“Believe In Yourselves” – Swiss Retired Police Captain Calls On Liberian Youth

Felix Wailz (Flomo as given as his Liberian name) with participants and facilitators at the symposium

The youth of Liberia have been encouraged to believe in their passion, strength, motivation, skills and talents. “Everybody has talent; but you need to believe in it, you need to use it,  and not give-up”,  a retired Police Captain, Felix Walz (Flomo), Founder and President of the Bowier Trust Foundation Switzerland has asserted. Writes Augustus Nimley alias Media King.

The retired Police Captain made the assertion in an exclusive interview with Global News Network Liberia (GNN) recently at the end of a one-day symposium on teenage pregnancy and its associated dangers in Paynesille, Liberia. The symposium brought together students from several schools in Paynesville.

Mr. Walz (Flomo) addressing participants

Retired Captain Felix Walz, who earned the Liberian name Flomo, said it is a question of perseverance, and stamina to not give-up eventhough we have challenges all the  time; quoting a famous philosopher who said “curiosity is the key to solve problems”. He urged the young people to stay curious in finding solutions to life problems and not give-up.

Touching on the teenage pregnancy and its associated dangers topic, Felix Walz (Flomo) who specifically cautioned young girls to protect themselves said “girls, your body is your body – learn to say NO. Nobody has the right to touch you, it’s your body”.

Partial view of the Participants at the symposium

The former UN Police (UNPOL) Advisor who served with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for nearly four years said he had been in about four or five gatherings during and after his tenure with local community dewellers, mainly women organizations, youth,  teenage teachers and community leaders where the issue of teenage pregnancy  always top the discussions. Based on the discussions they did an analysis which pointed to prioritization of teenage preganancy followed by child labor, waste and garbage disposal workshops , Mr. Walz (Flomo) lamented.

Also in an exclusive interview, a student participant at the symposium, Serena H. Giggs a student of the Immanuel Christian Academy called on her peers to stop engaging in unprotected sex and prevent themselves from teenage pregnacy.

Student Laurina S. Chamiwine of the African Cooperative School also  a participant urged both boys and girls to focus on their education. “Learn and you will enjoy the future”, Laurina cautioned Liberian youths.

Participants in group discussion

Addressing the symposium, a nurse at the ELWA hospital, Oretha Slocube, said poverty is one of the many reasons for teenage pregnancy in the country. “Broken homes – in which the mother and father are not together. The girl child goes out and comes back whenever she wants taking advice from no one”. Oretha further said some mothers do encourage their girls into harmful vises, “you are big now – see your friends are trying to find their own things. You need to find things for yourself.” Another factor to teenage pregnancy is peer pressure, nurse Oretha emphasized.

Also speaking to the students on a sub topic “Clinical Management of Rape”, the Supervisor of the One Stop Center for Gender Base Violence  in the Dupor Road community Elizabeth Kerkula in an interactive discussion reminded the youth that they are Liberia’s future leaders.

Bowier Trust Foundation Switzeland (BTFS) was established and registered in 2016, and is a NGO in Liberia with focus on community partnerships specifically schools’ infrastructures, pipe-born water, hygiene, health, security, and protection from sexual abuse of children and women in Liberia.

The Bowier Trust Foundation Switzeland is to provide training to young and talented Liberians in project management -“how to organize and effectively run a project”, according to its Founder and President Felix Walz (Flomo).

Meanwhile, our project (initial) at the Immanuel Christian Academy/Church desires to provide pipe-born water, builds toilets and make the appropriate sanitation and waste disposal sustainable. Several surrounding small communities are jointly involved, the BTFS said in Monrovia.

Mr. Walz told GNN that the formation of BTFS was trickled prior to the end of his special assignment to support UNMIL in stabilizing peace-keeping and police capacity building. He said he realized that effective community policing needs to integrate community partnership building; with women organizations, the youth, religious institutions, the police, business people, teachers, etc.

“Through schools – schools proved to be the epicenter of what’s going on in society. So, we decided to start with children with focus on schools to ensure that children have access in a safe and secure environment in education.”

On the name Bowier Trust Foundation, Mr. Walz said during the course of his assignment of community partnership building he came to know a kindergarten female teacher in Paynesville who story represented the story of thousand of Liberian women, thus naming the foundation  in her honor.

Political commentators see the establishment and operation of Bowier Trust Foundation Switzerland as a welcome development as regards bilateral relations between Switzerland and Liberia. The operation of Bowier Trust Foundation in Liberia, and the capacity building of Liberians in various disciplines by BTFS will ensure that migration of Africans including Liberians to Europe will decrease, the political commentators said.

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About Cholo Brooks 9768 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.