ICN delegation Pays Courtesy Call On Vice President Boakai

Monday, 28th March 2011
Vice President Boakai chats with members of delegation.
Vice President Boakai chats with members of delegation.
Photo Credit: Office of the Vice President

Monrovia, Liberia - A delegation from the United States based International Children Network (ICN), accompanied by officials of their Liberian partner, Children Welfare International, on Saturday, March 26 paid a courtesy call on Vice President Joseph Boakai at his Rehab residence in Paynesville.

During the meeting, a group of children sponsored by Children Welfare International sang and danced for the Vice President.

In remarks following the performance, Vice President Boakai stressed the need to bring up a new generation of children who will assume the mantle of leadership in the new Liberia and move it to higher heights.

He observed that the current generation of youth have been corrupted by the protracted civil conflict in the country and are in many ways wanting in their conduct and comportment. “We want to create a new generation of children who will have the moral rectitude to run the nation, otherwise the country will go nowhere” he emphasized.

The Liberian Vice President challenged the children to take their lessons seriously, and assured them of Government’s commitment to provide the environment, incentives and opportunities they need to become what they want to be.

He said it was gratifying to see the children radiating with smiles, noting that some years back it was difficult to see children smile easily.

Vice President Boakai commended International Children Network and its Liberian partner, Children Welfare International, for the opportunities they were providing the children of Liberia to pursue their educational goals, and urged them to put in place measures to help bring up a new generation of children.

The Country Director of Children Welfare International (CWI), Mr. Joseph Chelleh said the organization sponsors kids in school from K-2 to university. He said CWI is currently sponsoring 300 children in Monrovia and Zwedru aged three years and above, including two students at the University of Liberia. This, he noted, is in support of Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy or “Lift Liberia” initiative intended to usher the country out of the scourge of poverty.

Mr. Chelleh said the organization currently runs a recreation center at 72nd in Kpelleh Town where children go to play. “Our goal is to train children to become productive citizens of their country. We keep them engaged so that they do not become idle. As the saying goes, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop,” he emphasized.

Also briefing the Vice President, Mr. Joseph F. Jarbah, Founder and President of Children Welfare International who currently resides in the United States, said plans are underway by the ICN and CWI to build a center for disadvantaged children in Liberia.

“The CWI’s goal is to develop the whole child by providing not only their educational needs, but also giving them psycho-social counseling and recreation,” he said.

Mr. Jarbah said in June this year, 20 high school students from the United States working on clean water, solar energy and small businesses, among others, will come to Liberia to share their skills with Liberian students.
Also briefing Vice President Boakai, Mr. Don Windham, Director of the International Children’s Network based in Seattle, Washington, said the goal of his organization which provides support to Children Welfare International, is to sponsor vulnerable children.

He said with the sponsorship of giant business concerns like Microsoft, Virgin Group, among others,  ICN currently supports an estimated 4,000 children in the Philippines, Uganda, Kenya, Guatemala, India, and Liberia, and that there are plans to expand the network’s activities to several other countries. 

Mr. Windham said ICN is working to establish a One World Orphanage Square which will be based in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A, to provide opportunities for disadvantaged children.

He said the organization which has been sponsoring vulnerable children since its establishment in 1999, has assisted orphaned children to become lawyers, doctors, teachers and other professionals who are making a difference in their communities.

Mr. Windham said ICN believes in bringing up children in the family setting, because, he noted, “There is nothing that replaces a loving family”.

He said kids in Liberia are being brought up in such a way that when they go to the United States, they will become ambassadors for Liberia, and through them Liberia will get opportunities.

The delegation which arrived in the country on Saturday, March 19, is expected to depart the country on Tuesday, March 29.