Plan-Liberia has signed a three-year child centered community development partnership agreement with the Clan Chiefs, Paramount Chiefs, Commissioners, the county superintendent and other officials of the three districts in Lofa County. Plan-Liberia is a branch of Plan-International, an international charitable child centered non-governmental, non-religious community development organization.
Founded in 1937, Plan International is working in more than 70 countries with a world mission to bring sustainable development in the living conditions of deprived children and their families by implementing community-based projects where such children live. The Partnership Agreement, according to the document signed, is aimed at bringing sustainable development to the people of the county, particularly deprived children and their families.
The signing ceremony was held from November 22-24, 2012. The three districts are: Kolahun, Vahun and Foya Districts of Lofa County. The duration of the Partnership Agreement is 2015. In a chat with this paper, the Country Director of Plan-Liberia, Mr. Mohamed Bah, said more partnership agreements are expected to be signed between the organization and chiefs in other districts including Voinjama and Zorzor by early next month.
He said Lofa County was badly hit by the country's 14-year-civil crisis, and as such, the organization wants to increase its support to vulnerable communities in the county by enabling deprived children, their families and communities to meet their basic needs and increase their ability to participate and benefit from their societies. According to him, Plan-Liberia will support the community undertake any project it (community) identifies under the Partnership Agreement as long as it is child centered and falls in line with the organization's policy and current development initiative in the county.
Although Plan-Liberia has built and continued to build several primary schools and health facilities and provided other community development in Lofa prior to the signing of the Partnership, Mr. Bah said the organization is now more concerned about the sustainability of its projects.
"We want you to take charge of your own development because it is bordered on the future of your children," he said. He disclosed that the organization will over the next three years support the Three Districts to promote, protect child rights in line with the Liberian Constitution and the United Nation (UN) Convention on the rights of the child.
The Plan-Liberia boss stated that the organization will build strong partnership and unity amongst the people of Lofa as they work for the future of their own children. As per the agreement, he said, Plan-Liberia will strengthen the capacities of individuals, community-based organizations and local government through technical and financial support and training amongst others.
For his part, Lofa County Superintendent, George S. Dunor, lauded Plan-Liberia for its support towards the development of the children and communities of Lofa. According to him, sustainable development will be unachievable without strong partnership with local authorities, international development organization like Plan-Liberia and the community members.
He indicated that the government has tried, but it cannot single handedly solve the entire developmental challenges particular those of the children due to budgetary constraints. Supt. Dunor then called on his compatriots to live up to the terms and condition of the agreement and support Plan-Liberia in all of its efforts to develop the districts in Lofa.