Official launching of IAYSP – Liberia

On the 21st of September, Youth and Students for Peace –Liberia had its official lunch in the auditorium of the Nathan E. Gibson Memorial Institute. In total, 650 people attended the ceremony. Among them were different students’ bodies, government officials, friends and well-wishers, and members of YSP-Liberia. The launch commenced with a march which ended at the auditorium of Nathan E. Gibson Memorial Institute. This event started from 11:00am and ended by 6:00pm. The theme of the event was: “The Role of Youth and Students in Building a Culture of Sustainable Peace”.

The welcome remarks were given by the Service Program Director of YSP, Mr. Francis Jallah. He encouraged everyone to feel free and act accordingly as the program had been planned and organized in the spirit of Peace.

Our guest speaker was the current the Vice Chairperson for Planning and Policies of the opposition Liberty Party and owner of many schools in Liberia, Hon. Martin Saye Kollah. He briefly spoke to the hundreds of students from different schools about the importance of Peace in Liberia.

“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways. What kind of peace do we seek? Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children . . . not merely peace in our time but peace for all time…”

Miss. Banica S. Elliott, a government official from the Ministry of Youth and Sports-Liberia, gave her remarks during the event. She congratulated the organizers of the ceremony and cautioned everyone around the world that peace is a daily, weekly, monthly process. “It involves gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers and quietly building new structures,” she added. “Let peace reign!” She concluded by reassuring the audience that her Ministry is looking forward to working with YSP. Another dignitary from the government, Mr. George cautioned all participants to value the peace that we currently have. He said “If you want to end war then instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending tanks, send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers.” He commended the YSP-President (Elijah D. Kopeh Jr.) for organizing such a unique program. The President of the Young Ambassador for Peace (YAP), Mr. Wilmon Wesseh praised the organizer. He also promised to continue working with YSP-Liberia.

The President of YSP-Liberia gave a brief background about YSP-Liberia to the audience. He started by encouraging all participating institutions to become a part of the organization (YSP) as partners in progress. He also clarified to the audience that the vision of YSP is to build a culture of peace with true love, whereas its mission is to raise leaders of next generation who are armed by filial piety and true love. Miss. YSP-Liberia, Edwina P. Gurley officially introduced a program called Each One Teach One to the public. This program is intended to raise funds that will help the less privilege in the society who can’t afford school dues this academic year. This program will help to raise funds to help the needy. The queen is currently seeking donor support to help the needed. The motto of this fundraiser is “Living for the sake of others.”

During the lunch session, the YSP-Liberia Peace Arts team gave a wonderful performance. Their performance sent a clear peace message to the audience about the significance of peace and forgiveness. The spirit of the message that Peace cannot be kept by force — it can only be achieved by understanding.” A Liberian comedian then entertained the audience with his jokes. Following him was a local Liberian Artist who made such a splendid performance that the crowd was cheered up.