About 50 children between the ages of 8 to 19 were on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, certificated as Young Ambassadors (Messengers) of Peace, after a month-long summer camp on peace and security.
Ms. Gwendolyn Myers, the Executive Director of Messengers of Peace, said the inaugural summer camp has empowered the children to become messengers in their respective homes, communities and schools and also provided them the opportunity to improve their self-esteem, literacy, life and languages.
Making special remarks, Director Myers said seeds of peace have been planted in the ‘Young Ambassadors,’ and would be long lasting.
She pointed out that during the camp, the young messengers interacted at different levels of non-formal learning, making ten field trips to UNMIL, Coca-Cola, community services during the Independence Day at the PHP Community and the Group of 77 Disabled Community, the US Embassay, and Carter Center, among others.
“During the peace camp, we noticed several challenges. Besides the funding and other logistical challenges that we faced, there were campers that had challenges wih interpersonal relationships and others had issues communicating in public. There were issues with reading and writing. We need to redesign our current national education programs for children,” Ms. Myers said.
The Operational Controller and First Secretary of the Swedish Embassy in Monrovia, Mr. Yaser Abd El Hamid, hailed the Messengers of Peace for the first-ever camp for peace and security, adding that the Embassy sees the young boys and girls as instruments of peace and security for the nation.
He pledged support for the initiative.
Mr. Pewee Flomoku, Carter Center’s Chief of Party , also hailed Ms. Myers and said the camp was rewarding. He also pledged his support for the 2017 edition of the camp.
Several of the youths, including Agnes Dennis, George Flomo, Bill Baffor and Wonderlyn Wonsiah, hailed the Messengers of Peace for the camp, saying that they were able to break personal barriers, such as public speaking, controlling their anger, among others.
The UNMIL Band provided music.