Liberia: YMCA Elects Samuel Kofi Woods II as New Board Chairman

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Monrovia – A three-day General Assembly of the Liberia Young Men Christian Association under the theme ‘A Strong and Resilient YMCA that is self-sustaining and Delivering Quality Socially Relevant Programs to the young people of Liberia’ recently ended in Monrovia.

The General Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the Liberia YMCA, and it is held after every four years to review and amend the policies, by-laws/constitution adopt its strategic plan and elect a new corps of officers for another four years.

The three days event, which brought together top YMCA executives from Liberia and Sierra Leone, was characterized by series of activities including a parade, cultural performances, and elections, began with a formal opening ceremony on day one. 

Day two was the elections, which brought in a new corps of officials to the national board. 

The elected officials are also expected to steer the affairs of the National Board of Directors for the next four years.

The Board of Directors are expected to provide support and oversight to the National General Secretary, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the institution.

The activities, which were highly graced and attended by; government officials, foreign partners, and delegates of YMCA nationwide were climaxed on Sunday, November 6, 2022, with a thanksgiving service held at the Trinity Cathedral in Monrovia.  

Those elected to the new leadership of the National Board of Directors are Samuel Kofi Woods II – Chairman; E. Edward Gboe – Vice Chairman; Yornie L. Cooper – Treasurer.

In an introductory statement during the opening ceremony recently, YMCA Liberia National Secretary General and CEO, E. Timotheus Kamaboakai cited international collaboration as one of the major achievements for his institution.

He lauded officials of YMCA Sierra Leone who devoted their time and resources to travel by road in order to take part in the YMCA Liberia 47th General Assembly in Monrovia.

Secretary General Kamaboakai revealed that owing to the growing waves of economic constraints in Africa, members from other countries could not make it for the trip but pledged their support to work with the YMCA Liberia in its future initiatives.

Speaking during the opening of the Assembly, the board chairman of YMCA Sierra Leone said the association, globally remains committed to transforming the lives of young people.

Aiah Kpakiwa also urged the Young Men Christian Association of Liberia to continue to deliver their core practices in a way that will continue to attract and benefit more young people.

For her part, USAID representative, Alexandra Simonian, said the YMCA is at their heart and was quick to mention that the YMCA is the first local NGO to receive direct funding from USAID and pledged her organization’s continuous support to work with the Liberia YMCA.

In a special remark during the closing ceremony on Saturday, November 5, 2022, the newly elected President of the Federation of Liberian Youth, Banica S. Elliott intimated that with the mandate of her leadership to re-brand and restore the integrity of FLY, they are opened to partnership and support from the YMCA; something she added will help to strengthen their infrastructures across the country.

In an acceptance statement, the newly elected Board Chairman Samuel Kofi Woods II lauded the Independent Election Commissioners for a job well done and thanked members and delegates of the assembly for the discipline exhibited during the elections.

The Former Director of the Monrovia YMCA Branch (now Montserrado YMCA) assured the secretariat of a harmonious working relationship with staff; adding, “We are going to make sure that the Liberia YMCA achieves those tangible and realistic results in order to enhance the Liberia YMCA goals and vision for 2031.”

The former Labor and Public Works Minister, during former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration at the same time reiterated that the young people issues are at the front and center of his agenda and promised that the Board leadership will meticulously support the call of the young people.

The newly elected chairman also disclosed that between now and next year, the YMCA of Liberia will be visible with a county branch in all fifteen countries and would intensify his commitment to visiting and engaging with the current branches from now to March of 2023.

As part of the activities marking the General Assembly and following fruitful discussions at the end of the program, the Liberia YMCA and Sierra Leone YMCA Signed a Partnership Agreement in order to enhance result-oriented programs in the two countries.

For a period of 5 years, ranging from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2027, YMCA Liberia and YMCA Sierra Leone have formally agreed to establish and work within this partnership agreement.

The overall purpose of the partnership is to enable both organizations to contribute to the realization of their mission and respective strategies, as they relate to the development and implementation of socially relevant youth programs and organizational strengthening.  

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