The Youth in Technology and Arts Network (YOTAN) has launched a project titled “Our Budget, Our Future” for Lofa and Bong Counties.
Speaking at the launch in Voinjama over the weekend, the founder and Executive Director of YOTAN Donnish Pewee said the project valued at $US19,800 was being supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.
He said the project would focus primarily in the areas of health and agriculture sectors within the two counties. According to Pewee, the overall objective of the one-year project seeks to promote effective and inclusive government expenditure in the health and agriculture sectors of Bong and Lofa counties.
He added that the project was also intended to inform the citizens about budgetary and spending, adding that it would promote transparency, respect, unity and stability for trust.
According to him, the organization will recruit 15 volunteers in each of the two counties under throughout the one-year period for the implementation of the program.
He named some activities under the project as the U-Report Platform, owned and managed by UNICEF. He added that the system would allow citizens of the two counties, especially the youths to report on issues of major concerns.
“This program is not intended to witch-hunt you as government officials but instead promote transparency through information sharing to the public,” Pewee added.
“We have since 2012 worked in the areas of education, livelihood (economic empowerment for youths and vulnerable groups), health promotion and advocacy as well as local government and budget tracking,” he noted.
The overall aim and objective of the organization, according to Pewee, is to serve as a platform that promotes youth development, stand as a voice of the communities and the young people’s hidden potential that is been suppressed due to lack of support and self-confidence.
Dispute the failure of local government authorities to attend the launch, several nongovernmental organizations that graced the occasion lauded the Youth in Technology and Arts Network for the program, pledging their support for a successful implementation of the project in the two counties.
At the end of the launching program, more than 15 young people were awarded certificates by the organization for their social mobilization efforts within the communities under a YOTAN-run program, Ebola Community Action Platform (E-CAP), which aided in the disruption of transmission of the Ebola virus.