The Inquirer (Monrovia)

26 November 2012

Liberia: Ellen Pledges Gov't Support to Liberian Children

The President of the Republic of Liberia, Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has pledged her Government's fullest support to the children of Liberia.Addressing the Liberian Children's Festival at the Samuel Kayon Doe Sports Complex last Saturday, the Liberian leader said the Liberian children have suffered bitter pains and agonies from abuses of rape, violence and sexual harassments.

The Liberian leader also said, it has been her anticipation to seeing the children of Liberia smile again as in the past and said six years back during her first inauguration, she wished to see a country where all children of Liberia would laugh again.

Earlier, the President of the Liberian Children's Parliament Forstina Gongba spoke on some of the ills affecting the Liberian Children.

He said for the children of Liberia to reach their full potentials, it needs the assurance of the rights of children to survival, growth, development and protection to be realized with dignity and without any form of discrimination.

The Liberian Children Forum's speaker drew everyone's attention to what he called "The Severe Child Deprivation and Violations of Rights such as Child Rape, the lack of quality education for all children in Liberia, as well as the problems of malnutrition and undernourishment of Children."

For her part, UNICEF Country Representative Isabel Crowley thanked the Liberian leader President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for attending with the children of Liberia as a mother.

UNICEF Country Representative Crowley said Liberia must be commended for taking a big step forward early this year which had a powerful impact in the lives of children and their families in years to come with some of the key initiatives.

She said the first most important was the Children's Law of Liberia which was passed by her President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf which she said the Liberian leader needs to be appreciated for.

She lauded the Liberian Legislature and the Government, civil partners that were involved in the historic initiative; which saw the successful launch of the children's law in all 15 counties led by Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell, the Liberian Children's Parliament, Child Protection Network, and civil society partners HOPE and THINK.

The Liberian Children's Festival was initiated in 2009 with the theme: Moving Forward with Children," an event where children can have fun, see and learn new things, express their opinions, and views directly to the leader of the country.

Also speaking, THINK's Executive Director Rosanna Schaack said she was grateful for being part of the Liberian Children's Festival and said it was indeed history-making.

The THINK Boss also extended thanks to the Liberian leader for attending the occasion and said President Sirleaf is a real mother who always attends to the children's invitation whenever she is invited.

Also, an official of the Liberian Children's Parliament Beyan F. Pewee lauded the children of Liberia for showing up at the SKD and said Liberian Children stand to benefit greatly during the regime of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

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