UNFPA Donates Vehicle to Youth & Sports

first_imgIn support of youth development and women activities in particular, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has donated a new vehicle to the Ministry of Youth and Sports in support of empowering young people in the country.During the handing over yesterday at the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Monrovia, Dr. Remi Sogunro, Officer-in-charge of UNFPA, explained that the youth of today are the leaders of today and also the leaders of tomorrow and it is important to help to empower them.Dr. Sogunro indicated that majority of the people that organizations both local and international continue to work with in Liberia are youth and this is due to the potential embedded in them.“We know many of them continue to be committed to doing their work and believe that all of us can work together to ensure that Liberia has the kind of leaders that we want. As long as these young people understand the issues around sexual and reproductive health, they will be more responsible, gain access to education and they will have good employment,” he added.  According to him, if the young people have all the best education and training, they will serve as pilots of Liberia’s economy and ensure that things are moving in the right direction.“Yesterday was the World Population Report Day, but due to the Ebola situation in Liberia, we were unable to celebrate it in Liberia. We hope that you will use the Report not only today but also tomorrow.  We pledge to give you more support.”The focus of the World Population Report is on youth and adolescents. “It is remarkable that we are here today at the Ministry of Youth and Sports to provide this support to you in helping empower young people.”In his remarks, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Len Eugene Nagbe, expressed appreciation to UNFPA for the vehicle and for its many contributions to the Ministry during the past seven years.The Minister further stressed that UNFPA has been a very strong partner to the Ministry in promoting and implementing programs that help to develop young people, including funding provided for the national youth policy and the adolescent girls initiatives.    Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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No fairness involved in the process

first_imgDear Editor,With respect to the controversial appointment of Roxanne Myers as Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), I’ve noticed that the defence has shifted its argument to one of academic superiority.This position – like the earlier one about merit – cannot hold sway, as neither candidate received their degree from an institution that is top-rated. In fact, an online search revealed that the UN mandated University for Peace from which Myers obtained her Master’s degree is ranked 3756 by Ranking Web of Universities online (See http://www.webometrics.info/en).The same site ranks the Anglia Ruskin University from which Vishnu Persaud obtained his Masters at 1178.This brings me back to the view of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who was quoted as saying that the issue at hand has more to do with the absence of fairness in the entire process – a position I agree with.Mr Persaud met all the advertised criteria. He has a post graduate degree, qualification in elections management, experience in the management of national elections, and much more. He is therefore the ‘superior’, ‘fit and proper’ candidate. In spite of this, he was sidelined in favour of Myers, whose social media-adumbrated, partisan political views disqualify her from holding such a sensitive position.Further, what makes the process even more questionable is the fact that Myers’s chief defender, Commissioner Vincent Alexander, neglects to disclose their teacher-student relationship at the University of Guyana.Clearly, this shows that there was no fairness involved in the process; and that persons, in spite of their experience and qualifications, are being sidestepped in preference for handpicked supporters of the APNU/AFC.Regards,Attiya Bakshlast_img read more

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Really, Mr Nagamootoo?

first_imgDear Editor,Responding to the suggestion by Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, that Guyana should ask for an international agency to take over the running of the local government elections, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said an “international agency running local elections would be an insult to Guyana”. Really, Mr Nagamootoo?While I certainly do not support Mr Jagdeo’s idea, the Prime Minister’s statement is the real insult – an insult to the intelligence of the people of this country.Where was Mr Nagamootoo when, in 2015, at the last general elections, the representatives of the so-called ABC countries were busily administering the elections to shape the outcome?Based on his utterance, Mr Nagamootoo would certainly believe it to be an insult to Guyana if foreign agencies and governments constantly interfere in our internal affairs. Well, then unfortunately, Mr Nagamootoo, we stand insulted. The coalition Government that you represent takes constant direction from the ABC countries and their agencies. This is what ensures that the APNU+AFC coalition will remain in place. Who better to manage our much-vaunted flag and anthem so-called independence?If it were up to us, the people…well, it would be a different story!Sincerely,Gerald A Perreiralast_img read more

