By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr
MONROVIA – Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor over the weekend visited the Golf Field in Bomi County where she broke ground for the construction of a US$3 million rehabilitation village to be called the Bai T. Moore Rehabilitation Center, which is intended to rehabilitate disadvantaged youths who are addicted to drugs and alcohol abuse.
Breaking ground for the facility, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, expressed the belief that the Project, which is under the auspices of an anti-drug group, Agents of Change (AOC) Network of Liberia, will open up Bomi County, and drive the young folks from drug and alcohol addiction and abuse, as well as provide job opportunities for them.
Our reporter who was at the ground breaking of the Bai T. Moore Rehabilitation Village said the infrastructure that is to be built on a 47.3 acres of land will comprise male and female hostels, therapeutic center, dining hall, agriculture training facility, and maintenance/utility Center.
The Village will also contain a common hall, life skills outreach/vocational facility, recreation center, administrative building and staff quarter, in addition to a first aid clinic, skills product display, a park, and a fish pond.
Vice President Howard-Taylor, speaking in Golf Field, said the project is being done in collaboration with the Agents of Change Network of Liberia, headed by Rev Samuel Reeves, Rev. Gentry Taylor and other agents of change. Accordingly, VP Howard-Taylor made her initial contribution of US$10,000 and is appealing to others to join her in this endeavor.
Speaking further at the occasion, the Vice President intimated that a cash crop agricultural project will also to be housed at the site to guarantee the sustainability of said rehabilitation project.
AOC is a non-for-profit organization that is working with schools, churches and in communities doing drugs and substance abuse awareness. “Our awareness campaign takes us into schools in and around Monrovia, where we educate people including students on the danger of drugs and substance abuse,” the Vice President added.
Describing the project as ‘the beginning of true development in Bomi County,”. Madam Taylor indicated, that the Bomi project is honestly a partnership highlighting her vision and passion. The Board of the Center, seeing that there’s not a national facility for rehabilitation, the Vice President said the Board recognizes that her efforts would be incomplete without the Center.
Dr. Howard Taylor said nothing can be achieved in the country without a transformed mind, saying “If you don’t have a transform mind you will not be able to do anything.”
According to the Vice President, she wants to see the young people in control of their resources. Madam Howard-Taylor told the audience that there are many despicable lifestyles the younger folks are living which need to be transformed for a reliable future.
Hear the Vice President: If the young people continue to live the way they are living, others will come in Liberia and get rich while they will be complaining that foreigners are taking away their wealth.
She said Liberia is a member of ECOWAS, which means that people can come from Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries to acquire land for farming and others developmental purposes while the daughters and sons of the land will be idle and stand in need at the mercy of other West Africans in their own country.
“I was shock one day when one of our young people told me that we should sell Liberia and share the money, believing that nothing good is happening in Liberia and he wants to take his own share of the money to go make life elsewhere,” the Vice President stressed.
She told the fellow who wanted Liberia sold, “We cannot sell Liberia; Instead of selling the country we should work harder. If we work on our heads and transform our lives, we can make Liberia better, because there are lots of riches in the country.”
Commenting on the rehabilitation village, VP Howard-Taylor said the project will be the rebuilding of Bomi County.
“But I have one more request, I want 50 acres of land adjourning this property so that it can be used as a means of sustaining the rehabilitation.” The Vice President who provided the land space for the facility through the people of Bomi County, appealed for additional fifty acres of land for the sustainability of the Project. The additional land space is to be used for agricultural activities under the sponsorship of the Rehabilitation Village.
Madam Howard-Taylor indicated that a farm would be started on the additional lands requested and either coffee, cocoa or other cash crops would be planted there to provide money for the maintenance and sustenance of the Bai T. More Rehabilitation Center.
“By the time we have completed the rehabilitation center, we will have money from the crops planted and it will help us to sustain the center, we don’t want to be begging people through out to support the center, we will want to support the center from our own agricultural activities,” Madam Howard-Taylor asserted.
She believes that when the 50 acres of land is given, the agriculture project that will be initiated will support the Center and the rehab will help provide training for the young people in the country, especially those in North Western region.
The Center will use this opportunity to train the young people and build their capacities; but this will also require the serious efforts of our youth, VP Taylor said
She intoned, “Such training will not only be soap-making and other petty trainings; but we will introduce intensive professional training that will help to the young people to adequately learn and sustain themselves.”
She said she has a pastor friend in Nigeria who is engaged in similar enterprise, saying that she is inviting the friend to Liberia to ask him for help for the project.
While hailing the group Agent for Change for its crucial role in the fight against drugs addiction and abuse in Liberia, VP Howard-Taylor committed her Office to providing a mini-bus to address the mobility challenge in the operations of the Village.
She reiterated the need for the active involvement of all into the fight against drug abuse and addiction; hoping that, when completed and functional, the Bai T. Moore Rehabilitation Village will guide, rehabilitate, accompany and follow drug abusers.
Speaking earlier, the Board Chair of Agent for Change Reverend Samuel Reeves of the Providence Baptist Church put the entire construction cost of the Project at three million United States dollars, disclosing that the Project will be done in three phrases.
Rev. Reeves thanked the Vice President and the people of Bomi County for welcoming such project while calling for more support for its realization.
Also speaking, Bomi County Senator Sando Dazoe Johnson, praised the Vice President and the founders of the Project for vision of a Rehabilitation Center in Bomi County, pledging an amount of one thousand United States dollars as his initial contribution.
Several dignitaries, including UN agencies Representatives to Liberia graced the occasion and made commitments to support the Rehabilitation Village initiative.
In another development, the Vice President has fulfilled her committed of five hundred thousand Liberian dollars to the traditional Muslim Women of Bomi County.
VP Howard-Taylor, consistent with her belief in the need for increased intervention in empowering women as a major role of national leaders, in 2019, pledged the amount to the women for the purpose of supporting their Micro Loan Program.
Beaming with smiles and giving rounds of cheers, the women thanked the Vice President for making good her promise while assuring her that funds will be used strictly for the intended purpose.