-As Support Swells For Disadvantaged Youths
By Esau J. Farr
The Liberia Refugee, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission has officially launched its National Internally Displaced Persons (NIDPs) of special concerns Survey Report in Monrovia.
The report was launched Thursday, June 13, 2019 in Paynesville at the Ministry of Youths and Sports.
The program which was graced by several partners both locally and internationally.
It is the first national survey report on persons national concerns who are less fortunate or forgotten generation of the country especially as a result of the decade and a half civil conflict that approximately took away the lives of over 250 thousand Liberians.
According to the survey report, over twenty thousand disadvantaged Liberians youths commonly or locally referred to as “Zogos” were captured in four counties from 500 respondents.
The counties include Bomi, Margibi, Montserrado and Grand Bassa.
According to the report, most of those captured are disadvantaged youths who are either underage children born before or during the civil crisis in Liberia.
The report also observed that ninety percent (90%) of the reported disadvantaged youths (Zogos) are males while ten percent (10%) makes up females.
Of the 5272 respondents, 16% of the disadvantaged youths have elementary education,39.1% have senior high education while 36.5% of female disadvantaged youths have Junior High Education and their male counterpart account for 30% for the same category.
There are fewer of them who are college dropped-out who were either initiated into such bad habits as a result of peer pressure and lack of basic socio-economic empowerment to help make them become useful in the Liberian society and beyond.
The report also suggests that 95.5% of them are drugs users while at least 4% of them are drugs sellers.
Serving as guest speaker for the ceremony, Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Managing Director, C. Mike Doryen lauded the efforts of the LRRRC for the initiatives aimed at adding values and meaning to the lives of disadvantaged youths in Liberia through its NIDPs project.
He declined to refer to them as “Zogos” classifying them as “The forgotten people of our society”.
Mr. Doryen lamented that there are situations that keep people at certain positions a given periods of time adding that such people need help to recover.
The FDA boss encouraged participants and well-meaning people in Liberia, the world over to strive and positively impact the lives of people who are disadvantaged and less fortunate group of people in society.
He also used the opportunity and encouraged beneficiaries of the project (zogos) to make wise use of the opportunity that now beholds them to ensure that they (zogos) be willing to be integrated into society.
Mr. Doryen argued that one slip is not what matter, but the failure of one to recover and discover the real purpose of his or her life and place in society is what matters for human existence.
He said those now called ‘Zogos’ are a group of Liberians who have equal rights and vote like any other Liberian, but have been forgotten by society thus rendering them hopeless life situation with no hope contributing to society.
Making remarks, several representatives of government agencies and international partners thanked Rev. Festus R.B. Logan and his team at LRRRC for their farsightedness to help implement the government’s “Pro-Poor” Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
Some of the partners present at the program included but not limited to, UN in Liberia, Ministry of Gender, MoH, MYS, MoS, LIGIS other UN organs as well the 54th Legislature amongst other dignitaries.
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson of the disadvantaged youths in Liberia locally referred to as “Zogos” has hailed LRRRC for the project and promised his colleagues’ collaboration and commitment to the project which he believes will help transform the lives of most of his peers.
Julius Mature however used the opportunity and frown at what he described as weak laws against drugs and other harmful substances.
Mr. Mature said he wants government to pass stronger laws against the sale and use of harmful drugs in Liberia.
He also wants the borders of Liberia be well mended and restricted against any possible cross-border trade of said substances.
The Zogos Spokesman presented his colleagues as people who can contribute society saying, like all normal human beings, Zogos can contribute to society, have rights and that their votes are important for election results in Liberia.
Mr. Mature predicted that if stronger laws are not passed and needed measures put into place, Liberia could soon be like Equatorial Guinea.
“I wanted for Rep. Saah Joseph to be here for me to say this; our lawmakers need to pass stronger lawas against the sale and use of harmful substances and drugs. If nothing is done to quickly arrest the situation, Liberia could soon be like Equatorial Guinea,” he intoned.
The official launch of the report and project for NIDPs generated millions of Liberian dollars and thousands of United States Dollars.
The project is expected to have its multipurpose NIDPs Site in Bomi County that costs about 500 thousand United States Dollars. TNR