The people of Makal-Konteh, Magbata, Barmoi and Kagbarthama in the Burreh- Kasseh Makonteh Chiefdom of Port Loko District have benefited from a series of community festivals supported by the Port Loko branch of War Child Holland.
The two-day programme, which started at Maghata on Friday, ended at the Kagbarharm Child Friendly Centre, with speeches, poems, dramas, story telling, skits and cultural performance.
The principal aim was to foster peaceful co-existence between and within communities and to share experience on the psycho social problems affecting children and youths with a view on how they were being addressed in each community.
In his keynote addresses at the various communities, the Port Loko War Child field location manager Saide Mansaray stressed the need for a change of attitude towards the wellbeing of children and youths.
He referred to peace as the root for the development of children and urged for the support of all to enable them become useful community members.
Mr Mansaray observed that, “children have often been exposed to child labour, following the exodus of youths to urban towns in search of better opportunities”.
He said this had resulted to waywardness of most children and conflicting situation in several communities.
The Port Loko field location manager said, “War Child has intervened to create awareness on the role and responsibility of both parents and children to address issues that affect children”.
At Maghata where the programme was chaired by the village head teacher, Abu Noah Sesay, speeches were made by key stakeholders and their representatives.
A 13-year-old girl said war Child Holland had helped them to have peace amongst themselves, respect for their parents and elders through awareness raising activities, noting that they were now much more serious with their schooling.
Peter Bangura, who chaired the ceremony at Kagbartham, said the intervention of War Child Holland could not have come at a better time especially when the year of war in the country had left them with broken hearts.
Ramatu Kamara and Lamin Kabba, both pupils at Kagbarthama, used the opportunity to thank War Child Holland for shaping up their lives and appealed for further assistance.
War Child Holland commenced operations in Port Loko district in 2002 with programmes designed to help build up the capacity of children and youths.
It is currently functional in eight countries in the district where it has built child friendly centres.