Monrovia - The Chief of Party of Carter Center in Liberia, Pewee Flomoku, is calling on all Liberians to get involved in building peace around the country in the absence of the UN Mission in Liberia.
Speaking to participants of the ever Peace Summer Camp 2016, Mr. Flomoku said he wants Liberians to invest in peace, saying only peace can make a nation develop and move forward in its developmental agenda.
The Cater Center boss also admonished participants to invest in peace by preaching the message of peace in their various communities and schools.
He made the statement at the close of a month-long Peace Summer Camp organized by the Messengers of Peace Liberia (MOP-Liberia).
Mr. Flomoku noted that since 1982, the Carter Center through its different programs has shown that creating a world at peace is a possible journey. He said his organization is proud to be partnering with MOP-Liberia to spread peace messages to young Liberians.
According to him, if young people must truly become leaders of Liberia, there is a need for parents to fully invest in them and bring them up in a peaceful manner.
He promised his organization’s continual support to MOP-Liberia in initiating such events that will promote peace and also mold the minds of young people positively.
Delivering her official 2016 Peace Summer Camp message, the Executive Director of MOP-Liberia, Gwendolyn Myers, said in the past, peace camps were a form of physical protest camp that focused on anti-war activity, but the current realities in this century call for changes in focus and objectives.
According to her, the Peace Summer Camp is about giving young people the opportunity to see their country differently than they saw it while in school.
She noted that the objectives of the peace summer camp, held for the first time in Liberia, is to enable the kids improve their self-esteem, literacy, life and language skills.
“Over sixty school children were drawn from several schools and communities, including areas where we operate our weekly coaching and mentoring programs for adolescent girls and boys. Several volunteers, camp managers, guest Speakers and lecturers participated at the camp,” Myers said.
The MOP-Liberia Executive Director continued: “Parents and guardians, you must have noticed obvious or subtle changes among your children for the better. Personal changes that begin with the seeds of peace planted at the camp are long lasting. Over the past month, we brought children from the broad spectrum of the society and interacted at different levels of non-formal learning.
We had the unique opportunity of conducting ten field excursion trips to UNMIL, Coca-Cola, and Community service during the Independence Day to PHP Community and the Group of 77 Disabled Community on Newport Street as well; American Embassy, The Carter Center, UNFPA, MICAT, Morris Farm-Todee District, Bentol and Ducor play ground on the hills of Monrovia.”
She also noted that during the peace camp, they were faced with several challenges, besides funding and other logistical challenges. Myers also said there were campers that had challenges with interpersonal relationship and others had issues communicating in public, issues with reading and writing, therefore there is a need to redesign the current national education program for children.
“We also need to support our youth through opportunities that exist for others to get involved and create environment for young people to engage in peace dialogue and conflict transformation activities.
The UNSCR # 2250 launched in this very room provides the right platform for the meaningful involvement and active participation of young people in peace and security issues. We also have a digital platform for peace and corporate sector responsibility requires that we partner for peace by supporting peace camps for children,” Myers emphasized.
Also speaking, Yaser Abd Hamid, Operational Controllers for the Swedish Embassy, said young people should be seen as those that can maintain the peace.
He encouraged MOP-Liberia to continue such activity and also admonished every well-meaning individuals, organizations and government to support MOP-Liberia peace initiative.
He admonished the campers to leave with a renewed spirit of contributing and taking part in peace-related activities.