The Countess of Wessex is expected to visit Sierra Leone today Wednesday 22nd and leave tomorrow Thursday 23rd January 2020. The visit is “part of her ongoing work supporting survivors of sexual and gender based violence,” twitted ‘The Royal Family’ twitter handle @RoyalFamily. According to https://www.royal.uk/ the Countess is expected to hear how Sierra Leone has successfully transitioned to a sustained peace following the conflict. This will include learning about the role of the Special Court and Truth and Reconciliation Commission in bringing justice to survivors of the conflict, including survivors of sexual violence. Her Royal Highness is also expected to join roundtable discussions with civil society members on current societal issues and the continued violence faced by women and girls in Sierra Leone. She will also hear how efforts are being made to tackle these issues, particularly reducing stigma which is helping more women to report incidents of rape. The Countess will visit a health centre to see how UK aid investments in family planning are helping to empower girls and women to have greater choice and control over their bodies and lives, and to achieve their aspirations.
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Her Royal Highness will also visit a secondary school to see first-hand how support from the UK government is helping to keep girls safe and in education. She will also meet with women from across government, the armed forces, civil society and communities to celebrate the role they are playing at home and abroad in advocating for peace in other regions. The Countess will hear how the UK has helped Sierra Leone to increase the part that women play in promoting peace and security. Her visit to Sierra Leone is at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Sophie, Countess of Wessex is the wife of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
By Ophaniel Gooding
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