Games 4 Good Funds L.A.C.E.S. Kick-Out Corruption Campaign in Liberia

Photo courtesy of LACES.

Photo courtesy of LACES.

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Life And Change Experienced thru Sports – L.A.C.E.S. provides mentorship-based sports leagues in Liberia as an avenue for teaching children morals and values such as self-esteem, discipline, respect, teamwork, honesty, and fair play. L.A.C.E.S. vision is to develop positive role models in a manner that is fun and challenging.

According to a recent survey by Transparency International, Liberia is perceived to be the second most corrupt country in the world. The Global Corruption Barometer indicates that corruption most affects the poor, and the majority of Liberia’s population is classified as “extreme poor,” living on less than 50 cents a day.

The international community has found it difficult to tackle these challenges in the past because they have not focused on Liberia’s youth to build a sense of personal responsibility among the next generation of decision-makers. As a result, unaccountable behaviors continue, corruption flourishes, and instability remains.

The solution to the problem requires moving beyond workshops and reports to instilling accountability and integrity in youth through activities and language they understand. Soccer is a key medium for this: the most popular sport in the country, it is played at every level throughout Liberia.

The need for greater accountability is clear, but recognizing the problem is only the first step. Behind these numbers is the daily reality for people living in Liberia. All citizens deserve corruption-free services, and working together, we can make this a reality.

Kick-Out Corruption is a series of fun soccer-related activities that allows roughly 450 youth to explore issues relating to corruption and gain the skills necessary to lead corruption-free lives. These skills include critical thinking, communication, self-esteem, and decision making, among others. The series requires active participation and creates a safe, team-based environment in which participants can comfortably share their feelings, beliefs, and knowledge as well as generating ideas for fighting corruption. This project will be wholly led and implemented by Liberians who are committed to positive youth development.

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