Liberian Students in China Hold Fund Raising Program in Beijing

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Beijing, China – The Liberian Student Union in China (LSUIC) on Saturday February 10, hosted a historic one-day Mini-Conference and Fund-raising Program in order to help needy Liberians.  

This remarkable program, which was first of its kind in the history of the LSUIC, was held under the theme: “Help a scholar today for a positive impact tomorrow”. 

As the theme depicts, one of the paramount objectives of the gathering was to generate funds to support needy Liberian students in their academic pursuits. 

The conference and fund-raising program, which was held in the Chinese capital, Beijing, brought together Liberian students from various regions of China, members of the Liberian Community, and some Chinese business men and women. 

The Liberian Embassy near Beijing was also in full attendance.

The Embassy’s high power delegation was headed by His Excellency Dudley McKinley Thomas, Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of the Republic of Liberia near Beijing, the People’s Republic of China. 

Serving as guest speaker at the occasion, Ambassador Thomas enlightened participants, especially Liberian students studying in China about his thoughts on character, industry, and scholarship, which he believes are very important ingredients in the building of a modern Liberia of equal opportunity, dynamic progress and sustainability. 

He said these characteristics are also pivotal in enhancing and maintaining social justice in Africa’s oldest independent republic, Liberia. 

Speaking on the strength of a character, Ambassador Thomas admonished students to always be honest, responsible, faithful, and reliable in all their dealings. 

He also advised students not to entertain any acts that are inimical to true virtues of scholars studying abroad, but rather work tirelessly to promote human dignity and a more wholesome society. 

Further, the Liberian Ambassador to the world’s most populous country, China, encouraged Liberian scholars in China to utilize the privilege to the fullest by applying themselves fully in order to justify their scholarships. 

Commenting further amidst huge applauds from students and guests, Ambassador Thomas lamented that a person’s character is further strengthened by his ability to be industrious. 

He urged students to cultivate good thinking habits that will get them on the right trajectory aimed at enhancing their chances to contribute positively to the rebuilding efforts of their beloved nation, Liberia, stressing you need to become entrepreneurs, and always find ways to improve situations by looking at possibilities and opportunities. 

Recounting his rich experience while motivating students to stand tall, Ambassador Thomas said students must achieve tremendous success, must be strong and persevering.  

According to him, the need for the young generation of Liberian scholars to be industrious cannot be over-emphasized, as it is vital in empowering them to confront situations that lie ahead of them. 

‘‘Upon completion of your studies, you may return home to pursue careers outside their professions’’, Ambassador Thomas asserted, citing himself as an example. 

He narrated that he started as an Architect and practiced in his field for 15 years before intensifying his contributions in other areas in the interest of Liberia and its people.

He challenged students to be prepared because they do not know what the paths of life will land them to. 

The Liberian Ambassador used the occasion to inform the student body about the embassy’s plan to host a two-day Independence Day Celebrations in July, this year.

He asked for students’ full participation in the pending event and said the student leadership has been asked to serve as one of the co-chairs on the steering committee. 

The planned event will, among other things, portray the positive image of Liberia to the outside world, particularly to the hospitable people of China and help to cement the strong bilateral relations subsisting between the two countries. 

Speaking earlier, the President of LSUIC, Allen Bohr James said the mini-conference and financial aid fund drive was intended to raise funds to help members of the Liberian Student Union in China (LSUIC) through providing financial aid, especially to students who are faced with enormous difficulties in paying their fees (school, laboratory, dormitory, library etc.) at various universities across China. 

He said the financial hardship faced by some students most times results to them going back home, thereby dashing their hopes and aspirations of achieving advanced education. 

As a way of helping the financially struggling students, the Executive Committee of LSUIC accepted his idea and worked exceedingly hard together with the Mini-Conference Committee chaired by Scholar Roseline Tomah of Beijing Normal University to make the conference possible. 

He then extended special thanks and appreciations to the Ambassador and his guests, other special invitees, and all students for making the program a resounding success. 

In a brief remark, Madam Xin Ren praised the students for such endeavor and promised her company’s unflinching support to the process.

She encouraged students with good ideas to contact the Embassy, and her Company, and at the same time expressed willingness to work with students in providing work or internship opportunities for them. 

Madam Ren is the CEO of Long Ji Hongkong Industrial Company Limited, a company involved in the shipping industry.

She was designated by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Special Commercial and Trade Representative of Liberia in China, aimed at assisting the Liberian Embassy in reaching out to Chinese industries with the view of encouraging investment in Liberia. 

The presence of Madam Ren was considered as a major boost to the event and was made possible by Ambassador Thomas. 

Launching the Financial Aid Fund Drive, Amb. Thomas pledged a total amount of US$3,500.00 and said the Embassy will provide US$1,000.00, while US$2,000.00 will be gathered from good friends of the Embassy. 

Additionally, he said, he himself will give US$500.00. He then urged would-be beneficiaries to be responsible as the scheme is intended to help as many students as possible. Madam Ren, for her part, pledged US$2,000.00 to this worthwhile initiative. 

Also making financial contributions at the fund-raising were Beijing Bumu International Engineering Company Limited, that pledged 4,000RMB about US$600 and Major Saimo Omias Kortu of the Armed Forces of Liberia, who is also studying in China, pledged 1,500RM, about US$230 

A young Liberian Professor at Xiamen University, Dr. Presley Wesseh, who was also schooled in China, pledged the amount of 6,000RMB about US$900. 

Some of the students who are studying in China also pledged some amounts to the fund-raising initiative. 

Before the fund-raising program, several activities including presentation on strengthening students’ academic excellence by Charles Gbollie, a PhD candidate at Central China Normal University, and a debate to enhance the intellectual skills and self-confidence among students aimed at adequately preparing them for current and future societal roles, particularly in Liberia were conducted. 

Analysts believed that the historic one-day Mini-Conference and Fund-raising Program was a resounding success and it is hoped that such initiative will continue in the nearest future.

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