A three days Peace and Development Corps (PADCO) Mid Term Review for PADCO Volunteers all over the country has ended at the National Pastoral Centre along Dama Road in Kenema city.
Welcoming participants at the opening session the Kenema District Coordinator of NaCSA Cecilia Sannoh thanked all invited guests and PADCO Volunteers for gracing the occasion. She explained the Peace and Development Corps (PADCO) was set up in 2004 by NaCSA, which is a Commission set up by parliament to implement activities that will ensure post conflict sustainable development, leading to the alleviation of poverty, reduction in the risk of renewed conflict and improvement in the well being of Sierra Leonean.
The youth Development Unit operates under one of NaCSA’s core areas of work – social and economic opportunities program.
In placing tertiary-level educated volunteers with local councils, Government Ministries, NGO’s and other development institutions, the goal of PADCO is two fold. Firstly, PADCO aims to promote institutional capacity building and address human resources gaps in institutions that work with vulnerable groups, through the provision of educated and trained volunteers. Secondly, PADCO seeks to give young Sierra Leonean graduates an opportunity to gain experience and skills working in the development sector as volunteers. The overall aim of the youth Development Programme is to promote poverty alleviation and peace consolidation in Sierra Leone. The PADCO programme works as a three way partnership between NaCSA, the Volunteer and the Host Partners in order to build the capacity of individuals and organizations to work towards a positive change.
In her opening remarks the chairperson for the ceremony Madam Shirley Simbo Program Manager Youth Employment Project of Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD) said PADCO was introduced under one of the core programs of NaCSA in 2004 to address the institutional capacity need and to provide job opportunities for young graduates in the country, with the objective to overcome the regional and ethnic bias. She described the session as an experience sharing session and she encouraged NaCSA to continue its support to the PADCO programme.
Talking about the purpose of the Mid Term Review in Kenema PADCO Project Officer Mr. David Lahai said it was to provide additional learning to volunteers and to identify areas of intervention, clarify respective roles and responsibilities, be informed about volunteer’s successes, understand further learning and training needs of volunteers and to discuss further support that could enhance volunteers work. In his key note address the Provincial Secretary East, Samuel Kenneth Bryma who represented the Resident Minister East William Juana Smith commended NaCSA for its major role in building the capacity of citizens of this nation. He said the government is just about to establish the youth commission to tackle youth constraints in the nation. He described the youth as the backbone for any development in the nation adding that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the nation to progress.