Messengers of Peace: Investing in Volunteers to Invest in Peace

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It’s an endless quest to get young people to care more about their future, so explaining the value of volunteerism in peace building era is extra important and challenging.

Over the past five years (before 17 September 2008), young volunteers at Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia have been engaged with much success to get young people enthused about their active participation and meaningful involvement in peace-building initiatives.

We’re becoming good at mobilizing young volunteers for peace. From a core group of fourteen, we have grown to over a thousand young volunteer messengers for peace. We have, among several of our flagship programmes commemorated the annual International Day for Peace (IDP), collaborated with several strategic partners including but not limited to: Community Outreach Programme, Public Information Office-UNMIL, The Cater Centre, Peace Building Office, Catholic Church, Women Peacebuilding Leadership Cohort Program at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP)/Eastern Mennonite University, VA, USA and Academic institutions.

We innovate and make things happen. Volunteer Peace Messengers like Roseline Rogers seem to be endless quest to get young people to care more about their growth and development.

Finding a way to connect with young people is becoming increasing important as Government usher in an era for increased investment in human security to include high quality education, increased access to affordable health care, water and sanitation as well as food security, youth employment and empowerment programmes.

We take this opportunity to call on Government to invest in Non-Governmental, Youth Based Organizations through annual subventions so that these organizations can be vibrant and adequate to invest in volunteers who in turn would invest in peace and development.

We may not know your name, we may not know where your live and we may not know what school you go to; but we are ready to invest in you and bring you messages of peace. We are Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia and we are here to serve you.

This week, Ms. Roseline Rogers, another young and resourceful volunteer peace messenger tells her story.

-Gwendolyn S. Myers/Executive Director/Messengers of Peace-Liberia (MOP)-

Read on:

My name is Roseline M, Rogers; I am 17 years of age and a freshman student at the St. Clement University College, I reside in Caldwell community.

After a firsthand experience of conflicts in my community and in the society at large, I observed that youths have been used as tools and weapons for conflict and at that young people are never part of the solution or the processes required for the resolution of conflict. Recognizing this gap, I became motivated and said that it’s now time for us the youth to stand up for the positive side of growth and development. Definitely, this serves as my platform for action and I decided to become a Volunteer Peace Messenger.

Well, being a peace messenger, I participate in a whole lot of activities. Firstly, I try to live with peace myself. I practice self awareness, by knowing my strengths and weakness and I then extend this knowledge of self awareness to mediating in conflicts by teaching others what peace is all about, encouraging youth and people about volunteerism. Developing social skills is essential to growth and relationship building in any post conflict environment and offering your knowledge and time for the good of others is a noble practice.

To my fellow youth out there, I urge you fellows to be united and stand up for what is right. Let us say no to violations of our rights, to sexual exploitation and abuse and let us stop being used as a tool for conflicts in our nation and society at large.

In the next five (5) years, I see myself as a good role model to other young females, which means a lady with high moral values, respect, good characteristics and leave a good legacy for others to follow. I also want to have excellent knowledge and skills in providing counseling, a very good mediator in conflict environment and most of all, a satisfied and a qualified great Geologist.

MOP –Liberia is helping me realize it in the sense that I’m becoming a good mediator living with a good character and this also allows me to set a good mark as a young person. Furthermore, my role model is the Executive Director at MOP-Liberia. Come join this organization for Sustainable Peace in Liberia.

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