‘Strengthening Members Capacity Through Leadership’

Newly-elected leaders of the YALI Liberia Alumni Chapter (from left): Lauren E. A. Kolleh, Goto Cooper, Amos B. Moore and Varney T. Wilson take the oath of office.

…Declares YALI Alumni Liberia Chapter President-elect

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Liberia Alumni Chapter on Friday, October 25, 2019, inducted into office its second leadership to steer the affairs of the chapter for the next two years.

The program, held in the Wologisi Mountain Conference Hall at iCampus in Monrovia, brought together Alumni from previous cohorts in a networking environment.

Varney Wilson, the president-elect of the Alumni Chapter, has promised not only to mentor young people into the network but to strengthen the capacity of every member without being biased.

YALI is a flagship program of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, founded by former U.S. President Barack Obama. The program is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders.

YALI has four Regional Leadership Centers (RLC) located in Ghana, Senegal, Kenya and South Africa. These centers provide in-person and online training throughout the year in business, entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management.

Varney said his journey to the presidency was not a smooth ride. “If someone told me five years ago that I would become president of the YALI Alumni Chapter of Liberia, I would not have believed that person but I count it all blessings.”

Other members of the leadership include Kumba P. Joe, Vice President; Francis B. Moore, Secretary-General; Josiah Wonasue, Communication Chair; Goto Cooper, Speaker Bureau Chair; and Laurene E. A. Kolleh, Events and Networking Chair.

According to Varney, their foremost priority will focus on building a professional network that will be accessible, impact-driven and resourceful to all members and those aspiring to join the network of leaders.

As a way of giving back to the society, Varney said: “Our leadership will organize monthly community services to be implemented by the Chapter and its members.”

“The goal of the monthly community service is to share knowledge with our colleagues in various communities as well as build relationship with other youth groups,” he added.

The leadership, according to Varney, has developed a plan called Annual National Alumni Retreat (ANAR).

“ANAR will be used to develop, review a five-year strategic plan which will serve as a programmatic roadmap for the chapter. ANAR will further host development partners and other key stakeholders and will also give alumni the platform to showcase their projects and businesses,” Varney said.

Funding and partnership are essential to the growth of any organization; therefore, the leadership said it will work to explore fundraising opportunities for their members and the Chapter in general.

“Our fundraising efforts will not only entail lobbying for finances but also building potential partnerships with other youth groups in Liberia, Africa and the world-at-large,” Varney said.

Varney lauded his predecessor, Sally H. Gaye, and her team for the tremendous work in getting the Chapter to where it is.

Margibi County District #2 Representative, Ivar K. Jones, who was the guest speaker, urged every young person in the hall to enter leadership with integrity and leave a trademark of integrity in whatever capacity they are called to serve.

YALI-Liberia Alumni Chapter currently has over 200 young leaders who are working vigorously to impact their communities and organizations.

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Lisa Lumeh is an emerging communications personnel. She holds a B.A. degree in Mass Communication from the African Methodist Episcopal University in Liberia. She joined the Daily Observer in 2012 as an Administrative Assistant. Since then, she has enhanced her personal and professional development in the field of communications. Lisa loves writing and reporting on issues that concerns the development of youth and women in Liberia and Africa. She has certificates in Media and Communications from the Journalists and Writers Association Foundation in New York, USA; Civic Engagement from the Young African Leadership Initiative-Regional Leadership Center, YALI-RLC, Accra, Ghana along with several others in women's Leadership and community engagement.


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