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Guyanese woman, daughter murdered in Suriname

first_imgA Guyanese woman and her 10-year-old daughter were on Tuesday last found dead in their apartment in NieuwThe house in which the mother and daughter were found deadAmsterdam, a village in District Commewijne, Suriname.The duo hailed from Sparta Village, Essequibo Coast, Guyana. Dead are 37-year-old Leelawattie Sookhoo and her daughter, Tisha Ahiram. According to reports, the discovery was made on May 24 after Police in Suriname received a report that the woman’s boyfriend who was supposed to be at work did not show up.When the Police arrived at the house to check for the man, they found that the front door of the building was locked with a padlock and thought that something was amiss.They subsequently broke the padlock and entered only to find the woman lying on the ground with a cord around her neck, while the child was on the bed in a semi nude state.Surinamese law enforcement officers have launched an investigation into the double homicide.Guyana Times understands that the area where the woman lived with her children is known as a fishing area where many Guyanese reside. Nandranie Ahiram, a former mother-in-law of the dead woman, told Guyana Times that they received the dreadful news on Tuesday morning.She noted that the now dead woman was married to her son, but they separated a few years ago after she befriended the man she lived with up to the time of her demise.The former mother-in-law added that the mother of five returned to Guyana last December with her daughter, but despite the fact that one of her four sons begged her to reconcile the relationship with his father, she refused. She went back in January with her daughter, but her four sons remained with their father. She has no other relatives in Suriname, the former mother-in-law related.She noted that her son was devastated by the death of his 10-year-old daughter. Arrangements are being made for a member of the family to travel to Suriname to attend the funeral. (Bhisham Mohamed)last_img read more

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NIDO Reacts to Media Report

first_imgA group of Nigerians living in Liberia has condemned a recent publication by a local paper, which quoted “prominent Nigerians” residing in Liberia as calling on their country’s government to recall its ambassador from Liberia.The Nigerians under the banner, Nigerians In Diaspora Organization (NIDO) told the Observer that at no time did any “prominent Nigerian” residing in Liberia urged or called on their country’s government to recall their Ambassador from Liberia.“This information is false and misleading and does not reflect the true sentiments of the real prominent Nigerians in Liberia, who applaud Her Excellency Chigozie F. Obi-Nnadozie for her excellent work. Our embassy now wears a dignified new look and we now have a professional representation of Nigeria and Nigerians in Liberia.”NIDO said the authors of the newspaper’s article are confused individuals. NIDO also stated that a purported group, who calls themselves Nigerian Descendants or Naturalized Liberians, was the one soiling Nigeria’s image in Liberia.NIDO has called on all Nigerian citizens in Liberia to get wise and ignore “the antics of these charlatans.”NIDO is a recognized non for-profit making organization, representing Nigerian citizens in Liberia. One of its core values is to encourage Nigerians living in Liberia to be law abiding citizens and good representatives of Nigeria.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Senators Emerge Tight-lipped, Stone-faced after 2-hour Executive Session

first_imgLawmakers are not taking kindly to what they consider a half-hearted attempt by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to appease (quiet down, calm down) them for ‘misbehavior’ by one of her lieutenants: the Chief of Police, Chris Massaquoi.Senators seem dissatisfied with a recent communication from President Sirleaf, concerning their call on her to take strong and appropriate action against Massaquoi, for what some have referred to as juvenile behavior .It may be recalled that President Sirleaf recently wrote the Senate replying a communication sent her in which that body complained of Director Massaquoi “laying siege to the Capitol Building while the Senate was in plenary (full attendance).”President Sirleaf informed the Senate that she had written Director Massaquoi “a strong letter of reprimand (scolding  him) and…suspending him for two days to allow him time to write a letter of apology for personal presentated at a plenary sitting of the Senate.”Since that communication, lawmakers have been observed as having  assumed a non-cooperative stance with the Executive.That suggests that the Senators are divided over a decision they obviously have been mulling (considering, thinking about) in connection with reprimand they believe insufficient to discourage the Police Chief from misbehaving in the future.Yesterday’s unadopted agenda was loaded with several important items, among them discussion on the proposed Amendment to Elections Law; Report from the Committee on Banking and Finance; Report from the Ways, Means, Finance and Budget on the Act to Provide Fifteen Percent of the Fiscal National Budget for County Development; and a communication from Police Director Massaquoi.Other important items on the unused agenda included a report from the Committee on Banking and Currency on the confirmation hearing of Hon. Boakai S. Kamara, Deputy Governor for economic Policy-Designate, Central Bank of Liberia; and the much talked-about communication from the House of Representatives on the placement of US$73,000,000 in the 2014/2015 National Budget.Meanwhile, one of the older Senators confided to a few journalists that executive sessions are being convened to deliberate important national issues that need to be kept out of the media. “What is for the media and the general public, we discuss in plenary; what is for Executive Sessions remains exclusively so.”For the second time since returning to the Capitol Building from their Constituency Break on January 13, Accordingly, members of the 53rd Senate yesterday failed to conduct open plenary; instead,the presiding officer seized the proposed agenda and asked for an Executive Session to discuss pressing national issues.Every attempt yesterday to draw even the most press-friendly Senators to divulge  a gist of what is being discussed in executive sessions, failed to yield results.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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NASCORP Lauds NHA

