An outspoken, fearless 10 year old Liberian lad last Sunday called on Liberians involved in corrupt practices to shun them if they hope to excel in life.
According to young Alfred Brownell, Jr., practices that lead to the exploitation of the nation retard the country’s progress, “Therefore, they have to stop!” If you want to succeed or escape the chains of poverty, don’t eat what you are not to eat; neither deprive others of their benefits,” he told the audience to deafening rounds of applause.
Brownell was delivering the keynote address at the fifth kindergarten graduation and the second Thanksgiving Service of the Redeemed Christian Church in Monrovia.
“The resources of a country do not have the names of certain groups of people written on them; rather, they are for the development of the entire country,” he contended.
Young Brownell, who has on previous occasions identified with the school and church by donating his “widow’s mite” saved from his school lunch allowance, was the choice of his contemporaries to be their graduation guest speaker.
He argued that anyone who believes in a prosperous Liberian society and a better future for the children must be committed to eradicating corruption in any sector.
Brownell acknowledged that he became familiar with the word ‘corruption’ around the time he turned eight years old, calling the act “the unarguable reason for the country’s underdevelopment.”
“As a child I hear every day that many people in my country are corrupt and this is the main reason why our country is not developed,” said Brownell.
He challenged the graduates to see the sky as the limit as they continue their academic sojourn.
He called on the students to individually take some time in life to reflect on what they could possibly do to make the country a better place than what it is now.
Master Brownell is a prospective seventh grade student of the Turkish-Liberia Light International School in Monrovia.
He commended parents for choosing the Redeemed Christian Academy for their children’s education, and the administration for helping the country’s youth population by imparting to them a “sense of academic direction.”
Brownell announced that he would provide one year academic scholarships to two students who ranked above their colleagues in grade point averages.
For his part, the valedictorian of the graduating class, Eddie Gaye, expressed gratitude to the school’s administration, as well as the parents, for their support. He called on them to invest in their education rather than competing to give them material comfort.
Student Gaye also encouraged the school administration to invest more in the school in order to provide quality services the students deserve which, he said, would attract the attention of many parents and their school-going children.
The principal of the school, Ms. Magdalene N. Wea, launched a funding raising campaign for teacher and student scholarship programs. She told the audience that her administration is working to ensure that no one is left behind in education.
This scholarship initiative, she explained, is aimed at training and developing the academic skills of the teachers so they will be better equipped and prepared to teach the children in the best way, as required by her administration.