As sections of the Sierra Leonean community celebrate the passing of the Child Rights Bill, the greatest challenge appears to be in getting people to understand and internalize the contents of the bill.
Rising up to the task is the Forum for African Women Educationist (FAWE) has been conducting sensitization sessions in 5 communities in the Western Rural and Urban areas of the country.
Aloysius Kamara, the FAWE project Officer told Awoko that they have conducted one-day workshops each in Waterloo, Tombo, Lumpa, Goderich and Aberdeen to sensitize these communities specifically on child labour.
He explained that their aim is to “Counter Youth and Child Labor through Education (CYCLE)’ and for this they are targeting the various community youths and stakeholders.
“Our main aim is to sensitize the community on the causes and the effects of child labour and together seek ways of sustainably reducing it” The FAWE project Officer added.
He disclosed that the CYCLE project was sub-contracted to them by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
All five of the communities would not only be sensitized on Child and Youth Labour but are expected to set up a proactive committee to monitor Child labour in and among their various communities and then either report to the Family Support Unit or as a community deal with the issue.
Aloysius Kamara revealed that Waterloo, Tombo and Goderich have already set up a Child labour Monitoring Committee which they will continue to support in terms of capacity.
He entreated all Sierra Leoneans to take child issues seriously to help children develop.
Rashid Fumi Davies a councilor for the Aberdeen Community noted – after the CYCLE workshop they had with FAWE last Saturday at the Aberdeen Municipal School – that the Workshop was very educative.
“Since I heard about the Child Rights Bill I have never quite understood some of its contents but this workshop has helped greatly in understanding some of the rights of our children” the Councilor remarked.
He promised that they in Aberdeen will set up an Advocacy Committee to monitor children’s rights, while complaining that “it pains me to see children being maltreated and being sent out in the streets for petty trading, I want all of this to change”