HOW WE STARTED
YOTAN was instituted by Mr. Donnish Mulbah Pewee, an astute and steadfast youth development worker, a citizen’s rights advocate and an entrepreneur who in 2012 initiated this vision based on his unflinching desire to rewrite the course of the stories of young Liberians who were subjected to fourteen years of civil war by using technology as the tool to power social change.
He believes that youth empowerment through information communication technology-ICT would drive reforms and create new opportunities for young Liberians to power innovations that would curb youth unemployment thus reducing poverty and illiteracy rate of Liberian youths after being inspired by a nine-year kid at Deport Road Junction internet café in Monrovia in 2008. He later enrolled at FOBC Computer Institute and further at Amity online University on the University of Liberia campus that landed him his first ICT job in late 2009 at the Liberia Women Media Action Committee (LIWOMAC) of which he started as a volunteer for two years before been employed.
His vision for Liberia’s emerging leaders led to the establishment of a youth focused community-based organization in 2012 to help shift the attention of underprivileged youths from failed political promises to helping young people discover their potentials through ICT which can help power the much-needed changes and reforms Liberia so deserve when it comes to youth unemployment and citizen engagement.
What started as an idea – YOUTH IN TECHNOLOGY AND ARTS NETWORK (YOTAN) has today become a national driver of social change because the founder believed that when young people are empowered and given the opportunity to lead, they will also empower others thus creating a sustainable chain of emerging leaders who would create lasting positive impacts in the society.
As the institution grew from a mere community-based organization to a Non-Governmental Civil Society Organization, the realization that building the capacities of these young leaders was not just enough but the need to ensure that they live in a more transparent, just and accountable society and participating in the development of their communities became a concern and clear option for YOTAN as it began undertaking scores of youth program interventions.
YOTAN balanced her social advocacy starting from 2015 which led her to winning its first international donor funded project as partner to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to focus on Social Democratic and Accountability issues and enhance the underprivileged and marginalized citizens voices in ensuring the culture of transparency, justice and accountability is improved, and that integrity standards at the local level brings economic benefits to citizens leading to better service delivery and equitable future.
To achieve its mission, YOTAN aspire to retain young talented youths who are passionate about social change, as it works to provide the team with professional opportunity and to maintain a healthy gender balance innovative workforce.