By Morrison O.G. Sayon
Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has admonished local and international non-governmental organizations in the country to do more in rural Liberia than just on the signboards.
Serving as Keynote Speaker yesterday at ceremony marking the 1st Annual NGO Fair held under the theme: “Liberia’s Transformation through Partnerships”, Veep Boakai said NGOs have been an indispensable partner in the country’s reconstruction agenda and economic development. He said NGOs have also been major players in promoting human-oriented development strategies adding, “But NGOs need to do more in rural Liberia and go beyond existing only on signboards.”
The Vice President said NGOs need to be a major force in driving the growing movement of corporate social responsibility. He then furthered, “Beyond being a powerful force for promoting good, clean governance, it is time that NGOs in Liberia promote patriotism and adherence to the rule of law. Apart from being staunch critics of government’s inadequacies, it is high time that civil society organizations also team up with the Government to provide social support that government is unable to provide alone.”
“NGOs have provided critical humanitarian relief during our civil strife and remain helpful when we experience natural disasters. But it is time to move beyond being the mere voice of the down trodden and rather also to teach the voiceless to speak again and fish for themselves,” Veep Boakai intimated.
He said in the wake of the massive help Liberians have harnessed from NGOs and other supportive sources, like partner governments, they must find themselves challenged to rise to the occasion of taking full charge of their own destiny. He added, “In this new dispensation, we should be busy at the task of helping the efforts of the NGOs, both local and international.”
Veep Boakai among other things assured the NGOs Community that the Government remains ever committed to handling its portion of this bargain. “Government is firmly focused on its duty of creating and sustaining the requisite enabling atmosphere for the productive interactions between the people and the NGO community. Embedded in this our commitment to this noble engagement is our overriding desire to wean Liberians off any vestiges of dependency as so well alerted by President Sirleaf in her remarks referenced earlier.”
Also speaking, Mr. Emmanuel George, International NGO Representative said the NGO community is faced with a challenge of what they have done in helping the needy people. He added, “That is why we decided this exhibition exercise to showcase our works in Liberia.
Mr. George said over the past ten years NGOs in Liberia have been contributing immensely to Liberia. “Our works include primary healthcare and other areas of national development in the country. We are closely working with local NGOs in the country and have also invited them to showcase their work as NGOs operation in the country”.
On Wednesday, Liberian International NGO under the banner: LINGO Forum presented the 1st Annual NGO Fair in the country under the theme: Liberia’s Transformation through Partnerships. The ceremony brought together hundreds of local and international NGOs operating in the country.