By David A. Yates
A new platform to allow children to talk about issues on peace and security and bring up issues that affect them in the country has been launched by the Messengers of Peace (MOP) Liberia Incorporated.
Executive Director Gwendolyn Myers said the platform will also look at other issues that benefit them.
“The platform will also look at the same way we have the youth, peace and security agenda, so this is coming to light to bring up issues that affect and can benefit children in Liberia,” she said.
“We just want to also look at the ones that are affecting children but also looking at the other good things that are happening in the communities or in society,” she said.
Ms. Myers said there are other individuals who are doing good work around children and from an individual stand point and it is good that “we start to highlight the work that is being done for children.”
The MOP executive director said children should have mentors so that they will be able take work their way through as they grow up.
The coordinator of the platform, Ms. Mildrette A. Somah, commended national civil society organizations for working closely with MOP to create the platform for the children.
She said peace and security as God given rights have not been more important in the lives of Liberian children than now. “We could spend hours if not days to speak about this; however we are calling on our government, stakeholders and other partners to do more for the children’s future through quality education.”
“We are grateful for this opportunity given to us to speak at the all-important launch, because it is basically about children and their well-being,” she said.
Ms. Somah also appealed to the government and its partners to promote children exchange program outside Liberia to build their capacity and expose them to experiences and activities outside the country.
Dorcas K. Mendin, deputy coordinator of the platform condemned all forms of rape, regardless of who is the perpetrator and called for justice for those who are victims of rape.
“We want to be one of the voices to contribute to this issue and hopefully we want to be that voice that will help to speak on issues affecting children’s well-being,” she noted.
Furthermore, she said “we need to move a step forward to get result after objectively reporting issues affecting children. This calls for collective action and it involves stakeholders through dialogue and mediation. The psychosocial well-being of children must also be our priority.”
The program, which was launched yesterday, brought together a cross section of children as well as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Community Development Specialist Eric Opoku and a host of other dignitaries.