By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Christian Aid Chief Executive Officer-Patrick Watt, Chairman-Bishop Dr. John and International Programme Director- Ojobo Ade Atutuku, on Monday February 20, met and held discussions with the executive members of the Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone.
Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of Christian Aid Bishop, Dr. John Sentamu, said they believe in life before death, adding that when God created the world there was enough food, but that it was not enough for human greed, which is the reason many people are going to bed hungry and have nothing to eat.
He said Christian Aid works hard to begin to tackle the problem of poverty because living in poverty, adding that the second thing at the heart of Christian Aid is support the suppressed voices that are not easily heard.
He said their role is not to speak for others but to amplify the voices of the marginalized because they know that whenever people are not heard it often leads to violence.
He further cited violence which emanates from the abuse of power in the world.
Chief Executive Officer of Christian Aid, Patrick Watt, said Christian Aid was founded in 1945 by British Churches to respond to refugee crises during World War 2, and that since then their work has continue for decades to different parts of the world.
He stated that Christian Aid begins operations in Sierra Leone in 1988 and wherever they operate they always saw the need to meet with people in their moment of need and also ask why that need exists, so that they can seek and tackle the real causes of poverty as well as addressing the issues.
He further stated that identifying and tackling the causes has always been their approach in any countries they operate.
International Programme Director at Christian Aid, Ojobo Ade Atutuku, said Christian Aid operates with three Ps which means poverty, power and prophetic voice, noting that poverty is not what it should be because it is not the basic law of nature.
He said poverty is caused by human influenced structures.
Sierra Leone Christian Aid Country Director, Mattia Koi Dimoh, said they were working with partners including the Ministry of Gender to support women empowerment and political participation in governance and they succeeded in making women secured 40% parliamentary seats.
Secretary General of the Inter-Religious Council Rev. Dr. Usman Jesse Fornah said the Council was established in 1997 and it’s composed of adherents of the two main religions in Sierra Leone-Christianity and Islam.
He said they Council has over the years played and continue to play a significate role in promoting peace and cohesion in the country,and that they also support government activities in the interest of development.
He said the council was part of the negotiation process that ended the civil war in the country and that they have also participated in the fight against Ebola and COVID-19 and also observed the 2012 and 2018 general elections in the country.
He stated that the council has challenges including an office space, vehicles to facilitate their movement to other parts of the country to do monitoring of the June 24 elections.