When it comes to assisting young people chose between violence and non-violence approach to conflict resolution and consolidation of peace in our society, Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia is becoming a household name among young people.
At the recently concluded SHAPE AFRICA 2014 and the World Economic Forum on Africa 2014 held in Abuja, Nigeria from May 5 to 9, MOP restated its position for the redirection of government investment to human security. We stated the need for radical approach to peace in Africa and the world. We mentioned that all of our bold solutions should be directed and geared towards achieving just one thing— PEACE.
This week, we present the volunteer action of Androvish G. Berrian, who over the past 12 months have supported peace advocacy efforts and served as a co-coordinator for Caldwell Peace Club.
Also this week, as we commemorate the UN Peacekeepers’ Day and we take the opportunity to call on every peace advocate to make our collective passion and experience count. We will like also to remember all those who lost their lives while trying to make the world a peaceful place. Let it be said of us that we met the challenges of our time and let a legacy of excellence for sustainable peace in Liberia.
-Gwendolyn Myers/Executive Director-Messengers of Peace-Liberia (MOP)-
“My name is Androvish G. Berrian, age 18. I am a graduate of Don Bosco Technical High School, and I am an English major student at the Stella Maris Polytechnic, Monrovia-Liberia. I live with my parents in the Caldwell Community of Montserrado County.
I became motivated to invest my time for peace and volunteerism in 2013 and joined Messengers of Peace (MOP) – Liberia as a volunteer peace messenger the same year. After seeing that there are some people who are actually working voluntarily for others, why can’t I do the same or even more?
No other youth-based non-governmental organization in Liberia has what it takes to be a true volunteer. The volunteer that I have worked with since joining MOP-Liberia and the ones that I continue to work with daily, even though they work with less resources, yet perform outstanding services despite the difficulty in assessing funding.
In Caldwell Peace Club, we engage our young people in positive ways as we have come to realize that when left to their own devices, young people tend to settle their own disputes. They figure out where they fit in the social order. We undertake community services and draw synergy from each other. We are rooted in the statement -“Do ask yourself what you can do for your country and not always what your country can do for you”. I am of the firm belief that I can make a difference in Liberia. It is my passion to serve and to make a difference in my community.
My parents, Mr. & Mrs. Alexander Berrian’s shoulders have been there for me. They’ve been great source of inspiration and motivation to my educational aspiration and volunteerism. In addition, I have been influenced by the passion, compassion and commitment of a very important and influential young lady—the Executive Director of MOP-Liberia— who chose to work for peace in Caldwell by starting a mentoring and coaching program for young girls.
Being a peace messenger, I do see all Messengers of Peace as very important and the most needed people in every community because, “people are supposed to be the foundation for a community”.
Creative ways for the involvement, engagement and participation of youth people is fast becoming a dinosaur and it is on this premise that I would like to encourage all Liberian youths, to rally around peaceful initiatives and avoid violence. Let’s heed to a saying that says “where does an eye for an eye lead to? Usually too many eyes will be missing”. Let us try in our unique ways to show someone goodness without conditions.
In the next five years, I would humbly suggest that consideration be given to the larger picture of young people in Liberia, framing the policy and programmes in terms of what’s in the best interests of our youth. We’ve already seen movement and gained traction in efforts at improving quality education, health care delivery, access to water and sanitation and youth empowerment. The journey ahead is long and tedious and more participation of youth will be required.
MOP is helping me realize my passion and now is the time to invest in this youth based organization. At MOP, we have been given the opportunity to teach others, to help others and to love, forgive and live in harmony with others. My story begins at Messengers of Peace- Liberia. Now there is an opportunity to write your story at the Daily Observer.
Liberia needs peace; let us give Liberia the Peace it so rightly deserves.