Award wining Liberian poet, Lekepele Nyamalon, has returned to his alma mater, Ricks Institute, with an open poetry exhibition which he hopes will help discover and foster creative writing talents.Held under the theme “Ebola Recovery Night of Poetry”, the event brought together more than 15 poems from students of the school, creating a platform on which they can showcase their writings while expressing thoughts and feelings about the Ebola virus.“I’m amazed by the outstanding talents of these young writers, as well as the expression and vision they have shown in these works. I’m of a stronger conviction that you’re the next generation of Liberian writers,” Nyamalon said.He said that poetry takes much more than originality in expressing one’s thoughts and experiences and is also meant to present to the world knowledge that, even though beneficial in understanding everyday’s problems, has escaped the minds of many people.“I’m happy that you were able to recount your knowledge about Ebola and express it through artistic works that have stirred the mind and emotion,” he said, further congratulating the students for showcasing their poetry.Patrick Dahn, an 11-grade student whose family was quarantined during the Ebola outbreak, read a rousing poem that brought tears to the eyes of a few people in the audience.Among the participants was Shirley Beyslow, a student from the six-grade. Of the elementary section she was the only representative. Nyamalon said a poet should be more inventive in his choice of words while expressing self- confidence, adding that poetry should be able to stimulate interest and provoke discussions.“A good poet is one that reads constantly, and I hope that you continue this dream,” he said. “Your works exhibited here show exceptional talents and mark the beginning of a poetry revolution among you.”“In your tender and loving hands the future of the nation is entrusted, in your innocent hearts the pride of the nation is enshrined, on your scholastic development the salvation of the nation is dependent. As you leave this hall you carry the future of Liberia and Africa in your school bags,” he added.Ms. Precious Marshall, the Director of Administration at Ricks Institute, said that the school remains committed and dedicated in molding the minds of Liberian youth as future leaders of the nation.She added that the school is proud of the participants and will do all it can to nurture the creative talents of the students.Congratulating the students for their works, she said that the “poems express what we as a nation and people have felt and experienced about Ebola.”“Clearly, we will soon forget to tell the real story and its effects. But with these works, I’m sure that future generations will get to realize what all of us felt during the Ebola crisis,” she explained.“You people have shown great talent. The clarity and brilliance of your description give the readers a feeling of being present on the scene,” she added.Ms. Massa Mamey, who is an instructor at Ricks Institute, said, “I’m not surprised by the creative talents shown by our students. From the outset, I have believed in their ability and the poems produced here are heart-touching.”She said that although the administration did help the students in breaking their poems into stanzas and editing minor subject-verb agreement, the creativity and expressions are the students’ own.“My hope is that the administration can continue just such a talent hunt,” she concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities into every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.IDPD has been celebrated every year on December 3 since 1992, and the theme for the 2018 celebration is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.In observance of this day, the New Amsterdam Special Needs School (NASNS), on the afternoon of December 3, held an awareness walk through the streets of New Amsterdam, which was followed by a concert.NASNS Head Teacher Zoya Crandon told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the road march and concert were two activities held every year by the school in observance of IDPD. Crandon said that this year the members of staffHead Teacher Zoya Crandondecided to “give back to the community”, which assisted the institution in a number of ways during the year.When asked how she felt about the success of the programme, the Head Teacher responded, “We started planning from last year. So, we feel really good because a lot of work was put into it.”Regional Education Officer of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Valika Mohabir-Jaikishun in her address, emphasised the need for inclusivity for persons living with disabilities. “We don’t want persons, because you have some form of disability to be left behind. We at the Ministry of Education want equality so that all our children can benefit … we want them to have an education because that is the key to success.”The walk, which commenced at Main and Vryheid Streets, New Amsterdam, saw participation from students and teachers of the NASNS, along with parents as well as officials of the Education Ministry. The participants later assembled at the New Amsterdam Town Hall for the concert and award ceremony which followed. Additionally, students, parents, and sponsors received awards in appreciation of their support throughout the year.This year, the local theme focused on empowering persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda pledges to “leave no one behind”.According to the United Nations, “Persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, can fast-track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development and promote resilient society for all, including in the context of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action, and urban development. Governments, persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, academic institutions and the Private Sector need to work as a “team” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.