In fulfillment of a maxim, which states that you should “give a man his flowers while he is alive,” the student union of Montserrado County Electoral District #6 recently honored a physically-challenged educator, Emmanuel Gungrien, at a well-attended ceremony in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The event, which brought together scholars, free thinkers, and a host of other residents, saw Gungrien, who is without legs, in a highly-spirited mood.
Among those who attended the occasion were former ELBC (Liberian Broadcasting System) deputy director and Bumper Show host Patrick Honna, Oscar Mulbah, co-presenter of Truth Breakfast Phone-in Show, and Abraham Godsent Wheon, the show’s chief presenter, and emerging youth activist Emmanuel Tosiah.
They too were honored by the student leadership, along with Mr. Gungrien.
Gungrien, who was throughout the ceremony beaming with smiles, expressed gratitude for the recognition bestowed on him.
“I am impressed that even though I appear like nobody in our society, whatever inspired you to make me a part of the list of honorees, particularly so that some are high profile individuals in our society, I am grateful to God for you,” Gungrien said as the audience applauded.
Gugrien, now acting principal of ABC Christian Academy on the ELWA/Robertsfield highway, said his disability has never prevented him from making contributions to better the lives of others.
“For some, I should go out in the street and be begging everyday, but I stood the test of time and learned. I have been teaching for the past nine years, and I am so happy that students, some of whom I have even taught before, have come to appreciate me in this great manner,” he said.
Patrick Honnah also appreciated the students for recognizing Mr. Gungrien for his little way of contributing to the forward march of the country but challenged them to be more concentrated in transforming their fellow youth in order to inspire them to do good things for the country.
Honnah said Liberia is at a critical cross-road, which calls for serious and positive like-minds to bring about the change yearned for by the country’s suffering population.
“Let someone become your role model for the good side of life, instead of getting attracted to people with vices that are tearing down our society,” he said.
Oscar Mulbah, on behalf of other honorees, said he was impressed not by the certificate only but by the realization that a student group could think about appreciating a physically-challenged person in Mr. Gungrien.
“I am delighted and thrilled by the fact that we had among us a special honoree in person of Gungrien. He is indeed special, and so we appreciate the students for this farsightedness,” Mulbah said.
Mulbah said it is very rare for people to respect and honor a physically-challenged person, who struggles to move from one point to another due to his lack of feet to walk on.
The president of the union Emmanuel Samuel Span said his union chooses people for awards, not on the basis of position, economic status or friendship, but for their selfless service to society.
“Though we are students, we are sound minded youth,” Span said.
He said no one else pay for their awards, including certificates, but the students who are registered members of the union.