Law + You School
LAW+YOU is the official curriculum for junior high and high school civics classes for Liberia.
The goal of LAW+YOU is to give each student an understanding of their own government so that they can be an active citizen, participate peacefully and serve their community. A strong democracy in Liberia will require the participation of all citizens, and that starts with education.
Research shows civics curriculum is one of the most important ways to engage citizens as active participants in their communities and reduce the risk of violence. In 2014 our first civics curriculum, LAW+YOU: Rights & Responsibilities of the Liberian Citizen, launched as a pilot program in seven schools. The project was funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). It offers teachers an interactive way to teach government, laws, democracy, human rights, public health, anti-corruption and conflict resolution skills. Some of the techniques for interactive teaching are role-play, improv, poetry, writing, and art. Games, discussion and debate also help students retain information. Service learning is one of the most important aspects of the curriculum; it helps students use what they learn to help and teach others. In 2021, the Liberian Ministry of Education made LAW+YOU the official curriculum for Liberia's junior high and high schools. Civics and Service International is working to train teachers and print books for students across the country.
LAW+YOU Rights & Responsibilities of the Liberian Citizen started as a civics education pilot project in 2014. Today it is the approved civics curriculum for junior high and high schools in Liberia.
"What I tell other people about the LAW+YOU class is how to become a good citizens and the role of a community leader."
- Bartterina, Liberian Junior High Student, Age 14
I learned that 18 years and above are eligible to vote, and how bills are enacted into laws.
-Robert V., 15 years old
It surprised me to know that every child has the right to rest and play.
-Vamah S., 13 years old
I learned how to be a good citizen and how to express my opinions about issues.
-Vamba S., 13 years old
Only 24% of participants said they knew how to vote pre-training compared to 100% after the program.
Before the program, 100% of the participants believed that only the government could solve problems in their communities. After the program 77% believed that they could make a positive change in their own community.
Women and girls make up 61% of the LAW+YOU Community Program participants.