By Stephen G. Fellajuah
Philanthropist and humanitarian par excellence, Dr. Daniel E. Cassell continues to positively impact the lives of indigent Liberians. If he is not providing practical solutions to assist indigent Liberian rebuild their lives, Dr. Cassell can be found in some backwater assisting other Liberians on ways and means to rebuild their lives after some cataclysmic event.
Taking his philanthropic wagon down the road, Dr. Cassell last week visited the headquarters of the Association of Liberians Professional Secretaries & Clerks Inc. (ALIPROSEC), otherwise known popularly as “World Trade Center”, where he served as a motivational speaker to young Liberians eking their living through acquired professional skills.
Making remarks over the weekend at the World Trade Center on Gurley Street, Central Monrovia, Dr. Cassell said he was excited to be among young Liberian professionals who are using their skills to earn a living for their families and champion their education, in spite of the unlimited challenges in the country.
According to Dr. Cassell, his visit was meant to work with the leadership of ALIPROSEC to see how best his institution can collaborate with them to utilize some of the talents, student groups, and as well, employ some students and provide scholarships.
Expounding on his own humble upbringing, Dr. Cassell told his audience at the World Trade Center that he is a friend of the poor and less fortunate because he grew up from a poor, marginalized and disenfranchised community where he slept in ghettos and under homeless shelters.
“As a servant of God, this has been my instruction to be a friend of the poor and the less fortunate”, Dr. Cassell said, adding, as a son of the soil, he understands the situation of those in need more than they themselves can imagine.
He further stressed that he is a son of the soil whose struggles matriculated him to where he finds himself today, noting that by the grace of God, he navigated life’s vast challenges to make himself a testimony of perseverance for the young generation.
“This is an inner conviction and testimony for me. I want to inspire you, motivate and encourage you to keep hope alive. No condition is permanent”, he implored.
Dr. Cassell asserted that there is a need to invest in the youth because they are the future leaders. He indicated his awe at the efforts and hard work made by the young people at the World Trade Center. He said, despite the limited resources, the young men and women of the World Trade Center are able to keep their doors open, as the Center continues to serve as a place of refuge for others who are on the streets, to help them discover a sense of direction to their hopelessness.
In overview remarks, the Chairman of the Association, Mr. Abraham Nifor, said the Association started far back in 1991. Mr. Nifor also used the occasion to debunk popular opinion that the World Trade Center is involved in illegal business.
Nifor was however quick to clarify that while the Center does not condone illegal activities, people should be mindful that there are always bad apples in every institution.
He further said that the institution is seriously involved with the training of young people. He said the institution has produced and is still producing young trained people into the larger society
While acknowledging that 80 percent of their activity is centered around electricity, Mr. Nifor highlighted the need for electricity, rent fees, saying it was a serious challenge to the occupants of the Center who find it difficult in raising funding for rent.
Also making remarks, the President of ALIPROSEC, Mustapha Metzger, appreciated Dr Cassell for the support and tremendous efforts to Liberia and the world at large. He thereupon conferred membership status upon Dr Cassell.
Dr. Cassell also visited a group of underprivileged young people, commonly labeled as zogos, on Center Street, an act that symbolized his affinity to the downtrodden members of the Liberian society.
The group who spoke through their leader thanked Dr. Cassell for the visit and all of the good things he is doing for the country. They said Dr. Cassell’s visit was timely, and that they felt relieved by his presence.
“We are over 600, we need food, medication and tarpaulin for shelter,” the disadvantaged group lamented.
Dr Cassell, seeing their condition, obliged to their request and promised to sponsor the rehabilitation of several of them. He requested the leadership to submit to the Dr. Cassell’s Foundation names of those who are prepared for rehabilitation.
Dr. Cassell also provided several bags of rice, cooking oil and other assorted food items to the group.