Kimmie Weeks ‘Will Reject Senate Compensation’
MONROVIA – Internationally acclaimed Liberian humanitarian Dr. Kimmie Weeks has said that if elected as Senator of Montserrado in the upcoming Senatorial bi-elections he will give back 100% of his salary to humanitarian projects in various districts. Dr Weeks made the statement when he accepted a petition from supporters over the weekend.
The petition ceremony was attended by hundreds of supporters and well-wishers and was held at his proposed campaign headquarters in Bensonville, Montserrado County. Ahead of the presentation of petition, several speakers detailed Dr. Weeks’ early struggles in Liberia as well as the significant humanitarian works that Dr. Weeks had executed not only for the people of Montserrado but for Africa and the world as a while.
Both D. Isaac E Hinneh Jr. and Stephen Toh detailed Weeks and his early struggle for survival. Mr. Toh said that he was a facilitator of the Orphan and Abandoned Children (CAP) in the 90s and Weeks had been one of many children who benefited from the program. “Even as a child in the orphanage, Kimmie was somebody who wanted to reach out and help others. He was smart and a quick learner.” For is part, Isaac Hinneh explained that Dr. Weeks had grown up in the Paynesville Central market. “Kimmie is a living testament that any young determined Liberian can make it because as a child Kimmie struggled to survive and had to take care of himself.”
Isaac Hinneh explained that during the war, Kimmie was a selfless being who was always trying to help others. “There was one time that we walked from Paynesville to town to take water and supplies to town because Kimmie had heard that people in certain communities did not have drinking water. He is a person that thinks about others first and this has been who he is since he was a child. Nobody should tell you that Kimmie Weeks was born wealthy. Kimmie was a small kid who grew up in poverty but was destined for success.”
The petition, which carried signatures from registered voters from the seventeen electoral districts was read by Mr. Gardner G. Varnie who highlighted that the petition was being presented in recognition of the extraordinary accomplishments that Dr. Weeks had made over the years. Vernie presented the petition and attached signatures to Dr. Weeks immediately after it was received.
As he received the signatures, Dr. Weeks thanked the audience for gathering to form part of the petition process. “Yesterday you braved the heavy rains to come to our general meeting. Today, you are in the sun and heat for this ceremony,” said Dr. Weeks who continued, “this is a clear manifestation that you are truly behind this process.” Weeks went on to say that his service if elected as Senators would be unlike none other. He told the gathering that he would not accept any compensation or allowance if elected as Senator and would instead donate the full amount to community projects. Weeks had earlier this year made a public call for a reduction of law makers salaries terming it as unacceptable for members of the legislature to take him tens of thousands of dollars when the average Liberian barely had food to eat.
Dr. Weeks has had a long, dedicated and decorated history of humanitarian activism in Liberia. Born in 1981, wees attended the Isaac A. Davids Sr. Memorial Junior High School. At the onset of the 1990 civil war, Dr. Weeks, like many Liberians, experienced firsthand the struggles and brutality of war.
In 1994, at the age of fourteen, Kimmie began working to impact that lives of Liberian children and youth. He co-founded the Voice of the Future Inc., and later went on to establish the Children’s Bureau of Information. In 1996, Weeks launched the Children’s Disarmament Campaign to successfully advocate for the disarmament of Liberia’s 20,000 child soldiers.
In 1997, Kimmie Weeks went into exile from Liberia. From the United States, he created an International organization called Youth Action International to support the needs of families living in postwar countries. Since its establishment, Youth Action International’s programs have benefited close to 200,000 people in six postwar African countries.
Kimmie Weeks is the recipient of the 2007 Golden Brick Award which honors young people under 25 years old who are working to change the world. Also in 2007, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf presented Kimmie with Liberia’s highest honor by decorating him Knight Grand Commander in the Humane Order of African Redemption. Kimmie is the youngest recipient of this honor. He is also featured in the new book Peace in Our Lifetime as an international peacemaker, along with Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2008, MTV Canada and Discovery Chanel International profiled Kimmie’s work as part of a new reality series called 4REAL. In 2009, CNN International Profiled Kimmie Weeks on the program called African Voices. More than 200 million people in over 250 countries viewed the show.
In the recent past, Kimmie Weeks has served as Corporate Communications Strategist for Cellcom GSM and Orange Liberia, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation, and as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The Global Agenda Council convenes 15 to 30 of the most innovative and relevant minds in fields of critical importance to the world as a whole. Other members of the Global Agenda Council include the Prime Minister of Ireland and the President of JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Weeks holds a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and his master’s from the University of Pennsylvania. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree in May 2011. He currently serves as Executive Director of Youth Action International and Senior Director of Africa for Integrum Scientific.
Weeks told his audience that in addition to giving his salary he would use his extensive donor and contact network to increase humanitarian projects for Montserrado.