3 January 2018

Liberia: Unmil, BFF Host Year-End Jamboree for 400 Children in West Point

Melvin Nyanway (seated middle) of UNMIL Human Rights and Protection Service, BFF President Augustine Arkoi with kids of West Point, and YBB youth volunteers.

The Better Future Foundation (BFF) in collaboration with Youth Beyond Barriers (YBB) on held a year-end festival for more than 400 children in the township of West Point, Monrovia on Christmas Day.

The event, sponsored by the Human Rights and Protection Service Division of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), was characterized by public awareness and education and values and norms of human rights including the basic rights of children.

The festivity which chose the theme, "Protecting Child's Right to Play," was also interspersed with the sensitization of parents and other caretakers in the community to not only recognize but also respect the basic rights of children as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights protocols to which Liberia is a signatory.

In a release issued in Monrovia over the weekend, BFF President Augustine Arkoi said he was happy that boys and girls from all sectors of the township irrespective of their socioeconomic and religious backgrounds gained an insight with respect to their own rights as well as those of their peers, parents and caretakers.

The BFF president, according to the release, further expressed satisfaction that facilitators of the children's Christmas festival and parents exchanged views on perceptions and misconceptions that some parents held about the rights of children, coupled with the subsequent resolution of the participants to not only embrace but also adhere to the rights of children at all times.

During the festival, multiple games, including spelling competition, apple challenge, dancing competition, egg race, rap battle and dressing contest, were held. Each game had 12 participants with two emerging as winners.

"At the occasion, pamphlets and other reading materials on child rights, peace-building, rule of law and other related issues on human rights and dignity were distributed to participants aimed at ensuring peace and the rule of law in Liberia," he said.

William Tamba Dennis, Commissioner of the Township of West Point, lauded BFF and its umbrella organization, YBB, for the festive and rights awareness program, which he described as resourceful and rewarding.

The commissioner said he was delighted about the inclusion of EBOLA survivor children and orphans in the festival and thanked UNMIL for putting smiles on the faces of the children of West Point.

Melvin Nyanway, a proxy of the Chief of Human Rights & Protection Service of UNMIL, Marcel Akpovo, indicated that UNMIL acknowledged the resilience of the people and children of West Point and their desire for integration in the overall development of Liberia.

Nyanway said UNMIL is very concerned about the protection and well-being of all Liberians, particularly vulnerable women, youth and children; and called on all to show indiscriminate love and care for the value and dignity of the human being.

The children's festival, according to BFF, is part of its 'Liberia Democracy Sustainability Platform (DSP)' project, which primarily seeks to inspire national consensus building aimed at accelerating improved human security, respect for and adherence to the rule of law, advocacy for infrastructural development as well as sustaining democratic governance in Liberia.

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