The Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) says it has begun discussions concerning comprehensive data collection on all at-risk kids, known as ‘zogos and zogolyns’ for resettlement.
Festus R. Logan said the exercise, among other things, is intended to know the number of such “societal disconnected” individuals who are stereotyped as insignificant persons in the country.
Logan spoke over the weekend at the close of his tour of properties of the Commission, including land and housing units in Congo Town, Bentol City, Schefflin Town and Johnsonville.
He said gone are the days when disadvantaged and less fortunate persons were treated as unimportant in society.
“They are human beings and they all came from homes but as it is, every home has challenges. These challenges, if not carefully dealt with by those serving in government and other spaces of public engagements, we all become victims of the actions of those same people we think are worthless,” Mr. Logan said.
With that in mind, he has organized a team with the responsibility to travel through Monrovia and its environs to write down the names of the zogos and zogolyns, their ages, places of birth, and other basic information the Commission will use to create a database that will help in their reintegration.
“Somebody may care to know about how we intend raising the funds to take care of so delicate a project like this but with God above, we are destined to succeed. We will seek the kind assistance of UNHCR and other partners to get this done,” Logan said.
To successfully implement the plan, Mr. Logan has consulted with the finance department of the Commission to do the cost analysis and submit a comprehensive budget for the project, taking into consideration the number of these disadvantaged individuals the Commission will be catering to.
“Although the commission is under-funded, but our impact and influence will convince President George Weah and the 54th Legislature to increase our budget. We want to make an indelible difference in the lives of all the refugees in the country, those already integrated into our community and those yet to be taken care of, including the Zogos are part of my leadership’s plan,” Logan said.
He said the Johnsonville site is now operated by the Liberian Returnees Network and the Commission has 3 acres of land in Schefflin Town, which will be developed so that Liberians deported from other parts of the world transit for a while before reintegrating in their respective communities.
He said 82 low-cost housing units are temporarily occupied by former Sierra Leone refugees who have naturalized and accepted integration into the Liberian community. “Our office will be relocated to the site in Congo Town where we have one lot. We will expand our programs and engage all county leaderships to help us in identifying and taking care of our goals,” he noted.