Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a significant step towards enhancing the well-being of Sierra Leonean children, the Joining Forces – Sierra Leone Chapter was officially launched at the Lagoonda Complex in Aberdeen. Comprising five prominent organizations, namely ChildFund, Plan International, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Village, and World Vision, the alliance is dedicated to safeguarding the protection, participation, and overall welfare of children in Sierra Leone.
During the unveiling, a joint statement was presented by Sagane Thiaw, the National Director of World Vision. Thiaw emphasized that the Joining Forces alliance operates in more than twenty countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and America. The launch aims to consolidate the organizational expertise, resources, and efforts of these reputable entities to ensure the protection and well-being of Sierra Leonean children.
Thiaw acknowledged the challenges faced by children, including growing inequality, technology misuse, gender bias, hunger, poverty, ill-health, and exploitation. He highlighted the rise in violence against children and emphasized the need for innovative and impactful responses. The alliance intends to leverage existing frameworks like the Convention on the Rights of a Child and global opportunities such as the Sustainable Development Goals to address these challenges urgently and effectively.
Mamoud Barrie, President of the Children’s Forum Network, emphasized the coalition’s pivotal role in safeguarding children’s rights in Sierra Leone. He stressed the importance of collaborative efforts over working in isolation for the benefit of the nation’s youth.
Honourable Catherine Zainab Tarawallie, the Child Protection and Gender Committee Lead in Parliament, expressed full support for the coalition, recognizing that the progress of Sierra Leone relies on the well-being of women and children.
Madam Emily Gogra, Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, affirmed that the launch of the coalition would raise awareness of collective responsibilities. She called for a commitment from Sierra Leoneans to ensure the success of this collaborative effort.
In her keynote address, Madam Isata Mahoi PhD, the Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs, highlighted the significant strides made in child protection over the years. She stressed the need for continued concerted efforts, citing national and international documents enacted and signed by Sierra Leone concerning child welfare. The Joining Forces alliance is poised to provide additional support to strengthen these protective measures. MJB/6/2/2024