Tuesday, August 31, 2010

19 Americans Sworn-in as Peace Corps/Liberia Volunteers

SOURCE: allafrica.com

PRESS RELEASE

Nineteen Americans were sworn-in as Peace Corps/Liberia volunteers on August 27 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia.


President of the Republic of Liberia H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf delivered remarks at the ceremony and was joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs Olubanke King-Akerele and acting Minister of Education Matthew G. Zarzar. Karl P. Albrecht, charge d'affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, swore the volunteers into Peace Corps service. President Sirleaf's remarks may be read here.

Fourteen of the newly sworn-in volunteers are serving in regular two-year assignments while the other five are serving in short-term, high impact assignments as Peace Corps Response volunteers. While Peace Corps Response volunteers have been serving in Liberia since October of 2008, this is the first time since 1990 that two-year volunteers have served in Liberia.

Before being sworn-in to service, the two-year volunteers lived with local host families and participated in a seven-week technical training that familiarized them with teaching in Liberian classrooms. As part of their training, the volunteers helped run a summer school program for almost 150 students in Kakata where they developed lesson plans, taught in classrooms, issued and graded homework assignments, and administered an exam. The volunteers received language training in Liberian English and a number of local languages including Kpelle, Grebo, Mano, Vai, Gio, Gola, or Krahn.

The two-year volunteers will teach math, science, and English to middle and high school students in eight of Liberia's 15 counties.

Over 3,800 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Liberia since the program was established in 1962. The program was closed from 1990 to 2008. Peace Corps Response volunteers returned to serve in the education and health sectors in 2008. Peace Corps Response provides opportunities for returned Peace Corps volunteers to serve again by utilizing their skills and experience in places around the world where they are needed the most. Since its inception in 1996, Peace Corps Response has sent over 1,300 returned Volunteers to more than 50 countries. Peace Corps Response service provides returned volunteers opportunities to obtain career-focused experience while accomplishing tangible results in a condensed period of time. To learn more, go to: www.peacecorps.gov/response.

As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 77 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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