Three Liberians have received awards for making a difference in the lives of underprivileged people in the country.
Those awarded were Barkue Tubman Zawolo, Steven B. Lavalah and Stephenie Duncan.
These Liberians received the award at the second annual charity program of the Checago Bright Foundation (CBF).
The program was held Saturday, April 12, at the Paynesville City Hall, outside Monrovia and was attended by scores of government officials and well-wishers.
CBF is a non-governmental organization that is engaged in community initiative in the country. The organization met on Saturday to highlight its accomplishments and to honor community leaders for their roles in helping less fortunate Liberian citizens in realizing their potentials.
Speaking at the program, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CBF, Checago Bright- Sawo said that his organization was not only into community development but was involved in recognizing the efforts of other Liberians citizens, who are lifting the life of others.
“We recognized the contributions of others who are doing something welcoming in the communities as a way of bringing their works to the public. This is all about transforming our nation to a better one,” he said.
He said that in 2013, they were able to undertake projects, such as the construction of a modern latrine, provide safe drinking water, among other things.
“The CBF intends to also generate resources for the upcoming 2014 projects in Liberia. The project has already started in Bong and Margibi Counties,” he disclosed.
Responding to the honor at the program, the head of the African and American Women for Peace (AAW Peace), Barkue Tubman-Zawolo said she and her fellow awards recipients were committed in making the difference in the lives of youths in the community.
“Our goal is to experiment with young women to empower them economically. We believe that young girls when empower can develop their own plan to reduce poverty and stop depending on others,” she said.
AAW Peace is a youth promotion program that endeavors to empower the youths to achieve their goals. According to her, young girls in Liberia need the opportunity to develop their potentials for better exposure.
“As many of our young Liberian females are lacking of outside exposure, we recently send two of our young ladies abroad to attend leadership conference that will educate them,” she added.
She disclosed that they have opened a library in Totota, Bong County that will carter to will help solve the research needs of students, adding that these initiatives are supported by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other philanthropists.
Also speaking, the executive director of the Youth Exploring Solutions (YES), Steven B. Lavallah, said that he was highly proud of the award.
“Growing up, I have always dreamed of making impact in the lives of people. I started volunteering at the age of 7 in my community. We wanted to take action that every Saturday we went into the community to engage in cleaning up.”
“In 2007, I really wanted to make impact of the lives of others so we established an organization to reach the lives of others. This was a very difficult task at the beginning when I stated mobilizing young people of like mind. Our organization makes sure that young people’s problem-solvers as well as critical thinkers.”
For her part, Ms. Stephanie Duncan, founder and CEO of the Association of the Advancement of Liberians Girls said that she humbled of the honor.
“The association comprises of a small group of Liberian females working to make a difference. We do not have big donors but we usually find our own money to support.
Ms. Duncan said that her organization was involved in guiding girls against sexual exploitation and providing reading opportunities.
“What is most important to us is to create reading program and guild girls against sexual exploitation through awareness. We are intending to create more recreational education for our children.
Meanwhile, in her key note address, the Chairperson of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), Angelique Weeks stressed the need for Liberians to get involved in community services.
“Happiness is what many of your citizens need and so it is incumbent upon all of us in this country to contribute to the wellbeing of others,” she cautioned.
She mentioned that Liberians will not move forward if they are not willing to serve one another.
Madam Weeks used the occasion to thank all those Liberians who are involved in in making the lives of other citizens better.