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Saturday, November 27, 2021
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JHR ends operations in Sierra Leone

By Mohamed Massaquoi

Former Country Director of the leading international media development charity and non-governmental organization based in Toronto, Canada, Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), has informed this medium that her organization has ended its operations in Sierra Leone.

Yeama Thomson disclosed that the decision was part of their efforts to transform JHR into a local media development organization, adding that they have already established the Initiative for Media Development to replace JHR.

“The mission of JHR was to empower journalists to cover human rights stories objectively and effectively with the vision to ensure that everybody in the world is aware of their rights,” explained Ms. Thompson. “This arrangement is a complete transformation of JHR to a local based organization. However, we will still continue to train journalists on human rights and governance issues for the development of our country.”

JHR is one of the largest Canadian media development organizations which believes that “creating rights awareness is the first and most necessary step to ending rights abuses across the world”.

JHR has worked in 21 countries and trained over 12,000 journalists, whose human rights stories have reached over 50 million people.

One of the beneficiary institutions in Sierra Leone, Concord Times Communications, has enjoyed good working relationship with HJR.

One of our reporters, Ibrahim Tarawallie, recalled that during the first round of Sierra Leone’s 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, 7.3% of 1.9 million votes cast were declared invalid, but JHR trained him to effectively engage in reporting on voter education, and that the training yielded a lot of dividend during the 2012 elections.

Also, a reporter with Awoko newspaper, Betty Milton, was promoted to Head of Elections Unit at the daily newspaper after receiving JHR training. “We don’t want to go back to where we came from,” she said. “We need JHR here to help train journalists on how to cover the elections.”

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