first_imgThe management of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) has lauded authorities of the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the completion of a 35 unit housing community in Jah Tondo Town, Brewerville, outside Monrovia.During the tour of the facilities on Wednesday, vice chair for the Board of NASSCORP, Cletus Sieh said his organization is delighted with the level of work the NHA has done in completing a total of 91 units. Mr. Sieh expressed gratitude to NHA, adding, “As a partner who is a 100 percent funder of the project, we will continue to collaborate with the housing authority to address the need for housing in Liberia.”He said that supporting housing projects remains part of NASSCORP’s social responsibility.Mr. Sieh said since the appointment of Samuel Wluh as managing director of the NHA, “there have been more tangibles,” for which NASSCORP has seen the need to continue working with the Wluh-led administration to ensure that all Liberians own their own house.He said the process of constructing more of the housing units was important so that project’s funders can see that their contribution to the economy was purposeful “because of the level of developments currently taking place across the country.” For his part, NHA Deputy Managing Director for Administration, Prince A. Wreh, assured the NASSCORP officials of the commitment of the NHA to provide housing for the people of Liberia.He said his organization remains focused in addressing some of the challenges, including the provision of water, and working with the Ministry of Education to ensure that children have access to school, particularly in the Jah Tondo Town area.“We are involved in formal community developments such as social and economic surveys to capture schools, clinics and even police stations in the project diagram,” Mr. Wreh said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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EU Provides US$25K for Cassava Marketing, Promotion

first_imgTo improve Liberia’s agricultural sector, the European Union (EU) has provided over US$25,000 for the promotion, marketing and consumption of cassava products in the country.Making the disclosure at his Paynesville office, Mr. Joseph S. Morris, coordinator for the National Cassava Sector Coordinating Committee (NCSCC) told the Daily Observer that the money has been processed through ZOA/ADRA, a group of international NGOs that is implementing cassava value development program for the EU in Liberia.“This promotion is expected to be carried out through the local newspapers, national and community radio stations, television stations, as well as through the use of jingles,” Coordinator Morris said.He said his organization is working with ZOA/ADRA to implement what he described as ‘the cassava value chain development program.’“We are involved with the market promotion, because consistent market for cassava and its value added products remains a major problem for the cassava industry in Liberia,” Morris added.He explained that the exercise will encourage the marketability and consumption of cassava and its value added products that are having difficulties in accessing consistent markets.He added “We recorded over 120 thousand metric tons of fresh cassava during the Ebola crisis for which there was no market, and we are linking farmers to markets which is critical to cassava value chain development.”He noted that the NCSCC has embarked on robust market linkages for the cassava sector, both locally and internationally.In a related development, Mr. Morris said, the NCSCC has initiated discussion with the World Food Program (WFP) to include cassava value added products in the menu for its school program in the country.Coordinator Morris added that “the discussion is working well, and if concluded WFP will include cassava value added products in the menu of its school feeding program across the country.”The cassava value added products means turning cassava into gari, super gari as well as mixing cassava with flour that gives value to cassava as a product and makes it nourishing.The involvement of WFP, he said will boost the marketing and consumption of cassava value added products in the country, and improve food security.Mr. Morris said the discussion with WFP is expected to conclude in September, this year. “This is good news for the farmers because they can rest assured that they will have markets for their products.”“It would also encourage more farmers to get involved in the cassava sector, which would enable them to make money to cater to their families,” Morris noted.Morris said the arrangement with the WFP would expand the sector and bring economic development to both the farmers and consumers.“Our people have been complaining about lack of markets for their products, now they can feel happy that their worry is over because WFP will be buying most of their produce,” he said.Among the difficulties cassava farmers have complained about is the lack of markets for their produce, especially fresh cassava.He said there was no assurance that “cassava brought on the market could be bought for a fixed price, and for any reason, if there was no market for the cassava that day, famers risked losing their produce, as the preservation period for fresh cassava is 48 to 72 hours.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Liberia: The Cultural Gap

