‘Poverty, Deprivation And Inequity Visible In Liberia’ Says Nathaniel Barnes

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Former Liberia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Nathaniel Barnes

MONROVIA – Former Liberia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Nathaniel Barnes, says poverty and deprivation presently remain visible in various communities across the country.

According to him, injustice, inequity, and ignorance are also vices that persist in the communities.

He made these assertions on Monday when he delivered the keynote address at a program marking the celebration of World Aids Day held at the New Water in the Desert assembly in Brewerville, outside Monrovia.

The program was organized under the auspices of the Ecumenical and Community Response to HIV/AIDS Prevention and Awareness against Stigma. 

Ambassador Barnes urged citizens to ‘embrace’ those challenges and find means or solutions to solve it.

“Our communities must have a commonality; that is something that we all believe in common. Unfortunately, in our environment in Liberia, the commonality are deprivation, poverty, injustice, inequity, and ignorance. We need to understand that these are our problems and only when we embraced them, then we solve it,” he said.

He noted that leaders of various communities in Liberia should cultivate the spirit of humility and courage if they must improve their respective communities and the lives of its residents. 

 “To have a good working and effective community, we need good leadership. Leadership must first have the character of humility. You cannot try to attempt to lead until you first humble yourself before God and the very people you lead,” he added.

Ambassador Barnes further stated: “Leaders in our communities should be courageous, because to do some of the things that we must do takes courage. To dissuade or stop people from stigmatization those who have HIV/AIDS, you must have courage. You must stand up and say this is wrong”.

“Our communities must have a commonality; that is something that we all believe in common. Unfortunately, in our environment in Liberia, the commonality are deprivation, poverty, injustice, inequity, and ignorance. We need to understand that these are our problems and only when we embraced them, then we solve it.”

– Nathaniel Barnes

Speaking further, Ambassador Barnes underscored the need for leaders to abreast citizens on decisions and happenings in their localities.

According to him, community dwellers will be more ‘ineffective and useless’ if they are unaware of happenings in their respective communities. 

 “Our community must have awareness. We must know what is happening within our homes, communities, districts, country and the world. We become ineffective and useless citizens when we are unaware. So, we are community dwellers should pursue and seek to remain very, very aware. We must care for ourselves and each other,” Ambassador Barnes indicated. 

“You are never too young or too old to care. A community is stronger when there its dwellers care for each other. We must be our brother’s keeper. We must reconcile or rebirth,” he among other things stated.   

For his part, the President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) Rev. Kortu K. Brown cautioned citizens against stigmatizing persons living with HIV/AIDS in Liberia.

He disclosed that many persons living with the virus have been stigmatized in the various communities, something which makes it very difficult for them to tell their stories, or contribute their quotas to the country’s recovery process.

 He further called for the revamping of the National Aids Commission (NAC) to make it more functional in carrying out its assigned tasks and responsibilities.

Bishop Brown wants government to take more concrete actions towards combating against the virus in Liberia, through the decentralization of HIV/AIDS awareness across the country.

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