Organize For Liberia (OFL), Inc is pleased to announce its newest ambassador, Abraham M. Keita, winner of the 2015 International Children’s Peace Prize. Our ambassador program gives young people the opportunity to be the change they wish to see around them. OFL’s ambassador program enables young people to be of service locally and abroad. They become leaders of service in their local communities while creating change in our global communities.
Abraham M. Keita is a nineteen (19) year old Liberian youth activist working with Organize For Liberia (OFL), Inc. who is slowly changing his country and inspiring activists around the world. Abraham fights for justice for children who are victims of violence. Over the past ten (10) years, despite a childhood filled with violence, war, and poverty, Keita has led demonstrations, lobbied the Liberian Government, and spoken out against violence against children. In spite of his young age, Keita’s activism has already had major impact, resulting in a public recognition where he was honored as the winner of the 2015 International Children’s Peace Prize – one of the top international prizes for peace activists.
Born in the midst of the Liberian civil war and raised by a single mother in the slums of Monrovia -West Point, Keita is the first in four generations of his family to have completed high school. At age 5, his father was killed by rebels while driving for a charity organization distributing food to internally displaced persons in Liberia. This left Keita and his family without a provider and life became unimaginably hard as they struggled to eke out a living. Although his path has been a hard one, Abraham Keita has shown resiliency and courage in the face of overwhelming poverty and pervasive violence. He has been recognized by one of his most famous peers Malala Yousafzai, who congratulated him on his victories and acknowledged his International Peace Prize. One day, Keita hopes to meet Malala in person. In the meantime, he keeps advocating for children’s rights around the world and dreaming of a better future for all of them.
In 2007, then 9 years old Keita heard about the rape and strangling to death by her foster parents, of a 13-year old girl in his community. It was an event that disturbed him, to the point that he felt the need to stand up and do something. Abraham led a peaceful protest to ensure that the foster parents of the girl was brought to justice. From that moment, Keita felt the need to continue to speak up for the rights of children. Due to Keita’s persistent activism, in 2012 Liberia became one of the first African nations to pass legislation protecting children rights, the Children’s Law.
He has arranged peaceful demonstrations, organized petitions, and lobbied for children’s participation and education to be funded directly from the national budget. Thanks in part to Keita’s aggressive activism, Liberia’s former president, H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued an apology for the death of a 15-year old boy who was shot and killed by the government troops in 2014 while participating in a peaceful protest. The shooting sparked outrage throughout the community and Keita decided to channel that outrage into effective action. He organized and led another peaceful demonstration of young people, demanding that the government take responsibility for the death. A national debate soon swept the throughout the country, and popular support began to build in favor of the young activist.
In 2017, Keita again led a peaceful protest demanding the investigation of a sitting representative who was alleged to have raped and impregnated a 13-year old girl in Liberia. As a result of Keita passionate and aggressive activism, the representative was subsequently arrested and taken into custody by the Liberian National Police. The representative subsequently stepped down and is currently facing the justice system in Liberia. Keita continues to work hard to reduce child violence and create more opportunities for the poor. He is also lobbying for free, quality primary and secondary education for all. In addition, since launching his campaign, he has become a role model to thousands of children throughout the globe.
Despite his rough and challenging childhood, he rose above his circumstances to emerge as a young man of courage, honor and integrity. As an uncompromising advocate of children’s rights and safety, he is committed to a cause that will have a major impact on future generations to come.