The Managing Partner of the Diligent Communications and Research Group, Mr. Kai G. Wleh, has called for community empowerment and sustainable peace in Liberia. Mr. Wleh challenged Diaspora Liberians at the 19th Annual Conference of the United Sarpo Association in the Americas, to empower their communities to address the post war challenges facing their native country, Liberia. Mr. Wleh said when local communities are empowered they will be in the position to contribute positively in deriving programs and activities designed to improve the living standards of their inhabitants.
He observed that what Liberians need at this point of their national recovery is the empowerment of constituents so that they will lead in evolving solutions to the problems confronting the West African nations. Mr. Wleh explained that assisting Liberian communities to direct their own destiny is fundamental to sustaining peace that is obtained thus far in Liberia. Mr. Wleh pointed out that when solutions to problems facing the war affected nation are developed from within there is a strong possibility of successful outcome because the people will feel part of the solutions.
Speaking on the topic “Community Empowerment for Sustaining Peace and National Unity in Liberia,” Mr. Wleh noted that the peace and unity that we are striving for at this point in our national history must begin with defining who we are, where we come from and why we are what we are. The former assistant minister at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication observed that often times we have relied on others to define who we are and what we stand for including planning and programming for our country at the exclusion of our masses.
He emphasized that Liberians continue to demonstrate extreme weaknesses by looking up to others to prescribe what is “best” for Liberia even if such “best” is detrimental to the aspirations of the Liberian people. Mr. Wleh warned that as long as Liberians distance themselves from the process of nation building and national healing, the West African state will remain vulnerable to exploitation and underdevelopment.
He said that most Diaspora Liberian organizations and their leaders have permitted themselves to be controlled and influenced by greed, selfishness, divisiveness and intolerance and the lack of accountability, all of which runs counter to community empowerment and sustainable peace. Mr. Wleh pointed out that Diaspora Liberian associations cannot lead the efforts of nation building while they remained disintegrated.
The Sarpo Convention in Pictures
The former National Coordinator of the United Sarpo Association in the Americas reminded Liberians to emulate the good examples of “our forefathers who in spite of mounting challenges struggled to hold our people together.” He emphasized: “Our heroes were selfless and they subordinated their personal gains and interest to the common good of their community- our community and country, Liberia.”
He said the level of division that characterized Diaspora Liberian organizations and the mistrust among Liberians have the potential to send the wrong message to the rest of our country-- that we are incapable of solving our internal problems. Mr. Wleh said our country needs individuals who possess problem solving skills, “if we are to combat the wave of post war challenges confronting the West African nation”.
Mr. Wleh called on Liberians to commit to lasting peace by forging unity that borders on accountability, loyalty to the ideals and values of empowerment and peace. He warned that Liberians must rise above their petite differences in the interest of the Liberian people and their communities. He pointed out that unless Diaspora Liberian recognize the disservice their continued division, lack of tolerance and accountability, are having one their native country, they may likely be spectators to the struggle of restoring the dignity of the Liberian people. “You do not want to be counted among those who continued to remain indifference to the plight of the masses of our people,” he averred.
The former Executive Director for Telecommunications at the Liberia’s Posts and Telecommunications Ministry further appealed to Liberians to embrace a new format of peace and unity that champion the attainment of socio-economic progress, equality and stability in Liberia. He said “most importantly each of us must develop the courage to change our negative thoughts system about ourselves, our compatriots, our community, people and country and reach out to those who have lost faith in the future of our country, who no longer believe in mother Liberia and its capacity to fully recover from the ashes of war and conflicts.”
The public relations consultant admonished Liberians to give hope to the hopeless and chart a new course in marketing Liberia and its recovery efforts by actively participating in the reconstruction of “our villages, towns and cities.”
Mr. Wleh urged Liberians to be passionate about the attainment of peace and unity in our community and homeland as leaders and custodians of the destiny of the underprivileged in our society. He emphasized that “we must learn now and in the future to hold ourselves accountable for our individual and collective actions as we strive to empower our communities.”
Mr. Wleh said Liberia is at a crossroads and requires the unwavering support of Diaspora Liberians and people of good will to help the West African nation move forward. “You cannot be meaningful partners unless you forge unity among your ranks,” he told delegates.
The Media Specialist said he is optimistic that Diaspora Liberian organizations especially the United Sarpo Association will amicably resolve their conflict. “Do not be afraid to reach out to your compatriots in the name of peace,” the keynote speaker said.
Mr. Wleh told the delegates that Diaspora Liberians remain a viable component of the greater Liberian society and must do all within their powers to help heal their community and empower the Liberian people.
He lauded Mr. Charles Krogee, President of the United Sarpo Association in the Americas and the USAA Leadership for the honor done him by his selection to dialogue on the way forward to peace and unity. He welcomed the Krogee administration’s suspension of elections as part of efforts to unite the Sarpo people.
Mr. Wleh pledged to continue his consultations with parties to the Sarpo conflict and lauded the involvement of the Isaac Kannah administration of the Putu Association in the Americas in the search for peace in the Sarpo land.
The 19th Annual Convention of the United Sarpo Association in the Americas took place recently at the African Cultural Center on Chester Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and brought together Sarpo speaking people from around the United States.
Signed: USAA Public Relations
Editor’s Note: This is USAA press release.