VP Taylor Rallies Liberians to Support Youth Talents
Paynesville – Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor says developing the talents and capacity of Liberian youth is essential to the country’s development drive.
Report by Willie Tokpah, [email protected]
VP Taylor was speaking at the Paynesville City Hall over the weekend when 30 students graduated from the Liberian Youth Orchestra project.
She said it is time Liberians begin to think positively about things that would contribute to the rebuilding process.
“Liberians have talents and as such, it should be time that every Liberian rally to support education in this nation as well,” she said, calling on the graduates to take advantage of various opportunities that come their way and that it may lead them to future opportunities.
She praised the Executive Director of Change Agent Network for his vision to change Liberia through education.
VP Taylor said the knowledge the students have acquired is “just a step forward to the development of other talents.”
For her part, the Founder of the Liberian Youth Orchestra and Music Director, Julie McGhee commended the graduates for utilizing the opportunity and making the country proud.
Madam McGhee, however, mentioned the difficulties students earlier faced at the start of their training because of the lack of knowledge in playing the Violin and Cello.
According to Ms. McGhee, the school has set three major goals to improve the program and make it more effective.
Raising US$50,000.00 for academic 2019/2020 school year, expand the program in other schools and constructing its own facility to host the music school, she said are the top priorities.
She said fund generated will be used to purchase additional instruments and repair current instruments, procure food for students, fuel for the generator, and internet service amongst others.
Commenting on the school’s expansion, Madam McGhee said it would cost US$ 150,000.00 for the establishment of a music school, where students from across Liberia will have the opportunity to study.
This will include constructing a school building, equipping the facility with instruments, music stands, and all items necessary.
The Liberian Youth Orchestra (LYO) project was initiated by Ms. McGhee to bring “hope and a future to underserved children through music education”.
The LYO is registered and accredited in Liberia to operate as a vocational education program under the auspices of Change Agent Network (CAN), a Christian-based non-profitable organization with a goal to transform Liberia through Education, Mentorship, Sustainable Development and the Hope of the Gospel.
It started in November 2018 at the Heart of Grace School in Jacob’s Town Rehab Community, Lower Johnsonville.
Change Agent Network is CAN schools are self-sustained through low-cost school fees payment plan, which enables parents and students who do not have money to pay school fees but gave livestock and cash crops, which the organization terms as the new education barter system for Liberia, says Eric Willise Wowoh, CAN executive director.
Wowoh says the organization has built 14 schools in Liberia and nine homes for homeless families across the country and intends to build schools in all 15 counties before 2030.
Wowoh, a former Liberian refugee now residing in Dallas, USA, wants Liberians home and in the diasporas to support education, disclosing US$11 million is needed to construct schools in all the counties.
“Liberia problem is not money, it is not roads, it is not anything, but education. We do not just build schools, but a complete education center that has dormitories, science lab, teachers` quarters, school buses and recreational center,” he said.