A two-day regional youth leadership and entrepreneurship conference organized by “Girls and Vulnerable Youth Education Initiative (GVYEI),” a non-for-profit organization, has ended in Ganta City, Nimba County.
The conference aimed to enlighten the minds of young people about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a collections of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. The SDGs are part of Resolution 70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly.
The conference, which began on June 26-28, 2019, was held under the theme, “Propagating the SDGs by Reshaping, Molding and Empowering the Minds of our Young Generation.”
It is an annual event that normally brings together young people with diverse disciplines from the 15 counties. This year’s event brought together more than 65 youths from Nimba, Montserrado, and Bong counties.
Alex P. Johnson, GVYEI Executive Director, informed the participants that the country cannot be a better place without creating an adequate awareness about the SDGs importance.
Johnson said instead of depending on government alone to achieve these goals, the young people have a cardinal role to play in reshaping the future development of the country.
According to Johnson, Liberia being a member of the UN, it was therefore important that the young people begin to take the necessary steps to ensure that the objectives of the SDGs are achieved by 2030.
“When the young people are informed adequately about the importance of the SDGs, they will serve as ambassadors of change in their respective communities,” he said.
Johnson spoke of the need for more civic education to be created at various levels, noting that nowadays, some of Liberian youths are high school, college and university drop-outs who do not understand what the SDGs are all about.
He believes that the SDGs have cardinal messages that, when preached and well received by the many of the youths who constitute approximately 73 percent of the country’s population, Liberia will be on par with other African countries and the world in terms of development by 2030.
“This fight is not easy, it cannot be done alone, it needs collective efforts to be fully achieved,” Johnson said, acknowledging the challenges many of the youth are faced with, especially in a poverty-stricken country.
Worser Gloria Goanue, one of the panelists, who spoke on the topic, “Agro Entrepreneurship and the Implication on the SDGs, then cautioned his colleagues to take agriculture at the centre of every career; something which she believes that, if considered, Liberia will be self-sufficient in food production.
“Agriculture is cardinal to achieving of the SDGs, because without it, we as a country and people cannot accomplish our objective to develop in the absence of food,” Ms. Goanue said.
She stressed the need for young people to see goal #2 as an essential tools for economic growth and development for the country. “Goal #2 talks about alleviating hunger through food security and improved nutrition that promotes sustainable agriculture.”
Diamond George Kemue, “I am deeply impressed to see young people pouring in their numbers to attend the regional conference about the SDGs.” Kemue who also served as one of the motivational speakers, described the youths as “change drivers.”
“When a nation is capable of building its youth capacity, develop the minds of the youthful population, the attitude and environment will definitively change.” Kemue said.
GVYEI is a non-for profit organization that was established in 2017 on the foundation of building the leadership of young Liberians through diplomacy as a model. It has over the last two years enlightened the minds of young people, empowering girls and boys to become ambassadors of change.