Former Vice President Joseph Boakai has called for the establishment of a role model association comprising men and women of impeccable character to instill moral values among the country’s youth.
The former VP, who was speaking at the celebration of the International Men program at a resort in Monrovia yesterday, said such an association is needed to supplement the government, religious organizations and schools’ efforts to turn the youth of today into responsible leaders of tomorrow.
The former VP added that while the war had an effect on the current attitude of Liberian youth, the situation can be changed if such an association is established.
“The attention of our young people today are much divided; therefore, we need to exert serious efforts to teach them the importance of respect for older people, women, speech behavior in public space and value of honesty. The need for positive role model now in our society cannot be overemphasized because our great loss as a people is not the loss of money or material things; rather, it’s the loss of human capital which is represented by our youth,” the former VP said.
The International Men’s Day is an annual event celebrated on the 19th of November every year since 1999. The date is set aside to focus on men’s and boys’ health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting male role models.
It is an occasion to also highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care.
This year’s celebration in Liberia was held under the theme, “Promoting Positive Role Model in Liberia.”
Mr. Boakai added that the young people of Liberia have the potential of becoming good and better citizens tomorrow but that will depend on what example they are shown.
“Our young people have lots of potentials to become more productive, honest and respectful citizens if the older generation becomes a positive role model. This is why there is an urgent need for such an association to promote the display of positive character and moral traits.
“Some of the negative attitudes we are seeing in our youth today can be halted when lots of folks start to display positive character. While that might be a challenge, that is not impossible. It is something achievable,” Mr. Boakai added.
Also speaking, Deputy Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Alice Johnson-Howard lauded the former Vice President for such a brilliant call which will have a lasting positive impact on the society. Minister Howard added: “The time for the establishment of such an association is now because it will help the ministry in its fight against sexual and gender-based violence and inequality.”
Meanwhile, Alex Devine, Youth for Change founder and CEO, thanked the former vice president for such a recommendation and promised to work towards it.
“I strongly believe the coming forth of this association will have a great impact on the lives of many Liberian youths as well as old folks to live a life worth to copy,” Mr. Devine said.