Tuesday and Wednesday, 19/20 December 2023, added another chapter to YAD`s endless story as the organization successfully conducted its annual Youth Unification Match in a colourful manner. The match started with a brass band and motorcade from YAD`s Multipurpose Youth Resource Centre at Maxwell Khobe Street, which led the youth in procession across Kenema City onto the city field where the contending brothers and sisters locked horns.


YAD started its fight against drug abuse, domestic and political violence among the youths in 2013 and the year 2023 marks the tin anniversary.

This year’s participants included Ultimate Family, Action Star Youth Club (ASYC), Pujehun Youth Developmental Organization (PYDO), Burma Youth Development Association (BYDA), Youth Resource Academy (YRA) and Youth Empowerment Services (YES).

The match started by 12:00 midday with the female wings of ASYC and YRA, who locked horns for a complete 90 minutes, ending without a goal. The male wings of PYDO and Ultimate Family seized the pitch by 15:00, which ended in 1-1.

The event is more than just a football match, as it is used as one of the diverse peacebuilding and conflict mitigation tools applied by YAD to magnetize the youth in the region. A few days prior to the match, YAD conducted vivid sensitization workshops against prevailing social problems that affect the youths, including Violent Extremism, Illegal Migration (Temple Run) and Harmful Drugs, which are highly prevalent among the youths in the country.

During the match-pass with motorcades and brass bands across the city, printed banners, t-shirts and placards were displayed with slogans of the year:

– Let’s live together in peace: STOP VIOLENT EXTREMISM!

– Let’s love one another: STOP TRIBALISM!

– Think out of the box: SAY YES TO LIFE AND NO TO KUSH!

– Follow another path: TEMPLE RUN LEADS TO THE GRAVE!

Speaking to the press, the Social Mobilization Officer, Foday Zoker, who spearheaded the 2023 program, revealed that the main objective of the event is to foster sociocultural cohesion and peaceful coexistence among the youths so as to stabilize peace, democracy and socioeconomic growth in the country.

Burma Youth Development Association (BYDA) and Youth Empowerment Services (YES) composed and presented a very thrilling drama on all the above themes of the program. YES was selected by the award committee as the winner of the drama.

YAD donated the sum of 11,000 New Leones to be spread among the participating youth groups as awards.

It must be noted that the organization started its fight against drug abuse, domestic and political violence among the youths in 2013 with a special project titled “Youth Sensitization Campaign against Ethic Voting, Religious and Cultural Discriminations” in Sierra Leone. Funded by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in framework of the Youth Solidarity Fund programme, the project targeted more than 1000 youths in Kenema district and it created 6 heterogeneous youth groups in the three political zones of Kenema municipality. The project also capacitated executives of the targeted youth groups to serve as Youth Cohesion Ambassadors (YCA) who managed conflict among the youths in their various localities. Objective of the project was to eradicate violence, substance abuse, ethnic-regional politics, and foster sociocultural cohesion and friendly coexistence among the youths using sport as magnet. Since then, a Youth Unification Event was born which serves as symbol of unity among the youths in Kenema district. The event is organized in December every year and it targets hundreds of youths from various youth clubs all over the region. Each year is celebrated with key themes that sensitize them about peace, democracy, unity and tranquility.