Special Awards In Pictures

-BWI Takes Over Facilities

Ahead of June 30, 2016 deadline for the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), troops assigned in Kakata, Margibi County have finally departed the area.

UNMIL NRUNMIL officially left the county on Tuesday May 17, 2016 thus turning over its facilities to the county authority and the Booker T. Washington Institute. UNMIL turned over one 36kva generator, more than 200ft tower, toilet facilities, conference hall, chairs, and reservoirs among others.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, the head of field office at UNMIL in Kakata, Ivan Kotov said the troops have enjoyed working with the county authority, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, community leaders and the entire citizenry.

According to him, since the force took assignment in Kakata on the 3rd of December 2008, it had worked with the citizens and made the county as their second home.

Kotov indicated that Margibians are their families and it is with deep feelings that it has come to the situation where UNMIL has come to hand over its facilities to the superintendent and the entire county authority including the administration of the Booker Washington Institute with whom the troops have also cooperated and worked with for so long.

He then expressed gratitude to Superintendent John Z. Buway and the BWI principal whom he said he worked closely with and promised to be in close contact with them while still in Liberia.

For his part, the Superintendent of Margibi County, John Z. Buway thanked UNMIL for working along with them in maintaining peace in the county. Commenting on BWI, the Superintendent said the fact that BWI embraced UNMIL, he thinks it is good and only fair that the current leadership to appeal for some of the facilities and equipment to be turned over to them.

Supt. Buway stated that he thinks it is good for everyone to support the institution because it is giving lots of young people vocational education/training as the needed support is not coming forth from government considering a number of existing constrains.

He further said when peace keeper first entered the county, it was BWI that hosted them and provided its dormitory and facilities to be used by the troops. The superintendent has however disclosed plan to gown Kotov as paramount chief in the county and will give him the highest honor before he leaves Liberia.

Also speaking, the Principal of the Booker T. Washington Institute, Atty. Fumba Harris Tarnue said when the institution made the request; his administration knew that UNMIL supports education and that is part of itsmission in Liberia, so there would have been no way to do otherwise other than turning over the facilities to the BWI family to be used for the training and education of the Liberian youths which is critical to national development.

He pointed out that education and training is not an issue to debate about because it is a matter of national security that has been proven all over the country. “Many young people in Liberia who don’t have skills, employable skills and are not educated threaten the peace and security of the nation.

The BWI Principal averred that what the nation and its people need to do is to provide employable skills for young people in order to find safe havens that will enable them support national development and enhance their own livelihood as individual citizen in the country.

He stated that this is what the United Nations has done by allowing BWI to take possession of their campsite because when BWI gets additional facilities it will begin to launch some new programs.

According to him, BWI is dreaming of different skill training programs that will soon be available. “We are already in contact with partners to see how they can help develop different careers for young people in Liberia. This site will be very useful for that purpose that at least we have facilities that we can just improve on and make better use of it for the benefit of the young people of this country.”

Tarnue, meanwhile, promised to use the facilities for the intended purpose by training young Liberians to make the difference in the country.

By: Moses M. Tokpah

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