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Children report excessive labour at home

...Says Save The Children’s Ebola Assessment Report

September 29, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

An assessment carried out by Save The Children International has revealed that child labour is still a concern for children, especially those living in rural communities.

Hundreds of children interviewed during the month long assessment expressed concern that whenever they were out of school, their parents would either make them hard work at home, do heavy jobs in the fields/farms or trade.

According to the report, titled ‘Children’s Ebola Recovery Assessment II’, many of the children stated that their parents thought that keeping them busy doing all the chores at home, trading and farming was more important than going to school.

The report further stated that the amount of work children were made to do was far beyond their ages and physical capabilities and as a result, it made them constantly tired, sickly and with retarded growth.

According to the report, some of the children were of the firm belief that they were stunted not because of genetic inheritance, but because of being constantly subjected to hard work, such as carrying heavy loads and not eating properly.

Presenting the results of the report during the official launch yesterday at the Family Kingdom in Freetown, the organisation’s Child Protection Advisor, Deanne Evans, explained that the assessment was a follow-up from the first assessment they carried out in March 2015 in collaboration with Plan International and World Vision.

She said the findings in the current report represented memories of the  horrific Ebola epidemic, resulting realities and conditions that shape current children’s living conditions, issues in communities that still need to be addressed and the kind of future children hope for.

She stated that the CERA II assessment was undertaken in July 2016 through participatory focus group discussions involving 522 children from 16 villages in the four districts where they operate.

“Within each community, children were selected using systematic random sampling to ensure the participation of a wide range of children. Of the children that participated, many had been directly affected by Ebola as survivors, who had lost one or both parents to the disease,” she explained.

In the area of education, Ms. Evans said across all age categories and sex, education ranked as a the most liked activity in the community, representing a total of 39% of votes cast by children.

She noted that children should acquire new knowledge about the world around them and also socialise with friends if they stay in school.

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