The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has organized a one-day awareness raising workshop on “Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)” in the Kenema district at the district’s council hall, Maxwell Khobe Street.
The objectives of the workshop were to raise awareness on the issues of orphans and vulnerable children; to discuss obstacles that keep the orphans and vulnerable children from accessing health care and education, and also to discuss ways of identifying OVC so that they can get some support.
The chairman of the occasion, F.M. Gibba who doubles as the chief administrator of Kenema district, described the workshop as timely and thanked UNICEF for its initiative in trying to help orphans and defenseless kids. Mr Gibba mentioned that the inputs of participants would go a long way in handling the OVC for better lives.
He described paramount chiefs as champions of children’s initiatives, saying that they needed to continue to give vital information about orphans and vulnerable children in their respective chiefdoms.
UNICEF’s programme communications officer, Mrs. Battu Samuels, said “the workshop [was] being organized by the government of Sierra Leone through the Decentralization Secretariat and UNICEF to create awareness on the status and issues of orphans and vulnerable children in the communities”.She said, “the government has a moral obligation to its citizens by helping children to realize their rights as they have signed up to the ratification of the Rights of the Child”.
The capacity building officer at the Decentralization Secretariat, Jonathan Kpakiwa in his closing remarks, thanked participants for their brilliant deliberation and expressed hope that the recommendations would be put into serious action for implementation.
He encouraged participants to disseminate the messages and knowledge to everyone in their respective communities.