The International Education and Resource Network (IEARN-Liberia) in collaboration with the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program, celebrated the Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) over the weekend in the port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. The occasion was attended by young people from across the country.
According to the organizers of the event, the celebration was aimed at encouraging youths to volunteer and render services that would help improve the conditions of their country, communities and its people.
GYSD is an annual celebration of young volunteers around the world. It is designed to encourage youths to participate in community service and service learning. The day honors those who have contributed to their communities through voluntary commitment.
The Buchanan celebration was held under the theme: “Youth Service and Volunteerism for a Clean Coastal Environment “with the Motto: “Providing Leadership through teamwork.” The importance of environmental sanitation was highlighted at the program. The youths learned the importance of volunteerism and how to keep their various communities and beaches clean.
Serving as Guest Speaker at the occasion was the research analyst of the Bureau of Afro- Asian Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Akoi. Mr. Akoi said in order for young people to achieve their personal and professional goals in life, they must work together by taking advantage of voluntarism.
He spoke on the theme: “Empowering and Motivating youths through the improvement of communities in the world.”
Mr. Akoi said young people should take advantage of technology; adding that the future of modern learning is squarely in technology. “How can one unlock the social network and media that helps children makes new connections?” He asked.
He said social networks and social media are helping young people globally to make positive connections, adding that the experts’ have given advice that parents need to make Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and other social networks a safe and enriching part of their family life.
“From cutting–edge approaches, to communications and teamwork, to bold new ways to bring ambitions to life, this engaging presentation shows attendees how to catalalyze (cause or accelerate a reaction by acting as a catalyst) personal and professional growth overnight.
By leveraging emerging opportunities and trends, anyone can unlock their potential for greatness or discover the fast lane to success in no time flat,” he explained.
At the event, which also included a workshop, youths learned the importance of keeping their beaches clean in order to help keep community-dwellers healthy. IEARN- Liberia Program Director, Jacob F. Bandiyo, urged the participants to be ambassadors for themselves by educating others about the importance of having clean beaches.
According to Mr. Bandiyo, his organization will this year set up an environmental taskforce that will help in the process by observing various beaches in the county and continue to carry on community sanitation.
Mr.Bandiyo urged the youths to engage in community activities for the betterment of the country stating that through voluntarism the country will compete with others in the Sub-region.
He however disclosed that the GYSD reminds the youth of their importance to the world at large by encouraging people to give back to their countries and communities, by taking the mantle to the people through volunteerism.
The IEARN- Liberia Program Director urged the participants to be ambassadors for themselves and their communities by educating others about the importance of having a clean beach.
GYSD is observed every April 10. This day was launched as National Youth Service Day in 1988 in the United States, it is coordinated by Youth Service America and most of the projects are based in the United States.
Every year the GYSD program brings together a growing number of volunteers from other parts of the world who take part in a series of activities; including the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) alumni and youth volunteers from Liberia.