Global Rescue Mission Sierra Leone (GRM-SL) has started a four days sensitization workshop on the theme: Promoting participatory Democracy in Local Governance in Kenema District.
The workshop which is still in progress at the youth sport club along Mahei Vangahun road in Kenema city has one hundred participants drawn from Dama, Small Bo, Kandu Leppiama, Simbaru and Nongowa chiefdoms respectively in the Kenema district and it is being funded by the British High Commission.
Speaking at the opening ceremony the Project Coordinator of GRM-SL Tom White disclosed that the project is for six chiefdoms, with a workshop for every month for the selected chiefdoms. He said those in attendance are ambassadors of their communities and that they should make it possible for them all to disseminate the knowledge that they will gain to their communities members. He disclosed that there is going to be a street parade on the 3rd of July 2008
The Regional Coordinator GRM-SL Sahr Kamanda thanked the participants for their turn out whilst also encouraging everyone to be active political beings especially the women folk. He said they as women folk will take the challenge in positively participating in politics.
Foday Sesay the project officer who is also one of the facilitators in his presentation spoke about the need for local government which he said provides the local people with their own share of the state resources.
It is an important vehicle for meeting the people’s needs at the community level.
He explained that It serves as a link between the local people and the central government, and it ensures that decisions and policies of the central government are carried out in the interest of a community.
Mr. Sesay further spoke about their participation saying it is the art of taking in activities or events. Community participation in local government therefore means the involvement of citizens in the activities of the local government. He said the responsibility of community people in exercising their rights is to observe and monitor the activities of the local councils. To pay fees, taxes, and rates for services delivered.
To participate in community development projects and to comply with the local Government Act.
Other topics to be covered during the workshop include local council, leadership, women’s rights and citizen’s rights.