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VOTEORQUENCH.ORG MOBILIZES YOUTH TO IMPACT THE 2011 NIGERIAN ELECTIONS
Vote or Quench, a social media and online platform created to inform and interact with Nigeria's youth on electoral issues, is teaming up with several other youth empowerment groups and blogs for a push to raise awareness about the critical and fundamental registration period taking place for two weeks between January 15th and January 29th, 2011.
January 11, 2011, Abuja — As Nigeria searches for a new democratic leader and direction in April 2011, more than 70 percent of its population is under 30 years of age and will be first time voters. With high stakes and historically low voter turnout from this crucial demographic, VoteorQuench.org, a volunteer-based grassroots campaign, is working to galvanize the community within the country and among the Diaspora to get out the vote.
"Nigeria is at a defining moment in history and the youth cannot afford to be disenfranchised by disenchantment or disbelief in the current system." said Nosa Garrick, a founder of VoteorQuench.org. "Our mission is to mobilize and give a voice to the Nigerian youth who have virtually been silent – by choice and circumstance – until now."
VoteOrQuench.org is a volunteer-based network inspired and fueled by the rise of youth activism and an ambitious desire for change starting now. Internationally renowned songstress and outspoken activist, Nneka, is using her voice as a chorus for change as a "naijadvocate" for VOQ.org to inspire this generation to do the same.
"Our voice is our vote and nothing will change if we don't speak up," said 29-year-old Nneka, who will be registering for the first time these elections. "We can't afford to wait for our turn to make a difference. We have to start somewhere and it's about time."
The campaign's engine is its social network – www.VoteOrQuench.org – a virtual living room for like-minded Nigerians anywhere in the world to interact and be informed on key electoral and political issues in the country via blogs, videos, community pages and more. The site also allows users to share content with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Driven primarily by word of mouth, new visitors account for 60 percent of site traffic and volunteers across the globe – Nigeria, France, England, US and more – are already submitting comments, videos, blogs, and more.
Leading up to and following the April elections, the organization plans to partner with a range of Nigerian organizations in efforts to address the concerns and issues that affect the youth. VoteorQuench.org is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization.
On Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 we are asking that you donate your status on any social media vehicle you see fit, from Twitter/Facebook/ Blackberry Messenger. All you have to type is #IfNaijaVotes and give a hypothetical change that could happen. For example "#IfNaijaVotes kids will be able to get a proper education."
We would like you to let the world know what changes could come to our country if we exercise our right to vote. Feel free to run with it, we want the world, and especially our leaders to know that we want change in our country.
There are kids out here dying because our leaders have let us down, and they do not have a smidgen of the opportunities a lot of us are lucky to have. I ask you to please perform this very simple act of kindness.