Marcel C. Akpovo, Chief of Human Rights and Protection Section, and Representative of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights in Liberia has called on Liberian youths to at all times strive for increased knowledge to serve as agents and catalysts to promote human rights, democracy and adherence to the rule of law for the greater good of society, a release has said.
According to the release, Mr. Akpovo also encouraged young people in Liberia to have confidence in themselves; and subscribe to hard work, dedication, sincerity, among other virtues that would enable them to reach their full potentials.
Akpovo, who served as a keynote speaker at a closing program of a two-day youth camp organized by Youth Beyond Barriers (YBB), a subsidiary youth leadership and development program of Better Future Foundation (BFF) in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, also cautioned young Liberians not to look down upon themselves.
He said young Liberians need to have three basic things including faith, belief and hard work to shape their own destiny for the better in the society.
“Through hard work, opportunities avail themselves, never look down upon yourself and say I can’t. Show determination and get involved when there is an opportunity to achieve your desired goals,” he emphasized.
Mr. Akpovo, further told young people to make good choices which may shape their lives towards a positive trajectory.
“Our choices shape our lives into who we want to be. It is only when we learn to do things on our own, we will be able to bear life,” he emphasized.
From Wednesday to Friday, BFF hosted and facilitated series of leadership and life-skills Development training exercises at its Youth Enhancement Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development.
The youth leadership camp which was attended by representatives of more than 25 communities in and around Monrovia as well as leading high schools and universities in the country was also used as a platform to teach young people how to be supportive of one another in terms of their academic, professional and career development and to ensure their prosperous future.
The forum was also intended to inculcate in the minds of Liberian youths basic life-skills to enable them properly manage their relationships.
According to BFF President Augustine Arkoi, relationships between and among young people in the Liberian society, when not properly guided or managed, could lead to unintended consequences including teenage pregnancy, prostitution, gender-based violence, pre-marital sex and drugs abuse among others.
“Most young people in the Liberian society,” BFF added, “lack the necessary skills to properly manage and guide their relationships, a situation that is solely responsible for the high level of family breakdowns and other increasing social disorders among the nation’s youth.”
At least 200 youths from various communities, universities and other learning institutions including Young Ambassadors for Peace attended the camping exercise which also provided an opportunity for young people to engage in positive networking.
At the closing program of the camping exercise which was part of the BFF’s Human Rights Awareness Retreat for Vulnerable Young People sponsored by UNMIL, 45 participants were officially certificated by Mr. Akpovo.
The certification of the camp participants was carried out as part of the foundation’s Liberia Democracy Sustainability Platform (DSP), which seeks to inspire national consensus building aimed at accelerating improved human rights, human security relations, respect for the rule of law, advocacy for infrastructural development as well as sustaining democratic governance in Liberia and the sub-region.
The program was climaxed by sporting activities between YBB youths and residents of Peace Island Community.