Carter Center Associate Director for Conflict Resolution Mr. Thomas K. Crick has told members of the Mano River Youth Parliament here not to see leadership as achievement, but a means to serve.
“For the fact that you are in leadership today does not mean that you have achieved, there is a need that you decentralize your work so as to give other youth the opportunity to become a member of you institution”, he told the youth parliament.
Mr. Crick spoke recently at the Carter Center office on 3rd Street in Sinkor, Monrovia when members of the MRU Liberia Chapter honored the Center for supporting young people and the Liberian populace at large.
He said the reason why Carter Center deems it necessary to support young people in Liberia is because they have formed part of the country’s developmental agenda, noting that young people are desperate to transform Liberia.
“We will continue to work with you, and support your initiatives, because of this partnership, but I throw the challenge at you to protect your reputation, because leadership is not achievement, it is about taking full responsibility of the people’s trust, and delivering the best of services”, he emphasized.
He said young people of Liberia have a responsibility to reach out, having acquired training on conflict resolution, “to demonstrate that which you have learnt in order to move our partnership, and the country forward.”
According to the Carter Center Associate Director, a leader has a responsibility to act like a leader by advocating on behalf of, and giving back to their communities rather than receiving from those communities, saying “You must deliver to them, and not them to deliver to you; that’s not the kind of leadership that we want to see.”
For his part, the outgoing first deputy speaker of the MRU Parliament Mr. Robert Bolima commended the Carter Center for its contribution to youth programs here, particularly across the country. “Today with your constant support both financially and others, we realized that this country has benefited from you, the honor you received here today is how appreciative we are, because we all know that the peace that Liberia has today is centered around the young people of this country”, Bolima added.
He said the parliament faced had faced many challenges, but through the intervention of Carter Center, young people across the country are united. “I also want to encourage our incoming parliamentarians to continue the partnership that has lasted for years.”
He as a result of support received from the Center, attitude of young people has changed, because in the past they saw violence as a way of seeking redress, but today, it is no longer the case.
The outgoing deputy speaker said the leadership of the MRU will always work to ensure the partnership with Carter Center grows for the benefit of the young people of Liberia.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne