Over 500 youths from five communities in Montserrado County has celebrated this year International Volunteer Day in Liberia, the event was organized by the Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development (COYPED) with funding from the United States Embassy in Monrovia.
The Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development (COYPED), United States Embassy-Monrovia and partners celebrate on December 7-8 and carry out series of activities commencing with a parade on Friday, December 7 from the Ministry of Education on Broad Street to the YMCA conference hall in Monrovia where a formal program was held.
The Indoor program brought together over 100 participants including the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Madam Deborah Malac who served as Keynote Speaker. Other personalities that attended the occasion were Representative Munah Pelham of District # 9 Montserrado County, Hon. Albert Jaja Assistant Minister for Information Services at the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs & Tourism, Mohammed A. Nasser, President of the Federation of Liberian Youth including national non-governmental organizations, youth and women groups, students and other stakeholders.
Speaking at the event on December 7, 2012 the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac called on citizens especially the youths to engage into voluntary activities that will promote education, health, peace and reconciliation in the country.
Ambassador Malac further stressed that volunteerism is critical to nation building processes and inform the gathering that there are dozens of Americans who are currently volunteering in Liberia with the peace corp.
For her part the Montserrado County District # 9 Lawmaker, Honorable Munah Pelham commended the US Embassy-Monrovia for supporting youth-led initiatives in the country. Representative Pelham furthered asserted that citizens should actively get involve into community services because government cannot and will not be able to do all.
Also speaking at the event the, the Assistant Minister for Information Services at the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs & Tourism, Hon. Albert Jaja said that it is time for young people to get involve in voluntary activities with in their communities focusing on education, community services amongst others.
Also making remarks at the 2012 International Volunteer Day celebration, the President of the Federation of Liberian Youth, Mohammed A. Nasser expressed commended the US Embassy for their continue support to the young people of Liberia especially funding such a program that is gear towards promoting volunteerism across the country.
In continuation of the celebration, on Saturday, December 8, a massive cleaning up campaign was carry out simultaneously in five communities across Montserrado County the communities includes New Kru Town, West Point, Central Monrovia, Sinkor, and Paynesville.
The cleaning up campaigns was carryout by Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development (COYPED) and five community based youth organizations. The organizations are Youth Exploring Solutions of Paynesville, West Point Intellectual Forum, Inc of West Point, Coalition of Islamic Youth Organizations in Liberia of Central Monrovia, Youth Federation for World Peace of Sinkor and the Point four Haita Athletic Social & Intellectual Organization of New Kru Town.
Staff of the US Embassy-Monrovia headed by the Public Affairs Officer Madam Sally Hodgson also participated in the cleaning up campaign. The US Embassy Team visited West Point, Central Monrovia, Sinkor and Paynesville.
According to COYPED executive director, James Koryor each year UN General Assembly invites governments to observe the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on December 5.
The COYPED boss further stated that International Volunteer Day (IVD) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985 and is now celebrated worldwide with thousands of volunteers involved in a range of IVD initiatives including clean-up campaigns, conferences, exhibitions, morning teas and many other activities all aimed to highlight the role of volunteers in their communities.
Mr. Koryor also asserted that IVD offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions - at local, national and international levels to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).