--As staff bids him farewell
Last week Friday was a sad happy moment for the management and staff of DKT Liberia International and partners when they gathered at a resort to bid farewell to their outgoing Country Manager, Antonio Cazares Turcott, at a cocktail reception held recently in Monrovia.
It was sad in the sense that Turcott, who served from 2018 to 2021 was leaving the family for an assignment in Uganda.
From the perspective of happiness, Turcott’s departure is also ushering in Isaac Opoku Lamptey as the new DKT Liberia Country Manager who is believed to fill the gap that the absence of Turcott will leave behind.
The outgoing Country Manager, who was overwhelmed and speechless for some seconds when he stood up to deliver his farewell speech, started by thanking the Ministry of Health, Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of Ghana, UNFPA, for working together.
In like manner, Turcott also fervently thanked the staff as well as service providers for their support throughout his tenure. He maintained that DKT Liberia would not have achieved its goal had it not been for the relentless efforts put in by staff.
“I will remain forever grateful to you and our partners for your service, hard work and support throughout these years, and you will always remain in my heart,” the outgoing Country Manager said.
Turcott said after three and a half years leading DKT Liberia, together with his colleagues and partners, they joined efforts in increasing access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
“I’ve been working with DKT for nine years now and I am grateful for leading the team that established DKT in Liberia. DKT came at the perfect time to find partners with a common goal to avoid unwanted pregnancies, as everyone has the right to access sexual and reproductive health information and services,” Turcott said in his farewell speech.
The outgoing DKT Liberia International Country Manager in his short statement said he was very much happy to serve as the first Country Manager for DKT in Liberia whilst praising the hospitality of the Liberian people.
“And, I will be admitting that at the beginning, it was very sad as you are saying goodbye to people and projects that you care about. But immediately, I started receiving encouraging messages with good memories and stories that we shared.”
“All these give me so much joy and remind me how grateful I am for what we have achieved together. I’ve mixed feelings about leaving Liberia. However, as one friend told me, you are still in the block, Antonio, so I am sure that I will see you soon,” he said.
According to him, the last Liberia Demographic Health Survey shows that more Liberians are using modern contraceptives, and there is significant reduction in the maternal mortality rate.
Turcott said DKT partners added efforts for more Liberians to access moderns’ methods of contraception, particularly for women and girls to be able to educate themselves, work, and participate in society in the same manner as men and boys.
“At DKT, we work for a world where all children are truly wanted, the sex is good, and people are free! I believe that in Liberia, we are doing it well with more Liberians enjoying their sexual life, planning when to have babies, and deciding if they don’t want to have them,” he added.
He continues, “Today, I hand over my position to a great colleague and friend, Isaac Opoku Lamptey. I want to take this time to celebrate all the DKT’s achievements in Liberia and to wish the best of luck to DKT’s new chapter under my successor Isaac.”
Jacobson Sendolo, a staff member who came up to bid farewell to the outgoing Country Manager, said he came with great expectations and worked very hard to place DKT in a position it is today in Liberia.
“On behalf of DKT Liberia International and the current management, we will like to say thank you very much for your service to DKT Liberia for the remarkable impact in our country---beyond DKT mission and purpose, you went through a lot to impact each and every staff in DKT—beyond DKT,” said Sendolo.
For his part, the Incoming Country Manager, Isaac Opoku Lamptey, who lauded the outgoing DKT Country Manager, promised to continue the good work of his him (predecessor).
Lamptey assured the organization and its partners, including the Swedish Embassy, of his commitment to ensuring the sustainability of DKT Liberia to a noble height.
The ceremony was graced by representatives from the Swedish Embassy, Ministry of Health through its Family Health Division, UNFPA, LMHRA, Liberia Midwifery Association and the Montserrado County Health Team, respectively. They also presented several gifts to the outgoing Country Manager for remembrance.