The Lofa Community Empowerment Program (LOCEP) is a volunteer-run organisation founded in 2010. It aims to help build a society in which men and women, boys and girls have equal access to, and opportunities for, employment and basic social services.
Among other initiatives, LOCEP has worked on the following during recent years:
- The 2011 National Referendum: LOCEP conducted civic education and monitored the referendum in Lofa, especially in the Salayea and Zorzor Districts. Twenty-three volunteers were fully involved and over 50 community civic educators and monitors also participated. Over 50,000 persons were reached out to through a public awareness campaign which set the scene for the 2011 general elections.
- The 2011 General Elections: LOCEP led a Civic Education in Lofa programme for the 2011 elections and helped to monitor them. Over 100 community civic educators were recruited, and worked along with our volunteers with support from ECOWAS.
- Forming the Salayea Women Agriculture Program: In 2013 three women's groups, composed primarily of the Kpelle, lorma, and Mandingo ethnic groups, were reformed into a farmer's cooperative aimed at enhancing food production and providing income for members. Subsequently, a village saving association was established to enable members and others to procure loans with low interest rates.
- Completing a head office: The organisation has completed the construction of its headquarters in rural Liberia, which now provide a space for local peacebuilding initiatives to grow in this more isolated area.
- Contributing to democratisation: LOCEP has participated in the Liberia's democratic process, stimulating citizens during elections to increase the credibility of their results.
- Contact and network building: The organisation has worked to build contacts and a network around relevant organisations. This has resulted in the opportunity to participate in the Liberia 2014 Peacebuilding program, organised by the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes.