MESSENGERS OF PEACE

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This month among other major MOP-Liberia activities including Ebola Education Outreach Programme sponsored by the International Student Organization (ISO) at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), VA, USA through Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA) and the Youth Media Education Programme (YMEP) in close collaboration with Radio Veritas/Catholic Media Center, Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia, we begin our dialogue on Poverty, Cronyism, Corruption and Development.

As the year draws to a close, Liberia, along with other nations, would embrace a post 2015 development agenda following the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and roll out the Sustainable Development Goals known as the SDGs.

Before then, we would take time to review our accomplishment of the eight MDGs which are aimed to end poverty.

With the deadline fast approaching and emanating from fourteen years of civil war, it is expected that Liberia has not realized its MDG targets. We still have a long way to go with our to-do lists which includes fighting diseases like Ebola, high level corruptions of donor aids, cronyism and under-development of our rural infrastructure including roads, energy and water and sanitation facilities.

From Monrovia to Zwedru and from Turbmanburg to Voinjama, we can feel poverty as we go along the limited stretch of highways. Our weak health and education systems have been severely tested by the outbreak of Ebola and recovering from it would take some time and tweaking of our socio-economic programmes.

To do this, we must first conduct an audit of the MDGs and develop a road map on the way forward. Most peace messengers are of the view that audit alone is not a panacea to achieving MDGs or its offspring the SDGs timed to 2030. They are of the opinion that for developing countries like Liberia to achieve any sustenance, it needs to review its internal programmes on corruption and cronyism. We need to empower young people through tackling capacity building programme and functional education.

It is essential that the voices of all people, especially young people, be heard and that all people are involved and engaged in tackling underlying causes of poverty.

We must teach young people to live in peace and in country alleviated from poverty, cronyism and corruption which are precursors to national under development. We must also educate the population, especially those in positions of authority on what to do to take the lofty SDGs from rhetoric to reality.

According to President Obama during his recent trip to Nairobi and Addis Ababa, “things work out best when Africans strive to solve their own problems”

Peace and Development in Liberia, especially as we cope with the aftermath of Ebola and the countdown to an Ebola free country is essential and achievable if we address issues of cronyism, bribe and corruption.

Our Ebola Educates programme continues and we seek your support. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to J-Mart for their donation and look forward to others as we partner to eradicate Ebola from our country.

Until next week, when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates: Poverty, Cronyism, Corruption and Development-Part II”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.

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