December 20, 2017 By Regina Pratt
The Planned Parenthood Association of Sierra Leone hosted their 51st Annual General Assembly at their headquarters on No. 1 Richard Street in Freetown Saturday, 16 December.
Speaking during the meeting, Executive Director David E. Williams said the reporting period was very challenging, especially with the current weak state of the local currency Leones as against the dollar.
He thanked staff members for their understanding and resilience to keep the flame of the association burning even under the existing poor conditions of service.
He lamented inadequacy of resources to fully implement new the strategic plan for 2016-2019, the dearth of contraceptives due to inadequate funding from International Planned Parenthood Federation and drastic reductions in Core Grants in 2017 experienced by member associations.
According to him, the new IPPF Strategic Plan calls for innovative strategies by member associations to set up viable social enterprises, adding that in a bid to addressing stock out of contraceptives, they have established links with the Reproductive Health Programme of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Mr. Williams recommended that existing branches be strengthened before embarking on re-activating/creating new branches, while he implored volunteers to get involved in advocacy, social mobilisation, and recruiting clients through referral system.
Honourary President Jacob A. Tucker stated that the year under review has been quite eventful, both in terms of what they achieved and the challenges encountered in pursuing their mandate.
“The association has expanded its activities to new areas and communities while breaking new grounds in securing donor funds outside the Core Grant. We stand tall amongst reproductive health service providers in the country,” he said.
He said that they have successfully implemented all projects awarded to them by other donors, revealing that the Executive Director was awarded for his outstanding performances, whilst Youth Action Movement president Christopher Carew was elected as Alternate President for the Movement’s African Region.
“The volunteer drive is improving and I am happy that Kenema, Lunsar and Port Loko branches are represented in this year’s Assembly. It is my hope that more volunteers will come on board to raise the profile of the Association,” he urged.
Reports were presented by the Honorary Treasurer, YAM President and local branches, while the appointment of External Auditors, Legal Firm and Medical Adviser for PPASL was approved.