By: Julius Konton
The Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), the first time in its existence 48 years ago; established by an Act of Legislation in January, 1974, has elected the first female president along with other officials to steer the affairs of the organization for the next term. Ms. Banica Stephanie Elliot was elected as President alone with her colleagues.
Delivering her inaugural address, the newly elected President of FLY amid jubilations from members of the organization said the new FLY will set the pace for a realistic and more firmed youth development modules and set the pace for sustainable approaches that address youth issues, that engaged them and inspire active participation throughout.
She encouraged her colleagues that never again must the system make them believe that they are aliens to achieving certain path, novice to their destination and that they lack the substance to make decision.
The new FLY President used the occasion to call on the government in appreciation of the passage of the National drug act of Liberia to increase its intelligence arm at every entry point of the country and adopt to more sophisticated method/devices for tracking purposes, “most importantly, we caution you not to be complaisant of the fact that tracking down host of drug cartel means the fight is over”, she warned.
The FLY new boss added that more young people would need to face rehab following a national movement to restore them to a better life.
She noted that under her leadership, she highlights priority issues as youth empowerment and employability, youth programs and innovations, Advocacy and youth policy enhancement, accountability and rebranding, gender, social inclusion, and partnership.
“On these pillars, we assumed offices under the mandate of almost all constituent members at the just ended general assembly”, she said.
According to her, they will recreate an image so befitting of an institution and reaffirm new chapter to work with local and international partners that strengthen youth participation in governance, rule of law, health, entrepreneurship and many others.
” We seek the need for an increased advocacy on the access of TVET education of every high school student as a pre-requisite to obtain tertiary education”, she disclosed.
The new FLY’s head unveils the investment of National Youth Agricultural Farm in at least two Counties as a leading campaign that crave and sustain the desire of young people in agribusinesses, among others.
She indicated that the year 2023 is key to Liberia’s democracy as such cautioned and frown against the abused attributed to young people who are seen as subject, mostly used to instill violence, voters trucking, sales of voter rights, incitement and many more stating that the call for youth power must be made to exhibit good morals and we must not shy from asking the hard questions.
It is about time she stated that youth of Liberia must critique the political manifestos and agendas.
“We must never limit ourselves to leading propaganda, rather, we must fight positively to be included in every decision-making processes”, she noted.
Moreover, madam President stressed that her new leadership will seek the proficiency and fast-tracking of the justice system to respond to would-be electoral matters and stand ready to provide needed clarity eagerly and objectively nothing that there is a need for the national Elections Commission to play its role diligently.
“We seek to engage more constructively than one that would undermine democratic governance, We will critize objectively and make the required proposals, We will play our roles as expected of us and create modeling mindset adding that the youth of Liberia deserve better”, she uttered.
The FLY’s first female President assured the young people of Liberia that her arms will stay be open to work with everyone and unite their differences.
” From this moment, we are humble to erase and dispel the mindset of opposition within and afar, There was elections and we hold that everyone won and it is time we adjoin our ideas, merge our differences, and build more the vibrancy in us, President Banica emphasized.
Serving as the 48th induction speaker of the Federation of Liberian Youths (FLY) the Country Manager of Catholic Relief Services Abena Amedormey Speaking on the theme: Rebranding for change, Youth taking Charge comes with huge responsibilities from both the duty-bearers and end-users and as such, said it requires institutions and individuals with “youth mind” and “youth heart” to create a platform that wheel-grease the system for Liberian youth and students to unlock their full potentials, thereby making them to be active participants in national leadership, decision making, and development.
The Country Manager of the Catholic Relief Services said for youth to take charge of their lives and actively participate in national leadership and decision-making, they should develop self-esteem, develop self-mastery in all that they do, and be generous to mankind (others, their community, and the environment).
“I believe we all are good at something, and we must identify such gifts and act upon them to contribute positively to society, We have to build positive relationships that strengthen the social ties between the youth and locally elected and appointed officials of the Government, to make Liberia a better place for everyone”, she urged the future leaders of the Country.
According to her the young people of Liberia are all endowed with ideals, expectations, ambitions, and talents which are unprecedented and driven by new technology.
However and despite the political, social, and economic challenges, she encourage them to recognize and seize daily opportunities to make a change, because “we believe that the only way to be impactful is to be uncomfortable” she noted.
“We have to endeavor to develop ideas and bring those ideas to life, These ideas should be not only beneficial to your personal growth but growth of the community,
When young minds like ours take charge, the nation tends to have a balance in the intergenerational gap”, the CRS boss told the Gathering.
Madam Amedormey wants the youth of Liberia to see the need to redesign their ideas to fit the needs of the generation and the ones to come.
“As Liberia draws closer to the 2023 General and Presidential elections, I challenge you to work on the three key behavior competencies to rebrand for change, emphasizing that the need for more peaceful engagement, civic political dialogue, and resilience-building activities are very key.
She at the same time encourage FLY members to build young people’s capacity in using non-violent methods and tools to foster grassroots peace initiatives.
Moreover, she charged them to raise awareness about legal instruments such as UNSCR 2250(Youth, Peace, and Security) and reflect on the role youth organizations have played in the promotion, 6 years after its adoption.
“I encourage you to establish cooperation among yourselves and plan common activities that promote a culture of peace at the National and local levels in Liberia.
In brief statement whist installing the newly elected officers into office, the Chair on Youth and Sports at the House of Representatives Solomon George pledged to lobby with his colleagues to see the need to increase the budget for the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) as a means of empowering them in order to implement their respective programs and activities for the betterment of the future leaders of Liberia.
He at the same time encourage them to always see the need to remain peaceful and see dialogue through a constructive approach as a means of resolving issues and not through violence and demonstration.
Meanwhile those inducted into office to steer the affairs of the Young people of Liberia includes: Banica Stephenie Elliot, President, Jeremiah B. Wilson , Vice President For National Affairs, Abdullah G. Bility, Vice President For International Affairs, Emmanuel Tamba , Coordinator , Region One ,Benetta S.K. Tarplah , Coordinator, Region Two, S. Max -Lord Hinson , Coordinator Region Three, Ernest Duku Jallah, Head Of Secretariat, Ralph R. Weah , Deputy Secretary General For Administration, Rosetta Fardolo Deputy Secretary for Finance and Samuel James Kpartor, Deputy Secretary for Programs respectively.