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PERSPECTIVE

Teenage Prostitution And The Future Of Female Adolescent In Sierra Leone- The Don Bosco Fambul Perspective

June 12, 2020

By Don Bosco PR Department

Sierra Leone has a large number of adolescents living and making a living in the streets, mainly prostitution, especially in the capital Freetown and districts headquarters. This menace has been attributed to economic factors. These girls unfortunately are exposure to all forms of risks including contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs). The result is the proliferation of prostitution among the adolescent prostitutes.  

Those in brothels, nightclubs, beaches, street walkers, floating prostitutes as well as trafficked adolescent girls across international borders with the false promise of foreign employment have suffered all sorts of torture including physical and psychological. The causes of adolescent prostitution in Sierra Leone are largely economic, sociological and socioeconomic factors.

Prostitution contributes to the objectification of women. Paying to have sex with a woman does not erase the qualification of what we consider sexual violence, domestic violence and rape and people who pay for sex tend to think that what they are doing is acceptable. Sexual violence and physical assault are the norm for women in prostitution in present day Sierra Leone.  

Don Bosco Fambul, a Catholic base organization working with street kids, young adult girls who are into situations of prostitution, has adopted a two-dimensional approach to address the menace of adolescent prostitution. Don Bosco adopted the psychosocial approach where social workers conduct counselling sessions and rehabilitation and the self-reliant approach where after counselling the girls will be placed into technical or vocational institutions to acquire skills that will make them self-reliant. After completion of the skills training which last for about two years, Don Bosco Fambul do provide start-up kits for the girls in a move for them not to revert to their old attitude of prostitution.  The effects of prostitution are psychological reactions, psychosocial damage and the political implication and mares image of the nation. Sierra Leone is   a source and destination for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Sex trafficking victims mostly originates from the rural provinces and are recruited to urban areas and sometimes mining settlement purposely for exploitation. Sex trafficking often occurs in beaches and nightclubs. Sex trafficking victims are also exploited in fishing settlement and subjected to sex trafficking through customary practices such as forced marriage. Don Bosco is trying to discourage that societal menace    

 Don Bosco’s approach to combat adolescent prostitution is premised on awareness raising programmes, community engagement and one to one between social workers and beneficiaries through the Hope Plus and Girls’ Shelters departments. The Hope Plus department is responsible to place the young girls to vocational training centres and find job placement for them after completion of their courses especially those offering catering. The Hope Plus Department also cater for girls who wants to pursue formal education. The department is paying external fees, extra lesson and university fees where the beneficiary got university requirement and admitted to same. 

 Don Bosco Fambul has instituted litigations against perpetrators of sexual penetration, unlawful canal knowledge and domestic violence over the years and they have recorded many success stories.  The institution has succeeded in changing the lives and stories of young adult girls transform them to useful citizens contributing to the socioeconomic development of Sierra Leone.  Don Bosco also caters for female inmate in Prison. The institution pays the fines of female inmates with minor offences and secures their freedom. They help most of the release inmates with seed money to start small scale business and sometime provide start up kits for those who are trained in skilled jobs like hair dressing and tailoring. 

Don Bosco Fambul has contributed significantly to the human capital development of Sierra Leone and it has secured acreages of land at the Freetown peninsula, along the Waterloo-Tombo highway where it has constructed ultra-modern edifices hosting beneficiaries  

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