Last week I was at the Constitution Review Committee and Civil Society Organizations workshop held in Kakata, Margibi County and again, for me, it was a privilege to have been associated with such an event. My impression before the workshop this time was still negative but I took on the courage to attend since indeed I was also representing my organization as Program Director. The three-day workshop which was organized through a coordinated effort involving the CRC and CSO’s brought together over one hundred and fifty organizations as well as stakeholders.
However, I was still wondering, with too many questions running through my mind about what was going to be the outcome of the workshop this time around. While there were some minor incidents about the organization, the overall picture is one of a workshop that exhibited extraordinary leadership, care and total participation of the organizers of the delegates attending the workshop and this was indeed a plus on the part of the organizers and for this I must commend you.
At the workshop one could see a sense of community and warmth as well as a sense of urgency about wanting change and a better future for Mama Liberia. One unique aspect that characterized the workshop was the observance of the moment of silence for Africa greatest hero, Mr. Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president. Each and every speaker before his or her speech would observe this moment of silence, and this, in my own opinion, was a show of true solidarity. Even though this moment would have been a moment of mourning but to many it was a moment of celebration – celebrating the life of a great man. If we, as a people, can have such solidarity amongst ourselves and for our nation – from the top, to include every sector of the Liberian society, Liberia will indeed become a shining example worthy of emulation. Friend, I want to encourage each and every Liberian to draw a lesson from the life and death of Mr. Nelson Mandela and there is a lot to be learned from his selfless life.
Meanwhile, at the workshop, there were twenty-six issues raised from the constitution by participants but were narrowed down to eighteen as all agreed that the issues were many and needed to be reduced to a lower number so that at least a representative from each county would be represented in a group. The eighteen issues included: separation of powers, tenure of president, reps and senators, gender, disability, land, citizenship, social economic rights, setting up of election court, etc.
Following was the formation of thematic groups as the commencement of group discussion of the eighteen issues was deliberated. Each group was given a specific issue to deliberate on and they each made a presentation to the larger group. Each group presentation was followed by questions and answers and observations.
Participants had a sense of what the motive of the workshop was and participated actively. The organizers had great vision as they wanted the best for Liberia and Liberians in general. The organizers put on a positive mental attitude as they saw the hosting of the workshop as a great opportunity for change and for the betterment of Mama Liberia.
Again, Liberia will never get better if she does not enact laws that will favor its people, and is never going to get any better if she does not have good leaders. Liberia, our country will not take a leadership role if her leaders are not learning and leading by examples and if the laws on the book are continually violated. We are never going take this country from where it is to a bright and glorious country if we continue to allow the same level of thinking that has got us to where we are today and as Albert Einstein, one of the greatest thinkers of our time puts it, “The problem we are faced today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” Friend, for Liberia’s problems to be solved we have to put on a whole new level of thinking that will surpass the old that has created the problem we are in today.
I sincerely want to be grateful to the organizers, sponsors and coordinators of the workshop and to all those who have made the workshop the success it has been, some of whom had been Honorable Gloria M. Scott and Honorable Soko V. Sackor who both showed extraordinary leadership, courage and great patience in facilitating a workshop of such nature and to Mrs. Amelia Ward, Rev. Christopher Toe and others that provided oversight and guidance. I congratulate you on your performance and encourage you to keep up the good work.
(Chealy Brown Dennis is a motivational speaker and offers training in leadership, business development, creative sales and marketing, strategic planning and team building. He also offers workbooks, on-location and train-the-trainer formats for leaders, managers, businesses and organizations. He can be contacted through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0770-169-131)