Lifeline Director to address commonwealth gathering
The National Executive Director of the Lifeline Nehemiah Projects in Sierra Leone, will on Monday, 9th March, 2015 address the annual Commonwealth Day Observance in Westminster Abbey, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo: Philip Joel Mandewa Cole, National Executive Director,Lifeline Nehemiah Projects Sierra Leone)
In an executive interview with this Reporter, Mr Philip Joel Mandewa- Cole, popularly known as P.J. Cole, said he will be highlighting the power of young people and also talking on the issues of youth unemployment, child labour, child abuse and the lack of access to education of majority of Sierra Leone’s children.
He pointed out that he will particularly stress on investing in the young people and the positive impact this will have on the country.
P.J.Cole observed that about seventy percent of the young people of Sierra Leone are unemployed mostly because they lack the necessary skills and expertise.
He observed that before Ebola Sierra Leone had one of the highest growth rates in the world but local sierra Leoneans were being passed over said they lacked the expertise to perform roles that were being created.
But instead of mainly employing expatriates, P.J.Cole said companies and corporations should invest in the country’s economy and work with educational institutions to enrich the lives of young people.
He also stated that he will enjoin the Government of Sierra Leone to enact laws that will give priority to the young people to be given first preference to secure jobs for which they are qualified in multi-national companies.
He said he will also stress for the provision of quality and affordable formal education opportunities as well as technical and vocational training opportunities for young people so that they can realise their potentials and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
“We need to improve our educational system and invest in young people to ensure that we offer quality labour for the jobs that are being created in the twenty first century,” he maintained.
He revealed that he feels highly honoured as the only Sierra Leonean to have been invited to address what he described as “a very auspicious international gathering of eminent personalities in the Commonwealth”
This year’s Observance will be attended by about one thousand children, Nobel Peace Laureate, Kallash Satyarthi who will join Queen Elizabeth 11, the Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess for Cornwall, The Duck of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cambridge.
Deliberating on the theme: “A Young Commonwealth,” this year’s speakers will include international child rights activist and 2014 Noble Peace Prize winner, Kallash Satyarthi, and Sierra Leone’s own P.J.Cole, Queen’s Young Leader and Executive of Lifeline Nehemiah projects sierra leone, and Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Member of Parliament and the first female Speaker of the parliament of Bangladesh.
The multi-award winning South Africa a cappella group, The Soil, will perform, and Indian Poet, Sharanya Manivanna, will read a new poem commissioned for Commonwealth Day.
By Abdul Hassan Fackie
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