Orphans at a three (3) day National Orphan Summit (NOE)2018 have been challenged to translate their dreams into reality as they transitioned the real world of life outside the orphanage.
The Summit was hosted by Orphan Concern Liberia and brought together over two hundred participants mostly orphans to inspire and empower them into the world outside the orphanage home.
Serving as a guest speaker, Assistant Minister for Children and Social Protection at the Ministry of Gender, Maiminah Carr inspired the orphans through her life story, indicating that being an orphan does not require empathy but self-development and initiatives.
Min. Carr focused her theme on Leadership, Volunteerism, and Self-Empowerment-as key to the advancement of a person’s life.
“Peer pressure and environment influence have been factors implicating our young people but I tell you today don’t be influenced by anyone make the most of every opportunity you have and explore the real world”.
She outlined the building of clean and clear integrity, innovative solutions among others as some ways leaders must ensure to create a world in a workspace, community and elsewhere.
“Anything you do in this world someone somewhere is watching you, it is always good to do things as a leader without being an eye-servant but making an impact”.
Min. Carr explained that life has thought her many lessons as an orphan but perseverance with high hopes of making a change in the world couple with volunteerism has led her in government today.
“I was three months old when my mother left me with my dad, I grew up on my own with friends, they tried every way possible to get me involved into sleeping for money but I had a focus and today my dreams are unfolding”.
“Always aim for the highest mark, interact with good people and most of all frown on corruption in society as a leader because it could undermine your leadership in the future of the real work world”, Min. Carr.
The 2018 Orphan Summit focused on exposing orphans to the real world outside the orphanages which will prepare them for the task ahead.
Orphan Concern head was the Chief convener of the summit; Amos Sawboh stated that if Liberia must transition to a better stage, investing in young people especially the vulnerable is important, owing to their adolescent state.
“Our country could rise to be at the brink of another disaster of less fortunate”.
Mr. Sawboh indicated that orphans find it difficult transitioning to the real world from orphanages due to first encounters which may have an influence on their lives.
“Many learned especially females after the first 3-6 months become mother and boy turn into harmful vices. Those females most times with no understanding of caring for a child feel left out and have to end up going back to the orphanage upon giving birth to the child. Thus, most of them become mother or father growing up as an orphan and their child as well”.
Orphans at the summit gave testimonies of their fear of transitioning, while a session known as the Learning Hub was used to provide experts in various fields to encourage them about life’s issues and independent living.
The Summit was supported by the UN Women, Ministry Gender Children and Social Protection, Young Christian Men Association, YOCEL among others.