Monday, December 13, 2010

More Peace Corps Volunteers Due in Liberia

Source: Executive Mansion
Washington, D.C. - The Regional Director for Africa of the United States Peace Corps, Mr. Dick Day, has disclosed that 20 more Peace Corps volunteers are expected to join the group of 40 already assigned in Liberia in June 2011.

Mr. Day, who recently took over as Regional Director for Africa, was speaking on December 7, 2010 when he paid a courtesy call on Ambassador William V.S. Bull at the Embassy of Liberia in Washington, D.C.

According to a dispatch from Washington quoting the Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs at the Liberian Embassy, Mr. Gabriel I.H. Williams, Mr. Day said the increase in the number of volunteers is a manifestation of the Peace Corps’ commitment to be fully engaged in Liberia’s reconstruction process.

Mr. Day also disclosed that a new country director of the Peace Corps is due to take up assignment in Liberia in February 2011.

He further indicated that in response to a request from the Government of Liberia through Planning and Economic Affairs Minister, Honorable Amara Konneh, the Peace Corps is considering deploying volunteer teachers in Liberia that will start at the primary level.

The Regional Director for Africa said the Peace Corps is planning to undertake a continent-wide anti-malaria initiative, of which Liberia will be a part. He added that the programs being undertaken provide an opportunity for the Peace Corps to reach down to the people being served and positively touch their lives.

Responding, Ambassador Bull underscored the special historical ties binding Liberia and the United States, and praised The Peace Corps for the tremendous contributions towards Liberia’s educational programs over the years, particularly before the outbreak of the civil crisis.

He indicated that even though activities of the Peace Corps were suspended during the civil crisis, it was because of the important contributions of the Peace Corps that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appealed to the United States Government to consider reactivating the program in Liberia. He added that through the activities of the Peace Corps the lives of people in Liberia and other parts of the world have been positively impacted.

In another development, the President and CEO of Sister Cities International, Mr. Patrick M. Madden, also paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Bull, during which he apprised the Ambassador about the activities of Sister Cities International around the world, particularly Liberia, where they presently awarded a grant to the sister city programs in Maryland and Bong Counties.

According to Mr. Madden, the Africa Urban Poverty Alleviation Program, under which the grant was awarded to Bong and Maryland Counties, is a three-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to alleviate poverty in 24 African cities through water, sanitation, and health initiatives led by U.S. and African Sister Cities program.

Mr. Madden stated that under program, the State of Maryland, USA, and Bong and Maryland Counties are collaborating to create 10 new boreholes, rehabilitate 10 more in Gbarnga, and repair the current water system at J.J. Dossen Hospital in Harper City.

In response, Ambassador Bull requested an increase in the number of sister city relationships between cities in Liberia and the United States in view of the long-standing ties subsisting between Liberia and the United States. Mr. Madden gave the assurance that Sister Cities International is prepared to work with the Embassy and appropriate Liberian agencies to create more sister city relationships between Liberian and American cities.

Ambassador Bull lauded Sister Cities International for the projects being undertaken in Bong and Maryland Counties, and assured Mr. Madden that efforts would be made for more Liberian cities to become part of Sister Cities International.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

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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