ELECTIONS Should Not be WAR

In our campaign, we target young leaders, associations, NGOs and students from colleges and universities. We run several programs for broadcast: A public speaking contest, a logo design contest and production of a musical album (with a video). All the contests focused on sensitization for peaceful elections (Presidential elections, general and local elections). The goal is to use art to prevent conflict before, during, and after elections. As far as the contests are concerned, we targeted 4 main areas: Korhogo (Northern), Yamoussoukro (Central), Gagnoa (Central West) and Abidjan (South). We planned it in 2 main steps: Semi-final and final. Besides the contest, we will have a public sensitization in each town with a public concert.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES

- To encourage the youth to vote and get involved in their country's affairs
- Sensitize them on non-violence
- Bring them together to work on the project for the different local steps
- Help them consolidate the reconciliation
- Encourage young people to develop speaking and debating skills
- Promote active citizenship

HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED

The objectives were achieved through the contests and participation of our musical band called THE ZEST in public concerts. We raised sponsorship from our fundraising, creating an album for sensitization for peaceful elections (see video). We collaborated with US Agencies, the National Democratic Institute,and NGOs, as well as through performances, local and national radio, and national TV. We contributed to the elaboration of NDIs for the National Strategic Plan for peaceful elections. We were featured on several radio programs to speak about the importance of peace.

CAMPAIGN INNOVATIONS

In our campaign, we use art to spread the attitude and message of non-violence. We use several ways: public speaking, debating and music.

CAMPAIGN IMPACT

We had a peaceful election for the first time in our country.

CHALLENGES FACED

The biggest challenges are to have a sustainable peaceful atmosphere. Therefore we need to keep on communicating to prevent any conflict. We need to be linked to communications means in Côte d'Ivoire: local radios and the National television channel. As these channels can be expensive and since our campaign is financed by our own funds, it is challenging to have sustainable promotion.

LESSONS LEARNT

- Limited financial means cannot be a constraint to project implementation.
- If we work hard and we are passionate about a cause, there is nothing we cannot achieve.
- Team work provides the best results.