In commemoration of the International Dignity Day at the True Vine Institute in Caldwell on Wednesday 21 October 2015 by Messengers of Peace-Liberia Inc (MOP), we noticed that our traditional practice of collectivism is eroding as we now practice a culture of Individualism.
At our outreach programme in Caldwell, we also noticed that often, very little time is dedicated to skills development.
The international donor community is keen to assist with design school curriculum necessary to improve education but few are willing to provide teachers with scholarships that would train them to teach. The need to treat each other with respect and dignity is known but our school curriculum does not include this component in its elective.
Our position is that young people are often not given the opportunity to develop the skills needed for a peaceful and violence free environment. In post conflict environments like Liberia, Child friendly school environment that embodies communication, friendship and understanding are important for growth and development.
Educating young people on human dignity, of course, goes beyond just repudiating western models. It should tap into local knowledge and getting to understand the social values of our society. What makes us respectful, loving, caring, happy and peaceful people inspite of the limitations of our development?
It is also our position that the enthronement of a culture of collectivism among young people should be encouraged and followed by a weaning of the youth off its culture of dependence on others and spirit of entitlement. The Government of Liberia should foster an environment that would pave the way to a functional education programmes for young people in Liberia. Young people must be self-reliant. Above all, for young people to meet the demands of the new world order they must not only be educated to the extent that their potentials could be unleashed, they must be tolerant, respectful and friendly.
Last week 24 October was the UN Day and it was celebrated globally to mark the UN 70th anniversary. In his acceptance speech as President of the seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft said in his new commitment to action: “Today’s decision makers must acknowledge that 2015 is a time to make a new commitment to action for the sake of generations to come….”
Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia echoes the sentiments of Mr. Lykketoft and call on everyone to act on behalf of future generations and promote human dignity by investing in human social security. The path out of violence is respect for and tolerance to each other. Until next week when we continue with our dialogue, it’s peace first, peace above all else. May Peace Prevail in our time!