April 28, 2016 By Memunatu Bangura
Save the Children Tuesday, 26 April launched the ‘Every Last Child’ campaignat the Miatta Conference Centre in Freetown.
The campaign, which aims supporting less privileged and teenage girls who become pregnant befor age 18, has a life span of three years.
Country Director of Save the Children Sierra Leone, Isaac Ooko,said at the launch that almost 40 percent of adults worldwide were discriminated against as children, either as a result of their gender, ethnicity or religion, disability or simply because of where they lived.
According to him, a new global survey in eighteen countries on discrimination by Save the Children has revealed that those polled in Africa reported the highest level of discrimination in their childhood.
Mr Ooko further stated that, globally, 16,000 children die each year from preventable causes, while a disproportionate number are excluded from society, adding that discrimination was rife.
He said that it was not by accident that discrimination prevents some of the most vulnerable children from accessing life saving services, adding that these children are being systematically left out by design or neglect.
He further explained that Save the Children launched the ‘Every Last Child’ campaign to ensure that 15 million children have equal opportunity to survive and benefit from access to healthcare, education and nutrition regardless of who they are and where they live.
He disclosed that during the Ebola outbreak, 14,000 teenage girls became pregnant in Sierra Leone, which represents the highest number of teenage pregnancy rate in the country.
He said the campaign focuses on child mothers as there pregnancy is often as a result of sexual violence, lack of awareness and access to basic sexual and reproductive health and early marriage.
He pleaded with decision makers at the household, local, national and international levels to remove barriers that prevent the poorest children from accessing life saving services.
Director of Advocacy and Communication, Kadi Jumu-Peters said the ‘Every Last Child’ campaign was launched globally in eighty countries around the world and every district in the country.
She said that child mothers around the world face different challenges and discrimination, as she called on the government to invest more money in children as they are the future leaders.
Ms Jumu-Peters said the campaign would ensure that no child is left out in the process, as she assured of their commitment to the three guarantees to the girl child in Sierra Leone – fair finance, equal treatment and accountability.
She maintained it was high time children were included in decision-making in the country.