Abraham Ballah is Volunteer Peace Messenger at the Len Miller High School. He is also the youth mobilizer for MOP-Liberia. Last month during the one month Peace Summer Camp organized by MOP-Liberia, Ballah introduced the peace chat of Amanda for an elevator pitch. Accordingly to Ballah, who lives alongside thousands of young people on the Old Road, young people have been sidelined enough and the behaviors of adults put young people at a critical crossroads, either to imbibe corrupt practices, fight or advocate for peace.
Ballah vowed, following exposure to peace messages, that he would be a mobilizer for peace and that fighting cannot promote young people, but peace can unite. According to a South African Proverb, if the Lion could tell his own side of the hunting experience the narrative would not always favor the hunter.
Last week was a turning point and a watershed for peace initiatives in this country and we’re glad that young people turned out in droves to walk for peace. The peace walk was successful and so was the peace talk. We had over four hundred young people and the messages were clear.
No country is saved by the size or strength of its army. Empires, kingdoms and superpowers have crumbled through deceit, anger, conceit, extreme violence, power, corruption and greed. Nations are built by the power of faith, hard work, commitment, love and prayers.
Only those with good intentions, commitments to sustainable development would inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. When the Lord gives strength to his people, He blesses them with peace.
MOP-Liberia takes this opportunity to thank our interlocutors for their support and encouragements.
Cognizance of the fact that we have more work to be done through transparency and accountability, it is time for young Liberians to take the rudder of the peace ship and steer it ashore. We refuse to remain bystanders or perpetual complainers about divisive issues. We are wary of the recent impasse at the House of Legislature and the brewing dissent among the Liberian students. The country needs transformative leaders and all young people, regardless of their faiths, should pray for Liberia and its transformation.
Young people should hold firm to core values of honesty, fair play and objectivity, we must not lose our principles and aspirations.
We reiterate our call to support and expand peace education program as an important first step in combating incidents of intolerance, discrimination and violence among youth. As second step, we need to raise awareness about different forms of violent extremism.
Until next week when we come to you with another dialogue, may the peace bell that rang in Liberia 13 years ago continue to resound in the minds of our youth and may those with resources to provide give peace a chance by walking with youth. Peace first, peace above all else and may peace continue to prevail in our land.