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CODOHSAPA officially launched

May 1, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Centre of Dialogue on Human Settlement and Poverty Alleviation (CODOHSAPA), a non-profit and non-governmental organization working in the interest of slum communities across the country, was yesterday launched in Freetown.

Making a statement at the launching ceremony at their Priscilla Street office, Chief Executive Officer Francis Refful said the organization was established in 2011 to mobilize and provide both technical and financial support to their community counterparts, Federation of Urban and Rural Poor (FEDURP), with a view to empower and transform slum communities.

Refful said CODOHSAPA and FEDURP are part of the Shack or Slum Dwellers International (SDI) network which is a loose transnational group of non-government organizations and federation of slum dwellers that coordinates and supports both local and global actions that promote and improve the welfare and living conditions of slum dwellers and deprived persons and localities.

He said the alliance creates a synergy of professional and community knowledge and resource and a platform for consultation with local and state actors and other players, in order to stimulate decision to adopt pro-poor policies and practices for community planning and development.

He said the centre would also take responsibility to mobilize technical and financial resources and support initiatives on behalf of FEDURP, which provides community initiated and community led planning discussions and engagements.

He revealed that in each country where SDI has presence, affiliate organizations come together at the community, city, and national level, rooted in specific methodologies, to promote and propagate SDI’s  mission to link urban poor communities with cities across the South that have developed successful mobilization, advocacy, and problem solving strategies.

He said the organization has identified sixty three (63) slum communities in the Western Area alone, adding that they would be working with people in those slum areas as their mission is to create space and opportunity through facilitation for the transformation of lives of poor people in deprived communities.

Also, acting Board Chairman of CODOHSAPA, Christian M. Kamara, said the initiative was brought to the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) but because their focus is primarily on youth empowerment, he advised that the organization be formed separately.

He said statistics indicate that in 2020 over twenty million people will reside in slum areas around the world, including in Sierra Leone.

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