Using the three phases and coalition team format developed in 2008, we expanded and fine-tuned the African Human Rights Leadership Campaign again in 2009. In four countries B Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Togo B we were able to train and provide significant experience to some 200 young people in the dissemination and implementation of human rights principles in the face of deeply rooted government corruption, common delays and denials of access to justice, and seemingly hopeless cycles of youth violence in their respective countries. We also reached for the first time into Ethiopia, where we received equally enthusiastic response from a broad spectrum of youth organizations.
Through youth-created human rights public awareness campaigns, participating students reached at least 6,000 young people through local schools, community groups, and other gatherings. By word of mouth, these presentations easily reached double that total. 12,000 is conservative as some of the students took the initiative to go repeatedly on national radio with their message, thus potentially reaching millions more.
In this third annual round of competitions in our more established English-speaking countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ghana, the nine teams (three coalition teams per country, 15 persons per team) selected timely human rights issues for their projects:
- Liberia, Team A: corruption (government and business)
- Liberia, Team B: armed robbery
- Liberia, Team C, child trafficking
- Sierra Leone, Team A: youth violence
- Sierra Leone, Team B: access to justice
- Sierra Leone, Team C: government corruption (in procurement of goods and services)
- Ghana, Team A: government corruption
- Ghana, Team B: student violence
- Ghana, Team C: access to justice
These teams conducted their field research and community delivery between mid-April and mid-July, 2008. Again, the participants substantially exceeded the overall production targets, reaching 78 schools and youth groups (72 minimum target), forming 78 human rights clubs formed (63 minimum target), and 6,209 people through team human rights workshops (2,160 minimum target).