The Informer (Monrovia)

Liberian Youth to Erect Monument in Honor of Ellen in Costa Rica

Liberian youth have initiated a project to erect a monument of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the 'Garden of Nations' on the campus of the University of Peace in Costa Rica, in Central America. The initiative is dubbed: "Put Ma Ellen There!"

The Garden honors prominent citizens of the world who, in their own ways, have contributed to the ideals of world peace.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the youth said the level of transformation that the country has experienced since Madam Sirleaf's presidency, especially youth development and the improvement of Liberia's image abroad, are just a few of the many reasons driving their proposal.

The youth pointed out that if President Sirleaf's monument is erected in the 'Garden of Nations' of the University of Peace, she will be the first sitting President ever to have one placed there. Former President Eduardo Montalva of Chile is the only President among nineteen peace advocates whose monument is in the Garden, for his role in building world peace.

The youth, representing Liberia's 15 counties, said their proposal is to place the President in the Garden of Nations to show to the world how appreciative and proud they are of their President for maintaining peace, providing education and job opportunities, and making youth empowerment a top priority since her ascendency.

As part of the initiative, they promised to underwrite a round-trip ticket and hotel accommodations for the President, and disclosed plans to conduct fund-raising activities aimed at facilitating her trip to Costa Rica in May 2013.

The youth also informed the Liberian leader that the University of Peace has consented for President Sirleaf to serve as Commencement Speaker at its May 2013 Graduation Ceremony.

Responding, President Sirleaf called the initiative a wonderful surprise. She was honored by the initiative and happily accepted the proposal by the young people. "I am very honored by your initiative and pleased to be placed among great men and women who have contributed to world peace," President Sirleaf told the group.

President Sirleaf used the occasion to encourage young people to take advantage of government scholarships both at home and abroad. She also cited the President's Young Professional Program, which she said has been able to identify potential youth for leadership roles.

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