Cross section of kids at the program
The Youth Exploring Solutions (YES), a passionate, voluntary and primarily a self-sponsored youth-led development organization hosted its Annual Children’s Christmas Party on December 25, 2012.
The Christmas Party which is an integral component of YES’s programs is intended to provide safe haven, cultivate unity in diversity, promote acquaintanceship, foster good citizenship and enhance public speaking among others for children during the Christmas celebration. It is as well designed to motivate children to pursue excellence and self-confidence.
The program which was held under the theme “Making Our Children Smile” brought together over 1,000 children from various communities and diverse backgrounds especially underprivileged families took place in Paynesville City specifically at the Parker Paint Junction located in Wood Camp.
According to the Executive Director of YES, Stephen B. Lavalah, Christmas is a time for gifts giving, having sober reflections and sharing love with people from all walks of life. He expressed thanks and appreciation to parents and guardians as well as institutions and individuals, who one way or the other contributed towards ensuring fruitful Christmas to many people across the length and breadth of Liberia.
YES boss further explained that the program consisted of songs; recitations; Bible verses presentations; dance competition; and most importantly speeches and poems about the essence of Christmas. He said the party was done free-of-charge including the refreshment and toys that were distributed.
The youth leader asserted that the Children’s party was fascinating, exciting, rewarding and full of lots of fun. He said Christmas is a joyful holiday that everyone should contemplate on celebrating in spite of creed or background, because according to him it brings economic benefits for people regardless of religion or beliefs and provides a unique conduit to demonstrate love and happiness.
Lavalah is therefore encouraging all patriotic Liberians and well-to-do foreigners within the country to begin to undertake self-help initiative so as to improve the well being of the people and country. He said people should stop politicizing everything, but instead concentrate on helping to make Liberia a nation that is peaceful and worth living.
For the most part, YES’s Executive Director averred that the party was triggered to tackle the unwholesome practices and difficulties children experience during Christmas’ celebration. He lamented that during the festive season many children are seen loitering around street corners and even in various communities not knowing where to go or the purpose of Christmas.
“It is very frustrating, disappointing and disheartening to see kids roaming the streets and engaging in all sorts of unwholesome practices, which are not in conformity with societal norms” Mr. Lavalah noted.
The youth advocate stated that as a result of these unacceptable and unscrupulous acts on the part of some children, a lot of kids who are susceptible and vulnerable fall prey to accident and violence, become expose to alcoholic beverages and worse of some young girls get raped.
The youthful leader said that YES has deemed it prudent to organize its Annual Children Christmas Party since 2007 so as to explore solutions and curtail these dreadful and gloomy situations which have to some extent cause the death of innocent children. Hence, the Executive Director of YES is cautioning parents and guardians to be mindful and vigilant about places their children go and activities they are involved with and engaged in during the festive season.
The YES boss further explained: “While YES is very much appreciative of parents and guardians purchasing new clothes and other items for their children and love ones, they should not forget to buy a newspaper, magazine, short story, and literary work in poem or online books and as well read a couple of stories to their children so as to educate and enlighten their kids to become good readers and critical thinkers.”
At the same time, YES is calling on young people in Liberia to see December as a time of reflection, stocktaking, preparation, thanksgiving as well as extolling God Almighty and making new resolutions that would make Liberia become better than what it is now.
Meanwhile, YES is sending a caveat call on all Liberians and even those residing in the territorial boundaries of the country to practice goodwill, engage in lasting reconciliation initiatives, demonstrate affection for one another, encourage peace as a way of life and work in the spirit of total involvement for prosperity during the Christmas season and even beyond.