March 20, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Japan Government, through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Proramme (GGHSP) at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has made a grant of one hundred and fifty-five thousand United States Dollars equivalent to approximately one billion, one hundred million Leones to two communities in Sierra Leone.
Speaking at the signing of the grant at the JICA Office in Freetown, the Japanes Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Kaoru Yoshimura, said it was a great pleasure for him to be at the ceremony.
He said the grant was made to Self Help and Development Everywhere (SHADE) in the Kambia district and Partners for Education and Community Empowerment in the Bombali district respectively.
He said SHADE would receive $82,122 for the construction of a safe home for sexual and gender based violence victims in the Kambia District, while Partners for Education and Community Empowerment in Bombali would receive $72,887 for the construction of a primary school in Magbonto.
He encouraged both organisations to use the funds judicious and ensure that the facilities are sustained for generations ahead.
“I hope these projects would contribute to the development of Sierra Leoneans and further deepen the cordial relation between Sierra Leone and Japan,” he said
In her statement, the Programme Manager of Self Help and Development Everywhere (SHADE), Christiana Y. Khanu, said as part of the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution (UNSCR) on women, peace and security, and UNSCR resolution on sexual violence, Sierra Leone has committed itself to undertake all appropriate legislative measures for the implementation of women’s rights.
She said over the years, Sierra Leone has enacted many laws on women’s rights and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), as well as led initiatives that include the establishment of Family Support Units and national GBV Steering Committee.
She further noted that the unprecedented abuses against women and girls in Kambia District triggered SHADE- Sierra Leone to initiate consultations in the form of community engagements and discussions, with major players especially women and opinion leaders in the district on the establishment of a safe home for Sexual Gender Based Violence victims in the district.
“Today our dreams have come true with the help of our partners from the people and government of Japan through their GGHSP Programme. Investing in such a project to end SGBV in Sierra Leone is faced with enormous challenges but SHADE- Sierra Leone is optimistic that they are surmountable only when we adopt a holistic approach in dealing with it,” she said.
On his part, Project Director for Partners for Education and Community Empowerment, Rachel E. Tarawalie, said the overall objective of the grant contract is to complement the effort of Sierra Leone Government and to improve the quality of education in Bombali District.
She said her organisation has over the years embarked on a wide range of programmes designed to improve the lives of its beneficiaries in the area of education, agriculture and advocacy.
She said the signing of the grant will serve as a strong basis to ensure that the vulnerable rural communities have access to quality education.