By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Country Director Christian Aid S/L updating the press about the visit
High delegation from Christian Aid, including its Chief Executive Officer,Patrick Watt, Chairman Bishop Dr. John Sentamu, and others, have announced plan to visit the country next week.
The delegation which will arrive in Sierra Leone on Sunday, February 19, will be in the country to deepen their understanding about the work of Christian Aid Sierra Leone and also hold meeting with stakeholders within the religious, government and civil society organisations.
Speaking at a presser at Christian Aid Sierra Leone Head Office, Aberdeen in Freetown, Country Director of Christian Aid Sierra Leone, Mattia Koi Dimoh, said the delegation will meet with the inter-religious council in the country and also meet with Side by Side a movement platform for gender justice advocacy in the country.
He said on Tuesday they will pay a courtesy call on the Minister of Planning who will lead them to meet with the Vice President of Sierra Leone, also meet with the British High Commissioner in Sierra Leone and also later have a lunch meeting with the Minister of Development and Country Planning and the minister of Gender.
He said on Wednesday they will also travel to Pujehun District to one of their project communities in that part of the country.
He said they have existed in Sierra Leone for about 33 years now and during that period they have been involved in addressing the causes of poverty, power imbalances, speaking on behalf of the marginalised.
He said one of the things that he was more proud of in terms of the work they have done in Sierra Leone includes empowering, building and strengthening local civil society organisations that have become very active in challenging unjust systems and speaking truth to power.
He said organisations including the Budget Advocacy Network (BAN) was facilitated by Christian Aid with the aim to look at public financial management issues, budget credibility issues and financial management and credibility within the country.
He said the Network of HIV Positives Sierra Leone (NETHIPS) was also constituted with support from Christian aid with the aim to be able to build a broader network for the advocacy of people living with HIV and other organizations.
He said in Kailahun they also facilitated the formation of the Women in Governance Network to enhance women’s inclusive participation in decision making and politics in the country, and because of their intervention Kailahun is today the only district in the country that has 40% women’s representation in parliament.
He said they are empowering local women to break the barriers that stop them to accessing finances and their intervention has also.
Also speaking, Christian Aid Chairman, Bishop Dr. John Sentamu, said Christian aid believes in life before death which they are committed to and also amplifying the voices of those who are not heard, noting that he was exited with the work of women and girls Christian aid Sierra Leone is doing.
He said God created every human to enjoy life but greed and selfishness is the reason some people don’t have food to eat which is why they are working to ensure they elevate people from poverty, noting that he is happy for the peace Sierra Leone is currently enjoying.