“Children have the right to education, they have the right to play, they have the right for hope, they have the right for joy, they have the right to grow, and they have the right to learn,” said UNICEF Representative Eric Laroche. “What we are seeing in recent weeks is precisely a violation of all these rights because a child that goes to school – a girl that goes to school and sees her school being burnt down is deprived of her rights.” Reporting that over the past week, there had been incidents against schools in Kandahar, Wardak and Sar-i-Pul, he told reporters in Kabul that the pattern could not be allowed to continue. Anticipating questions on whether the Taliban was involved, he said, “We don’t think it is a resurgence of Taliban but we think it is time… to help people react against these acts of violence.”He warned that there could be no peace in the future of Afghanistan until the people understood that education was central to the country’s growth and economic development. For its part, UNICEF would “help at the community level, at the local level, at the central level, the government, to make sure that children’s education, children’s schools are going to be protected,” he said.Amid this grim picture, he voiced optimism about the overall trend, noting that 3 million Afghan children went back to school following the fall of the Taliban, including a significant percentage of girls, who had been banned from receiving an education during the Taliban’s rule. “If you would have talked to a child, any Afghan, two years ago or even one and a half years ago, what struck me was the lack of hope,” he said. “We are restoring hope.”

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first_imgWith 17 years of active pharmaceutical business in Liberia, the Lucky Pharmacy on the 25th January opened its new branch in Ganta, Nimba County.The pharmacy is expected to be the biggest in Nimba County, and will be selling both retail and wholesale quality drugs/medicine to the public.The ceremony was attended by local officials of the government and health workers, including the head of Nimba County Health Team.Teeko Yorlay, Nimba County’s Development Superintendent, described Lucky Pharmacy’s branch opening as a great development for people of the county.“It will create employment opportunities for many youths while providing quality medicine for our people,” he said.He also urged the pharmacy not to sell any expired drugs/medicine.Dr. Boweh, Nimba’s Chief Health Officer expressed happiness for the arrival of Lucky Pharmacy to Ganta and urged the management to open branches in Sanniquellie and other parts of the county.“This pharmacy had been supplying our various hospitals in Nimba with medicine. That is why their opening a branch here is a great blessing for us,” he said.Nimba County has a population of approximately 463, 000 people comprised of 17 administrative districts made up of 193 towns, had been without any pharmacy since it gained its county status in 1964.The CEO of the Lucky Pharmacy in Liberia, Mr. Sam Jhamnani, pledged to sell quality drugs/medicines to the citizens and the public at large.“The same medicine I use to treat my children or my family is the same medicine I sell to the public to treat their children,” he concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

