Messengers of Peace Awards First Youth Guest Columnist

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Messengers of Peace-Liberia Incorporated, in collaboration with the Daily Observer newspaper, has provided L$10,000 to the first winner of its monthly Youth Peace Dialogue Writing competition.

Ingel Sabrina Clay, a student of the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU), was handed the first winner prize on Monday at an official ceremony held at the Joseph Jenkins Roberts High School, Clay’s alma mater.

Receiving her award, a very emotional Clay said, “I decided to write about peace but in a different way that is free of politics, which has allowed me to win this competition. I know the peace and security topic has been around for a while and would have been more political.”

The award ceremony was graced by students from J. J. Roberts and other schools; representatives from the Accountability Lab Liberia; the Liberia Peace Building Office; the contestants’ parents, among others.

“The issue of self-peace and inner-peace is cardinal,” Clay said, “because we have our parents leaving early in the morning to go to work. They think about where they get their money and also think about what they want.”

She lauded Messengers of Peace and the Daily Observer “for such an initiative that helps to open the minds of young people through writing.”

Also speaking, the founder and Executive Director of Messengers of Peace, Gwendolyn Myers, said the competition is intended to develop the writing skills of young people, which is important for MOP and for Liberia.

“We realized that it’s very easy for young people in Liberia to express themselves [orally], but putting forth their ideas through writing is challenging for most of the young people,” Myers said.

Bai S. G. Best, Marketing Manager of the Daily Observer, who provided an overview of the selection process, said although several articles were received, the selection was based on the strength and structure of the content submitted.

He called on the youth not to be afraid to write, as there are groups like MOP, Daily Observer and others who have an interest in developing the writing skills of young Liberians.

Meanwhile, Best encouraged students over the age of 18 to go and register to vote, as their participation will contribute to the future-Liberia they want to see.

“The Daily Observer newspaper is proud to be part of this initiative,” he said.

For her part, Ellen Janjay Natt, Dean of Students of the J. J. Roberts High School, said she was overwhelmed to see Sabrina (Clay) emerge as the first winner of the competition, adding that, “J. J. Roberts got on the map in the spelling bee through Sabrina.”

Ms Natt lauded MOP and the Daily Observer “for such a worthy initiative” and called on them to continue the process.

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