first_imgMonrovia – Growing up in Liberia, whenever I call my name, I garner the stares and expressions of a name that sounds too strong or otherwise traditional. In fact, I get the feeling from facial expressions that the name belongs to another world, especially in my case, as both names are purely Liberian indigenous names. While in secondary school, it was worse. The calling of my name was greeted with instant laughter, jeers and intentional mispronunciations, intended to instill humiliation and fear. I remember many colleagues couldn’t bear the emotional bullying associated with bearing traditional African names and opted to have their names changed. This is typical of the average Liberian classroom where western names are pronounced with distinction and claimed with pride but traditional Liberian names are wrongly pronounced and treated with disdain. The name carrier bore the burnt of the struggle and left to face the accompanying degradations.The name scenario is a tip of the iceberg of the extent to how wide Liberians have negated their culture with western cultures, and in some cases other African cultures over their own cultures. A Liberian would prefer to be proudly called by another West African name and claim lineage to that country or ancestral history, but would refuse to proudly bear his name given under sacred conditions by his or her grandparents. Treasured and rich names with deep history are relegated to borrowed names. There are varying examples to the nature and breadth of how Liberians have abandoned their cultures over the years to diffusing and assimilating completely into others. This trend has affected generations to such a dangerous extent that there remains a major gap in the culture. Major tribes have histories of their founding fathers and how they came to being but have chosen to ignore those stories, completely forgotten to speak native dialects, hence a whole generation of young children grow up unable to speak their dialects. Ironically, the inability to speak one’s language comes with a false sense of sophistication. The ignorance of one’s history and cultural practices meant a man was too ‘civilized’ to conform. The reality is sad. A society without a clear definition of its history and culture has no foundation to build upon, and no purpose. We have a completely shattered appreciation of our culture from clothing, cuisine, language, history, etc. Every society has a signature delicacy that is known by foreigners upon entering that country. We have several dishes, from hot cooked palm butter and bitter roots to potato greens with red palm oil, bitter balls mixed with okra and fresh water palm oil to torborgee and rice, palava sauce and rice, domboy and pepper soup and GB with wollor soup. These are delicious delicacies that can be marketed and possibly exported to showcase the kinds of food we eat as Liberians. Culture is the melting pot of a group of people and the lining that binds us together. How many average Liberian kids understand the relevance and role of traditional chiefs, traditional dance ceremonies for birth, funerals, and other occasions?There is a surge in learning how to speak like other West Africans, copying their accents, but afraid to identify with our own accents. We have to develop ourselves and develop a spirit of cultural identity.Cultural identity is often defined as the identity of a group, culture or an individual, influenced by one’s belonging to a group or culture.A developmental psychologist, Jean S. Phinney, formulated a three stage model describing how this identity is acquired.The first stage, unexamined cultural identity, is characterized by a lack of exploration of culture and cultural differences – they are rather taken for granted without much critical thinking. This is usually the stage reserved for childhood when cultural ideas provided by parents, the community or the media are easily accepted. Children at this stage tend not to be interested in ethnicity and are generally ready to take on the opinions of others.The second stage of the model is referred to as the cultural identity search and is characterized by the exploration and questioning of your culture in order to learn more about it and to understand the implications of belonging to it. During this stage you begin to question where your beliefs come from and why you hold them. You are now ready to compare and analyze them across cultures. For some, this stage may arise from a turning point in their lives or from a growing awareness of other cultures, and it can also be a very emotional time. This is often the time when high school students decide to go on an intercultural exchange program.Finally, the third stage of the model is cultural identity achievement. Ideally, people at this stage have a clear sense of their cultural identity and are able to successfully navigate it in the contemporary world, which is undoubtedly very interconnected and intercultural. The acceptance of yourself and your cultural identity may play a significant role in your other important life decisions and choices, influencing your attitudes and behavior. This usually leads to an increase in self-confidence and positive psychological development.It seems we’re walloping in the first stage of cultural identity and are mimicking other cultures and taking the opinions of others about ourselves. Until we realize who we are, where we come from and what we want, the road to the future would be blurred, and we risk becoming cultural chameleons.Lekpele Nyamalon is a Liberian writer and poet, an OSIWA Poetry fellow and can be reached at: nyamalon@yahoo.com Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Devote Your Education to Community Service

