MELSS concludes needs assessment, consultative engagement for development of national volunteering policy

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The Ministry of Employment, Labour and Social Security, with support from Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Sierra Leone, has concluded a regional stakeholder needs assessment and consultative engagement for the development of a Volunteering Policy for Sierra Leone.

Stakeholders (volunteers and volunteer-involving-organizations) from around the country met in the regional headquarter cities of Kenema, Bo, Makeni, Portloko and Freetown to assess the need for a National Volunteering Policy, and identify key components of the Policy Document.

This is the first time that Sierra Leone will have a Policy on Volunteerism and it is hoped that the document will support the role of volunteers and volunteer-involving-organizations towards national development.

In Port Loko on Thursday, VSO’s Project Assistant, Mr. Alusine Kargbo, expressed delight at being part of the process to formulate a Volunteering Policy for Sierra Leone.

Noting that volunteers are most times unfairly treated at workplaces, Mr. Kargbo noted that there could not have been a better time than now for the country to have a Policy guiding volunteerism and protecting the rights of volunteers.

“If we do not have this Policy now we will miss the way,” he had said.

The North-West Regional Secretary of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, Mr. Mohamed Sesay, who also spoke in Port Loko, applauded the Ministry’s strides to formulate a policy on volunteerism.

He noted that sometimes it is difficult to get jobs without volunteering first to gain knowledge and experience.

He also noted that the Policy is timely and will go a long way in addressing issues in volunteerism.

“Most of us have been volunteers before and we know what it means in some organizations. If the Government wants to do something now to protect volunteers, we should applaud and support the move,” Mr. Sesay stated.

Next steps in the development of the Policy include a working group meeting of the Technical Team to draft the Policy and subsequent validation.

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