first_imgFootball has had an enduring presence in Liberia since the 1950s. The game was played among the scattered communities without a central organization. Available information suggests early an encounter in Monrovia between a local team known as the Young Lions against a select side of expatriates, then working with companies in Monrovia. Though the exact date of the match could not be verified, it was however not played under any organized association. It was simply a game without much of the arrangement and organizations we know today. The truth was that the players were familiar with the rules of the game and therefore playing against an expatriate side did not present any difficulty. The indication was that the sport made its appearance in the country through seamen who spent their time in Monrovia, along with Liberians who returned from trips to families to neighboring countries. But the notable game as the beginning of an organized occurred with a Liberian select side and an expatriate team. That game, and subsequent others were not played or organized under a central authority as we know it today, though they became the starting point for the game’s eventual organization in Monrovia. But it was not until the return of the man credited as the father of Liberian football, Mr. John Howard, from Grammar School in Sierra Leone, somewhere around 1936 that an attempt was made to get a central organization. And thereafter the Liberia Football Association was organized.    So the official organization of football, known as ‘association football’ and the subsequent membership of the Confederation of African Football, CAF, was in 1936. Mr. John Howard was the elder brother of Joe Richards, a soccer enthusiast and one of the founders of first division club, Invincible Eleven.    In an article, courtesy of the erstwhile X-Ray magazine, John Howard explained what happened:    “Football started in Liberia long before I spearheaded the formation of the Liberia Football Association in 1936. Even before the 1920s, to the extent that was difficult to trace its origin; the sport was popular among the settlers, (Liberians who returned to Africa from the United States, and later from the West Indies in the early 19th century.)  But the general consensus is that football originated from Britain. From there it spread to the rest of the world.   There was no central organization to monitor the activities of the various teams, which were already in existence. I then called a few football enthusiasts to a meeting at the home of Mr. Anthony Barclay, (cousin of then President Edwin J. Barclay), on Broad Street.  Those in attendance included Lawrence Gbehyon, George Padmore, Isaac Davies, George Terrence, Jacob Brown, J.D. Brown, Urias Brown and McKingley A. Deshield, Sr.     It was at that meeting that I tabled the idea of founding the Liberia Football Association, which would be charged with formulating rules and regulations regarding football in Liberia.”   Teams that were already actively playing against each other in Monrovia included Great Bame, Iron Side, Mosquitoes, Central and Olympics. But it was not until 1953 that the national team was organized. The national team was known as, some say ‘The Probables,’ others say “The City Team’ (Josiah N. Johnson), and it eventually came to adopt the name Lone Star from a local soccer team that was based in New Kru Town, Monrovia, (Josiah N. Johnson). Though we could not find the reason the team was finally renamed Lone Star other sources claim that the Republic of Liberia declared independence on July 26, 1847 and was known as the “only” or the “lone star,” among the many stars in Africa, particularly south of the Sahara without colonial rule. Hence it was therefore the “lone” star that shone brightly, beckoning and inspiring other African nations to struggle for self-determination.    It goes on to say that when Ghana gained its independence on March 6, 1957, as the first black nation in sub-Sahara Africa, it described itself as the “black star” following Liberia’s historic role as the “lone star” of freedom. Further investigations revealed that Ghanaian and Nigerian newspapers began to refer to Liberia as the Lone Star of Africa and therefore by 1954, it was a kind of imposition and Liberian sports officials accepted without question its noble role as the Lone Star, inspiring other African Nations, to self-governance.  By 1954, Liberia was ready to test its mettle and the first football encounter with the national soccer team, Lone Star, was against the Elephants of neighboring Cote d’Ivoire. The 1954 Lone Star was coached by Franco Roberts and the captain was McDonald Accolaste.     Great Bame, Iron Side, Mosquitoes, Central and Olympics were the pioneer clubs in the country from the 1930s, and six years later, the Liberia Football Association was organized. It affiliated with the International Football Federation, FIFA in 1962, which was twenty two years later.    Though these developments were significant, the Government of Liberia did not take the necessary interest in them. There was in fact no department or ministry responsible for sports to cater to the developmental needs of the youths. And 24 years later in 1962, Liberia could not raise a team to participate in the 1962 World Cup, which finals were held in Chile, from 30 May to 17 June.    The tournament earned Brazil’s second title, as Garrincha (Manuel Francisco dos Santos) the star player accepted the mantle and responsibility, (after regular talisman, Pele,) was injured during the first group match against Mexico and was unable to play for the rest of the competition, according to investigations conducted by our team of researchers.    Meanwhile a background introduction to a document from the Ministry of Youth and Sports said, “Prior to 1972 the affairs of sports were administered by the National Sports Commission. It was under the Sports Commission that Liberia first participated in international competitions.   “The first international exposure was in 1950 when Liberia played the Ivory Coast in football.  “The next major event was the Games of the 13th Olympiad held in Melbourne, Australia in 1956. The outcome of the Olympic Games was the formation of the Liberia Olympic Games Association later to become the Liberia National Olympic Committee.  “By May 1972, an act of the national legislature created the Ministry of Labour Youth and Sports and on March 1981, PRC Decree No. 36 of the People’s Redemption Council repealed the Act and established the National Youth and Sports Commission.  “It was in 1982 that the Ministry of Youth and Sports was created. Its responsibilities were to supervise, coordinate, monitor and evaluate youth development and sports programs and activities in Liberia.”  Editor’s Note: the author is currently working on the history of Liberian football with the assistance of the Liberia Football Association.)Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

first_imgNo Cubs player has gone to arbitration since Mark Grace in 1993. Zambrano said Monday he was “85 to 90 percent” sure a deal would get done before the hearing. Cubs manager Lou Piniella predicted there would be an agreement, too. SARASOTA, Fla. – Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher and broadcaster Joe Nuxhall was released from a hospital Tuesday and began treatment for a recurrence of cancer. The 78-year-old stopped by the team’s spring training complex and talked to players for a few minutes before going to get chemotherapy. Nuxhall had surgery for prostate cancer in February 1992. An examination at Sarasota Memorial Hospital found the cancer had returned. TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays and manager John Gibbons agreed Tuesday to a one-year, $650,000 contract extension. The sides now can focus on trying to work out a multiyear contract, which likely would be in the five-year range. Zambrano told WGN-TV last week he would leave as a free agent after the season if the Cubs did not sign him to a long-term deal by opening day, but he backed off those comments a few days later. He did, however, reiterate he won’t negotiate during the season and wants to be paid on the level of fellow pitcher Barry Zito, who received a seven-year, $126 million contract with San Francisco this off-season. MESA, Ariz. – Carlos Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs agreed to a one-year, $12.4 million contract Tuesday and avoided salary arbitration by striking the deal just before their scheduled hearing. Zambrano earned $6.5 million last season while going 16-7 with a 3.41 ERA and 210 strikeouts. He asked for $15.5 million in arbitration, while the Cubs countered at $11,025,000 – more than any player had been awarded. center_img Gibbons led the Blue Jays to an 87-75 record and a second-place finish in the AL East last season, the first time they finished higher than third since winning the World Series in 1993. This year he will make $500,000, one of the lowest salaries for a manager in the majors. The extension covers the 2008 season. Gibbons might have cost himself a longer extension after getting into altercations with infielder Shea Hillenbrand and pitcher Ted Lilly last season. He is 187-187 since replacing manager Carlos Tosca in August 2004. NASHUA, N.H. – Former Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Rich Garces has signed with the Nashua Pride. Garces, nicknamed “El Guapo,” had a 10-year career in the major leagues. He played for the Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins and Red Sox. “Signing Rich to pitch this season is really fun for the fans in Nashua,” Pride manager Butch Hobson said. “He has pitched great in Venezuela this winter and we will look for him to be a leader both in the bullpen and in the community.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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