steve Conover