MESSENGERS OF PEACE

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The camp is too short, they all echoed but the Camp Managers as well as sponsors are elated that the camp is coming to a close. Funding for camp activities made possible through the support from Center for Women Faith and Leadership (CWL), at the Institute for Global Engagement Programme, USA and generous contributions from individual peace advocates both locally and from the International donor community is fast running out and all for a good purpose.

The testimonies have been amazing; a peace camper identified in his community the emerging issue of youth and gambling-a sure precursor for violence, another managed domestic conflict in the home and others are serving as peace advocates. Some campers have been exposed to leadership roles and all campers have experience ad hoc electoral process.

To further illustrate the gains of the peace camp, returning camp managers undertook their rightful roles in teaching choreography. It was lots of fun to be taught the basics of playing football and to engage the boys in the game of football on the hills of Ducor. Our campers now have some basic knowledge of
French and can sing a peace anthem in French. The fun, interaction and synergy are endless.

Last week, we had guest speakers from UN Women, The Daily Observer, Spanish teacher and others. The presentation from Rotary Club of Monrovia was intense, enriching and inspiring. Most, over 90 percent, of the campers had no idea what gallant work Rotary Clubs undertake in the country.

The aim of the peace camp is to promote peace, engage young people and instruct them on ways to prevent conflict and violent extremism. We understand that it takes lots of small steps to make one big hit but investment in human security would eventually pay off in the long term.

Our excellent camp managers anticipate that our campers would turn their camp experiences and knowledge into action. We believe when young people are taught about peace, they become more aware of opportunities for self-improvement. The campers have been truly inspirational and we are happy to have created an environment where youths can become peace advocates.

On the peace camp agenda for next week is a visit to the Museum, excursion to Coca-Cola, quiz competition on Liberian expressions, triangular debate on youth involvement in peace and security. A special closing ceremony to conclude the camp is in the offing.

As we come to the final week of the camp, we renew our appeal to all peace loving individuals and organizations to embrace peace and support our youths. We need to resolve as a collective unit to promote unity, dignity and justice for all. Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia remains committed to support any national plan of action for the implementation of the UNSCR 2250.

There is an urgent need to promote peace, stability and security through the involvement of young people in volunteerism. As mentioned in the past, there is no love stronger than the love of a volunteer.

Until next week when we continue with our dialogue and report on our Peace Summer Camp-Part 4, it’s peace first, peace above all else. May Peace Prevail in our time!

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