Liberia To Emulate Peace Corps
25 May 2012
Last Updated on 26 January 2013
Senator George Tengbeh Submits Bill
Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh has introduced a bill for the setting up of a commission on voluntarism.
When established, Senator Tengbeh says, the commission which he proposes should be called “National Bureau of Voluntary Commission”, would inspire young people to provide voluntary service to their communities in areas such as clean-up and sanitation campaigns.It can be recalled that in the 1960s, Liberians were the beneficiaries of services rendered by US Peace Corps volunteers. These volunteers, who were mainly young people, took up assignments in rural Liberia where they worked in various sectors including health, education, agriculture, amongst others, helping villagers to improve their lives and giving hope to Liberian children for a better future.
The US Peace Corps story reminds us that while serving as classroom teachers, these young Americans had the opportunity to learn a lot about Liberia’s rich cultural heritage. But as Liberia descended into a prolonged and bitter civil war in 1989-2003, the volunteers were forced to abandon their mission and returned to the United States.
It is nearly a decade since the conflict ended, and the Peace Corps are now returning to Liberia again to help the youths of this country in bettering their lives. Already there are about 40 US Peace Corps volunteers in the country serving principally in the areas of education and health.
It is probably this idea that might have inspired Senator Tengbeh to introduce the concept of the US Peace Corps in Liberia, at this time.
In a statement on Tuesday, shortly after he introduced the bill in the Senate, Senator Tengbeh told journalists at the Capitol Building that through voluntarism young people will discover their strengths and weaknesses, stressing that the act of voluntarism will also help Liberian youths to develop deeper appreciation for their country and the communities in which they live.
According to Senator Tengbeh, “this Commission, when embraced, supported by my colleagues and enacted into law, will mean a lot for the people of this country especially young people who have passion for life. We will realize that in the end, service binds us to each other and to our communities and country.”
Senator Tengbeh told reporters that the speedy passage of the bill into law is crucial in order to pave the way for the establishment of the National Bureau of Voluntary Commission. The Lofa County lawmaker has therefore called on his colleagues in the Legislature and members of the public to support the passage of the draft law.