Several Liberians were honored on Thursday, June 27, 2019, for their contributions to the country’s development at the second Liberia Development Awards program, organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other development partners.
Awards were given for work in the health, education, agriculture and business sectors, a release from USAID has said.
According to the release, there were also awards given for Civil Society Organization of the Year and Youth of the Year.
Johnson Weefah, an instructor at the Cuttington University assigned in the Agriculture College in Suakoko, Bong County, received the Teacher of the Year Award. Mr. Weefah, who also teaches at the Liberia International Christian College in Ganta, Nimba County volunteers at the Bong Technical College, and the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) also in Bong Country.
The Entrepreneur Award of the Year went to Mahmud Johnson, a Liberian youth, whose J-Palm Liberia Enterprise was started in 2013. The budding Liberian enterprise transforms discarded palm kernels into oil and further processes it into a range of cosmetics and clean energy products.
Additionally, according to the release, the company has created off-farm jobs, primarily for young people, in sales, marketing, and product development.
Sophie Tarlue Parwon is a career health specialist. but her passion for agriculture led her to establish an agribusiness that focuses on providing best practice techniques to rural farmers to tackle the issue of affordable fresh meat and produce.
For the Youth of the Year category, Henry ‘Amaze’ Toe was selected as winner. Amaze is co-founder and Accountability Ambassador at New Media Lab, a state-of-the-art audiovisual recording studio at iCampus in Monrovia.
With mentorship from Accountability Lab, Amaze launched the first HipCo Accountability Network using HipCo – a popular local genre – to engage youth in a positive movement for change.
Maima Pelham of Serene Health Mobile Clinic clinched this year’s Health Worker of the Year. The clinic operates through a team of volunteers doctors, physician assistants, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and laboratory technicians and other support staff.
Its current project titled, “My baby, my life” focuses on improving maternal and child health in rural communities. The Civil Society of the Year award was taken by Local Voices Liberia. Local Voices Liberia is a rural-based media network engaged with amplifying rural voices in development undertakings and at the same time promoting governance and democracy at the grassroots level through its network of journalists nationwide.
Program attendees voted to award Johnson Weefah as “Development Hero of the Year.”
United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Elder, who spoke at the program, lauded honorees for living lives that provide compelling stories on Liberia’s development potential.