By Gwendolyn S. Myers/Founder &Executive Director, Messengers of Peace-Liberia Inc (MOP)
We begin our dialogue among peace messengers this week by asking, ‘what is our frame of mind in 2018 as young people living in Liberia’. If the current global events and prevailing situation are anything to go by, we foresee a bleak future for young people.
In view of the world chaos and underlying uncertainty of our generation the glimmer of hope rests solely on the incoming government and the prioritization of programs for young people. We trust that the new government would listen and act to the multiplicity of suggestions and guidance for good governance. We do not believe in tearing down structures or mechanisms that work, we believe in building on government machineries that work for the benefit of society and provide guarantees for the future.
From ongoing dialogue among peace messengers, we observe a positive momentum toward the inauguration of President-elect, Ambassador George M. Weah and Vice President-elect, Madame Jewel Taylor. Hopes and expectations among young people across the country are high and the need to build a youth coalition for peace and development should be high on the new Government’s top priority list.
While the new Government would need time to settle in, it is important to get some direction, plan and strategy on how to increase youth employment, increase access to education, health and basic social amenities such as water, electricity and transport. In the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Time is neutral, never right, and never wrong. Time is what we make of it.” There is need for young people to make the best use of the new Government and of their time.
With evident difficult living conditions, high-level corruption and loss of opportunities for young people, the issues ahead are huge but not insurmountable.
Gender parity, defense of human rights and investment of social human security remain critical to address these issues. It is our hope that the new government would from the first day in office react and protect the rights of every Liberian. Every hand must be on deck as the entire world would be watching how well we perform.
Peace resilience combines all of the above and more. It includes integration and, more importantly, a better life for all, particularly that of young people who, up til now, have been at the receiving end of the stick. Liberia needs to regain its most peaceful society status and revitalize the energy of young people that manages its own development, social values and respect for human dignity and rights.
As the new Government is sworn in next week, it is important to engage in dialogue and in joint efforts to obtain consensus for youth programmes on peace and development. This way, there would be joint efforts and ownership for its successes and failures, and we can lay the solid foundation required for a new era when young people can live together in peace.
Ultimately sustainable peace in Liberia depends on us as peace is for everyone. Peace above all else, Peace first, May Peace prevail.