Ahead of re-opening of schools…


KAN launches anti-stigmatization campaign

April 8, 2015 By Victoria Saffa

Kids Advocacy Network (KAN), a leading child protection agency in the country, over the weekend launched a one-month campaign on the negative effect of stigmatization and discrimination of Ebola survivors and orphans in schools with the theme: “Ebola survivors and orphans are our hope for a brighter future, respect them”.

The campaign, which is being supported by the National Revenue Authority (NRA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Aureol Insurance Company, Street Child, Social Workers Sierra Leone and Geomining Consultancy, was officially launched at the Kankalay Primary School hall in Lumpa, Waterloo.

Executive Director and Founder of KAN, Edmond Alim B. Fornah, disclosed that the campaign was aimed at sensitizing students and pupils against stigmatizing and discriminating their colleagues who are survivors of the virus.

He disclosed that the campaign would target 20 communities in the Western Area and two in Port Loko district, targeting one hundred and fifty (150) schools across the country.

Communications Officer of KAN, Alimatu Bangura, disclosed that the campaign would also use radio and posters to spread the message against stigmatization and discrimination of Ebola survivors and orphans.

Hon. Claude Kamanda of Constituency 95 noted that the Ebola outbreak has affected the education sector and urged that pupils and students take their school work seriously, as schools were about to reopen.

He said the campaign was very timely and thanked Kids Advocacy Network and their partners for organizing it.

Cooperate Affairs Manager at NRA, Mohamed Bangura, said they were very committed to developing young people in Sierra Leone, assuring his institution’s continuous support to KAN and other organizations in their strides toward achieving a better Sierra Leone.

He implored the public to pay their taxes as that was what the NRA uses to contribute to the development of Sierra Leone and young people.

Executive Chairperson of EPA, Hadijatou Jallow, also noted that the organization believes in investing in young people for better prosperity and urged young people to practice a culture of discipline and obedience.

She pledged her institution’s continuous support to KAN.

While giving the keynote address, Deputy Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Karamoh Kabba, called on parents to send their children to school when schools reopen on 14 April, as government has put all mechanisms in place to ensuring that every child will be safe in school.

He said government would pay tuition fees for every child in public schools and advised parents not to pay any fees. He also called on principals and head teachers not to ask any child for school fees as the Anti-Corruption Commission will investigate and prosecute anyone that was found wanting.

Kabba further implored pupils to take advantage of the largesse from government by studying hard as part of their contribution towards the rebuilding of the nation.

He thanked KAN and partners for organizing the campaign, which he noted would help reduce stigma and discrimination among young people.

He said that Ebola survivors have the potential to rule the country and head agencies, thus they need love and care from members of their community and friends.