Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Comics for Progress

Project #
498
Year
2011
Country
Liberia
School
Dartmouth College
Proposal
498pro
Report
498rep
Students
  • Anna Pudimat

Comics for Progress

 Anna Pudimat spent the summer before her senior year at Dartmouth volunteering in the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana, a community of Liberian refugees who came to Ghana fleeing the horrors of civil war in Liberia between 1989 and 2003. Anna found the Liberian refugees to be a strong and resilient people, but unsure of their futures and largely unaware of their legal status. Ghana had recently invoked the 1951 United Nations Cessation Clause for refugee aid, and at the end of 2011, the Liberian refugees in Ghana would no longer have legal refugee status. The UN projected that at least 17,000 refugees would attempt to repatriate to Liberia, but confusion reigned over the implications of repatriation and rights and responsibilities of the refugees and their country.

Partnering with the U.S. organization Lawyers Without Borders, Anna used her Projects for Peace grant to produce a comic book, Where Do I Go from Here?, aimed to address the most important issues and to help the Liberians to make informed decisions about their futures. The comic-book format was chosen because the population is semiliterate and very accustomed to comic books as well as billboards and posters in comic form. The final product is nonthreatening and information filled, and will help to minimize confusion.

Anna has forged relationships with other organizations working in Liberia and Ghana, including the Ghana Refugee Board and the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, and further development and use of the comic book in other countries hosting Liberian refugees is planned.