‘Pursue Peace’

first_imgVice President Joseph N. Boakai has called for the inclusive participation of all Liberians in preserving and maintaining the peace the nation currently enjoys.Speaking at the launch of the National Palava Hut Technical Forum organized by the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), Vice President Boakai urged every Liberian to bear in mind that the search for reconciliation is a deliberate one that needs to be handled with particular dexterity (skills) and foresight.The INCHR replaces the controversial Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in an effort to implement several recommendations from that body relative to Liberia’s 14 years of conflict.In a quest to find and sustain peace, the Vice President added; “Go to every length possible, not ignoring matters that may even present themselves to be inconsequential.”“Like the good old book admonishes us, let us not only seek peace but also pursue it,” he added.He maintained that fostering the nation’s forward march depends on colossal and meaningful participation of all in the palava hut peace initiative.“We are not mistaken to assure ourselves that if we could, in the midst of all the challenges, maintain 10 solid years of peaceful coexistence, we certainly can confidently move towards achieving lasting peace for nation development and progress,” he said.He considered the quest to having lasting peace as, “a national challenge that does not rest only on the shoulders of government but the entire citizenry.”“We call on every Liberian to pay keen attention to and strongly support all work undertaken to heal our wounds and reinforce the bonds that hold us together. Let the works of your hands serve to set the tune of our national discourse on a positive note. Let us move to stop reminding ourselves and others of the negative past of disrespect, intolerance, and division as occasioned by our conduct; be it in words or deeds,” he admonished.Also making remarks, Internal Affairs Minister, Morris Dukuly, committed the Ministry to every part of the palava hut process.He expressed the uniqueness of such a manner in settling disputes in the Liberian culture, adding: “This will help address our differences as people because this had been part of our culture for generations now.”Justice Minister Christiana Tah indicated that palava hut settlement remains the best way for people to address their grievances. “We have not forgotten the TRC report,” she said. “We have to engage every idea necessary to move forward.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Big Sunday time to open big hearts

first_imgWhile those activities are offered through Big Sunday, many small public schools hope residents will lend a hand to help beautify campuses. San Fernando High School hopes 300 volunteers will show up Saturday, when organizers plan to plant trees, pick up trash and paint over graffiti. “We want the school to look better, so people will know we care,” said 17-year-old Norma Camacho. “I think (Big Sunday) is a great event because it gets everyone together to help the community.” And Bertrand Elementary School in Reseda needs help planting flowers and trees, and cleaning up smudged hallway walls. “We have a garden in the back of our school where we need plants and we hope to have a garden club where the classrooms will take a section and can learn from it,” said Assistant Principal Marilyn Fils. Fils said she hopes the experience will resonate with students if they see their parents volunteer. “I think it helps provide children with some ownership, and to have pride in their school,” Fils said. “I think hands-on volunteerism is really important, because not everyone can give money and money isn’t always what you need.” Big Sunday founder Levinson said he hopes volunteers will also consider volunteering outside the neighborhood, so they can experience other parts of Los Angeles. “The idea is really to mix it up,” Levinson said. “My feeling is everybody should be getting something out of it. Volunteering should not be about suffering. “What’s interesting about this day is that all walks of life participate,” Levinson said. “We have movie stars working alongside those who live on Skid Row.” [email protected] (818) 713-3664 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Up to 50,000 volunteers will fan out this weekend around Los Angeles, erasing graffiti, sprucing up schools, visiting senior citizens and planting trees in what is billed as one of the largest community-service campaigns in Southern California. More than 70 schools, nonprofit organizations and civic groups from the San Fernando Valley have signed up to participate in Big Sunday – a misnomer, since the event actually spans both Saturday and Sunday. “My honest hope is that everybody finds a place in which they can help out,” said David Levinson, who founded the program in 1999 at Temple Israel in Hollywood. “It’s a community-building day, to bring all people from all walks of life together to make a difference.” The event has blossomed since that first year, when 300 volunteers participated. More than 32,000 people signed up last year, when Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa combined it with a Day of Service he’d launched when serving on the City Council. Earlier this month, Villaraigosa said Big Sunday “makes the city believe in itself.” “There is only so much that we, as elected officials, can do,” he said. “It takes people getting involved to make a difference.” The popularity of Big Sunday stands in sharp contrast to volunteer efforts statewide, which declined 3 percent last year, says a report by the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Volunteers are vital to the health of our state and nation,” said Karen Baker, executive director of CaliforniaVolunteers, a state agency that produces initiatives to attract volunteers. “We cannot afford for Californians to wait for the next disaster to strike to give their time and talents to strengthen their communities.” Statewide, more than 6 million residents donated their time, which totals about $15 billion in service. The report found that 20 percent of Californians would prefer to volunteer as tutors or teachers. last_img read more

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