10 December 2012

Liberia: U.S. Envoy Stresses Importance of Volunteerism

United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac, has underscored the need for young Liberians to prioritize volunteerism. According to her, volunteerism gives one an opportunity to work alongside people from different ethnic, racial, social or religious backgrounds.

She encouraged Liberians to work alongside people from different ethnic, racial, social or religious backgrounds. She made these comments on Friday, December 7, 2012 at a program marking the celebration of International Volunteer Day (IVD) held at the YMCA in Monrovia.

The program was held under the theme: Promoting Peace and Reconciliation through Volunteerism and organized by the Consolidated Youth for Peace and Development (COYPED) with funding from the US Embassy in Liberia. International Volunteer Day(IVD) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985. It (IVD) is now celebrated worldwide with thousands of volunteers involved in a range of initiatives including cleaning up campaigns, conferences, and exhibitions amongst others.

These initiatives are intended to highlight the role of volunteers in their various communities. Speaking further, Amb. Madam Malac pointed out that volunteerism 'enhances the quality of life' for all people regardless of geographical setting.

The US envoy stated that the participation of young people in volunteer services would enable them recognize that their contributions can make a "real difference." "Anyone who has performed community service realizes there are multiple benefits to giving yourself and your time for the greater good. A community is also as strong as its members. Volunteerism gives you an opportunity to work alongside people who come from different ethnic or religious backgrounds. You get to know them as individuals, which in turn, leads to greater understanding," she stated.

The US envoy continued: "Volunteerism builds bridges between individuals, between groups and communities, all working toward the common good of enhancing the quality of life for all people. Those who are invested in the future of their community and the well-being of its citizens are less likely to engage in conflict or fighting. By becoming involved in community service, young people learn that they can improve individual lives, including their own, shape organizational programs, and change policies at the local, state and national levels."

Meanwhile, the US diplomat commended young Liberian volunteers for helping to clean-up Monrovia and its environs.

She also commended them for their involvement as it relates to public awareness on keeping the city clean.

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