VP Taylor Engages Beneficiaries Of Jewel Starfish – Says Liberia Needs People with Integrity; Frowns on Lies

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By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr.

 Liberia’s Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor says Liberia needs people with integrity and good character. She said if the country is to follow good pattern of governance, the cultivation of integrity and good character must begin at all school levels to help the future generation become better citizens as they take up future leadership responsibilities in the larger society.

Vice President Howard-Taylor noted “People need to have character and integrity.” She further indicated a person’s character is what he or she is when alone; and noted that what one does, when no one sees him or her, is his or her real self.

VP Taylor believed that if the country is to move forward, it requires the collective efforts of all its citizens with high quality character and integrity, something she said when exhibited will encourage students to align through knowledge gained from the sensitization programs of the Jewel Starfish Foundation.

“Our country needs people with integrity in order to move it better; we want you to be people of character and integrity,” she emphasized. She noted, the absence of integrity in a given society serves as a major impediment for the progress of every nation, and the workings of its people in their respective working environments – of which Liberia is no exception.

“People lied too much in our country only because they want to get self-worth; even when they are not saying the truth, they lied on oath because of integrity problem” VP Taylor asserted.

The Vice President made the statement when she had an engagement with beneficiaries of the Jewel Starfish Foundation’s Headquarters in Congo Town, Monrovia on the topic: “DARE TO LEAD”.

She noted that some of the integrity issues in our society started from school with instructors, who she said are supposed to provide parental supervision for kids while out of their homes.   According to the Vice President, they misuse the medium by propagating lies which is against the professional core of ethics thus manipulating the minds of children.

She therefore urged the students to resist any act that has the propensity to undermine their success through education into larger world.  The well learned VP attributed the act of lies and stealing to the refusal of children to admit to their wrongs, even when they are interrogated by the parents, something she said begin from childhood.

She described childhood thievery by saying it is, “When children do things and refuse to accept that they have done it, and take things from behind their parents without their knowledge, but never agree to the fact that they have acted in that direction”.

For her part, the Executive Director of the S Jewel Starfish Foundation, Dzifa Zormelo said, the meeting was intended to catalog the number of students that are being sponsored by the foundation.

She noted that the foundation is involved with series of ventures that are aimed at building the minds of young girls to ensuring that they have a better future, and that they are being capacitated to contribute to the growth and development of the country.

The Executive Director Zormelo said Starfish Foundation provides scholarship for young girls to enable them become future leaders in the society, with the necessary mentorship on teenage pregnancy, early marriage, basic hygiene amongst others.

She also indicated that the foundation is strictly against act of rape and provides counseling services for young girls who are raped by older men to ensure that they are de-traumatized and get over the implications it has on their lives.

Madam Zormelo at the same time told the gathering that the foundation also provides micro-finance loan for parents who cannot afford to sustain themselves and their children from their personal income.

Earlier, Executive Director Zormelo urged the students to score at least an average of 75% grade point in order to maintain the scholarship. She also told the students to avoid getting pregnant, saying that anyone gets pregnant will automatically be removed from the scholarship as it is not permissible for any beneficiary of the program to be pregnant while in school.

Meanwhile, the students and their parents lauded the foundation and vice president Taylor for the immense contributions to their education, and pray for the vice president to be successful in every aspect of her life.

Student Musu Sherman, a graduating senior of the Muslim Congress High School, and one of the beneficiaries pointed out that their  previous intensions were to study banking, but with the level of assistance from Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, she has developed interest in studying environmental science, a field she believed will enable her impact the community.

“Madam Vice President, I have been one child in our country who is thirsty for education, but has been finding it difficult to achieve my dream of getting high education until when God brought you in our lives,” she said.

Student Sherman lauded the manner in which VP Taylor has been impacting her life, saying that instead of banking, her desire and ambition has shifted to studying environmental science so that she can impact other Liberians.

In addition to the many commendations, a 17-year-old beneficiary, Princess Harmon, has also extended an open invitation to the Vice President to attend her graduation ceremony, which she said is schedule for August.  “I am proud to say thank you Madam VP for your contributions to our lives, especially me, whose father cannot afford to support me in school due to his condition as a physically challenged person.”

Harmon’s father became physically challenged as a result of a motor accident while executing his duty as an officer of the Special Security Service (SSS) under former Vice President Moses Z. Blah”.

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