Accountability Lab + African Institute for Philanthropy and Community Renewal joined this year’s celebration to draw attention to the huge support received from the diaspora communities during our 14-year Civil War and also our just ended deadly Ebola virus Disease. We brought together the Diaspora communities in Liberia, the diplomatic corps, the Government of Liberia, Ex-soccer stars of Liberia, Civil Society, and media to celebrate this event. This was a one day soccer event in which participants played for the need to support diaspora communities in and out of Liberia.
Our GDW 2015 celebration took four basic forms:
1.) Consultation with the embassies of the Mano River Basin (Guinea, La Cote D’Ivoire and Sierra Leone) in the security sector of Liberia (Liberia National Policy, Bureau of Immigration and the Drug Enforcement Agency) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Our aim here was to create a Global consciousness among these agencies and to also appreciate Diaspora living in Liberia for their contributions to improving the country. We didn’t want to overlook the contributions of Liberian diaspora living in other countries for the over the years. We were welcomed by the embassies and they expressed serious interest in GDW.
The head of the mission of La Cote D’Ivoire to Liberia mentioned that,”GDW is the type of program that we are interested in to help unify our people. We will follow up after this program to continue this conversation and see how we can use this to deepen the relationship among our countries. Thank you for the thoughtfulness of appreciating diaspora living in Liberia especially people from the Mano River Union (MRU)”.
Next we met with the Guinean first secretary who was highly impressed with the celebration and said, “We need to do the same in Guinea next year.” Continuing the conversation, he said using a translator, “There is a need to come together to make the lives of our people better. We are grateful to you for this”.
Our final embassy visit was the Sierra Leonean Embassy where we had two hours of conversation looking deeper into the possibilities of hosting this the next year in Freetown. Mr. Alahiji Bangura asked us, “Where did this idea come from and how can we make this an annual event?” We all laughed and we told them the origin of GDW and the we are localizing this with the use of a Global Len.
2.) Our sports day was attended by over 1000 persons and the teams were Sierra Leoneans Diaspora Team, Guinea Diaspora and the Liberian Diaspora Returnees. Scores from the matches were a 3-0 & 3-1 victory for the Liberians and a 1-0 victory for the Sierra Leoneans over the Guineans. The atmosphere was very friendly and joyous. There were very good networking opportunities and we look forward to hosting this event again next year!
Below are a few pictures from our sports day on October 12th:
3.) After the games a round table discussion was held. Attendance from organizations such as Pursue For Positive Action Youth Organization (PPAYO), Dorcas Woman Empowerment Executive Director, Mrs. Glaneda Kolleh, Bureau of Immigration represented by its Deputy Operation Director- Mr. Flomo who spoke passionately about the contribution of diaspora communities in Liberia. We followed up with an indoor debate program discussing Cross Free Movement along the Mano River Basin. This program had a wide array of participants discussing equality based on gender, youth and void of any discrimination. All to celebrate Global Consciousness in Liberia!
4.) We were live on Lib24 and Power TV discussing GDW. The celebration was also published in the Democratic Newspaper.