first_imgVice President Joseph Boakai has urged the graduating class of Nimba County Community College (NCCC) to devote their acquired education to community service as they walked out of the walls of the institution. VP Boakai’s admonition was contained in his commencement keynote address delivered at NCCC’s first convocation in Sanniqullie, Nimba County.Speaking on the topic “Devoting your Education to Community Service,” he called on the graduates to not treat his message as simple, trite or even mundane, but to accept it owing to the often mischaracterized weight assigned to virtues that undergird genuine service to community.“This is so because we have to realize the importance of commitment, diligence and patriotism as the ingredients needed for any society to develop and make progress,” he said.“You hold in your frame and fabric the capacity to make a difference in the mix of the turbulence that currently engulfs our political-economic landscape.”The VP reminded the graduates that their engagements only need to embody commitment, diligence and love for their country.“Our society is plagued by a long list of vices including greed, apathy, envy, theft, cheating, impatience, cynicism, ingratitude and worse, the resort to mob justice,” he said.In regards to these vices, Mr. Boakai cautioned the graduates to observe their roles as individuals belonging to a class, and be prepared to step forth and combat the contagious enticements of the aforementioned vices.“You stand today at a junction, projecting before you two paths from the forks of the road in your journey. The path you embark upon will be as critical to your very existence as it will be to the community in which you live and interact with your fellowmen.“Much like I have warned other peers of yours as they trooped out of the corridors of universities, let me similarly admonish you to not sit on your laurels, dose off in complacency or expect that now that you have earned a university degree, all things will come falling your way,” he told the graduates. He called on them to go forth with the right mental attitude, remaining true to the fine molding they have undergone in the classrooms and set fine examples as people who have acquired what was required of them.But should they do the contrary, Boakai warned: “Throughout all the years, all you have nursed is an aptitude for following the crowd and stooping for shortcuts and bypasses, settling for the ordinary; then of course your celebration amounts to naught, as far as the collective interest of society is concerned.” The NCCC’s first Commencement Convocation exercise, which started on December 8, was characterized by many activities beginning with the Faculty and Staff Night, the Students Class Night, the College President Tea Party and the Baccalaureate Service.The NCCC graduated 167 students who studied 14 disciplines including General Agriculture, Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Geology, Laboratory Technology, Nursing, Information Technology, Public Administration, Management, Accounting, Economic, Criminal Justice, Primary and Secondary Education as well as Gender Development Studies. 72 of the graduates come from the department of Science and Agriculture.The NCCC was established in 2010, but started full academic activities in 2011. It is run by the school’s president, Dr. Yar Gonway Donlah Gono.Dr. Gono said the school grew from 438 students to 1, 388, confirming the strong desire young Liberians have for education.The occasion was attended by high profile government officials and representatives from other colleges and universities around the country, including: Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh; Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai Jr.; the Director General of the National Commission on Higher Education, Dr. Michael Slawon; and the Minister of Post and Telecommunication, Dr. Federick Norkeh. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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