A cross section of youth at the training
Budgit Sierra Leone has enlightened a cross section of youth in Freetown about civic education and how they can actively contribute to nation building.
Budgit is a non-profit making organisation that purely educates citizens about the country’s national budgit. But the organisation decided to shift from their normal activities to educating youth about civic education as a way of bolstering nationalism,developement and national cohesion.
Program Officer at Budgit,Daniel Conteh, took participants through various topics around civic education, including citizenship, the rights and responsibilities of a citizen, the role of government and why citizens should engage with the government, and the importance of public participation in governance, among several others.
Daniel Conteh emphasised the need for citizens to actively participate in governance by paying local tax, registering to vote, respecting the national constitution and be law abiding, frequently engaging public officials and asking questions around issues that bother on their rights, be patriotic and paying allegiance to the country, respecting the rights of others and actively participating in community development.
Participants were educated on the composition and functions of the Sierra Leone Parliament, as well as transparency and accountability and how to hold government accountable through access to information.
The Program Officer informed participants about the Right to Access Information Act-the law through which citizens can access information, the role of the mass media and civil society organisation.
Participants were excited receiving such enlightenment from Budgit with some confessing that, that was the very first time to have had about the Right to Access Information Act.
Many expressed the constraints they are getting in accessing public information and promised that they will make use of the Act to ensure that they access information on public projects being implemented in their various localities.