— Declares advocate
Lauren E.A. Kolleh, executive director and founder of the Youth Initiative Program (YIP), has said that many Liberian youths lack the purpose or motivation that will drive them to where they want to be in society.
Ms. Kolleh’s statement came as advocacy mounts on the national government to provide opportunities and empowerment for Liberian youths amid the current high unemployment rate.
As a youth advocate operating a program with the intent of empowering young people, Ms. Kolleh said instead of planning and comparing their talents with what they are capable of doing, “they let their talents to die naturally because they have no purpose.”
Ms. Kolleh said those driven by complacency, without working on their talents to impact society, have “dead” talents, noting that such is what affects majority of Liberian youths, preventing them from making any progress but to complain for job and other opportunities.
On the theme, “Bridging your Talent with Integrity,” the gathering brought together about 50 young Liberians on August 24, 2019 at the ILab campus on Carey Street, in central Monrovia, where the Liberia Research and Development Networks held its honoring program for some outstanding youths. Ms. Kolleh said that there are three points that young people can adopt if they would bridge their talents with integrity.
They include self-discovery, which she urged young people to identify by asking what their talents are; purpose, and self-confidence. In all these, Ms. Kolleh said, one does not have to underestimate his/herself, but should make people to know who they are.
She observed that many young people, when they are noted for doing certain things that impress the public, they behave differently and start to present themselves as people who are not themselves,. This, according to Ms. Kolleh, is manifested by attire, hairstyle and, in some cases, change of skin color.
She said many Liberian youths lack integrity and called on those who attended the program to develop certain principles that define them, learning to say no to immoral and unethical practices.
She added that in order for a young man or woman to develop his/herself for success, that person should have a role model who knows more about him/her.
Liberia Research and Development Networks (LRDN) Executive Director John S.M. Yormie acknowledged Ms. Kolleh’s statement and described her deliberation as “excellent,” stressing that her message was an encouragement for all Liberian youths to begin shifting from complacency to developing their talents, skills and exerting effort to improve in their respective areas of interest.
“Goal orientation is lacking in our society, and I want to commend Ms. Kolleh for the self-explanatory message she put out,” Yormie said.
Yormie, a diplomat by profession, said young people need inspiration that will drive them into positive things as well as imagination that will move their country forward.
He added, “These are what youths should aspire for to develop as they yearn for a positive change in their lives and their country.”
Mr. Yormie described the LRDN as an emerging research think-tank institution involved in checking facts about Liberia to enlighten readers, especially young Liberians, to develop innovative minds to cultivate their talents.
He urged young people to be self-disciplined and develop innovative minds to transition from theory to practice, carrying along with them integrity.
Mr. Yormie said that one thing that gives lukewarm spirit to many young Liberians is the perception that even in their 20s they are kids when they should be developing maturity and self-discipline that will lead them to employment.
He said the LRDN has a goal that sets integrity, honesty and sincerity as primary values to which everyone subscribes, and by this they are able to properly manage donations and funds they receive to meet up with scholarship targets they have for a year.
He told the young people that trust can only be built in one if the person builds it, urging them to demonstrate sincerity in everything that they do.