September 4, 2015
Street Child of Sierra Leone (SCoSL), one of the country’s leading child protection organisations, has completed its livelihood support to some three thousand, six hundred and five (3,605) families in vulnerable communities across the country.
The program, which focused on providing relief and education support to children orphaned by the Ebola virus disease outbreak and other vulnerable children across the country, has cost the agency a whopping Le1,296,600,000 (one billion, two hundred and ninety-six million, six hundred thousand Leones).
Speaking during one of SCoSL’s grant distribution programs held in Port Loko, the organisation’s Head of Sustainability, Daniel Y. Kargbo, said they have been providing relief and education support to children who lost their principal breadwinners as a result of the Ebola outbreak in the country. He said the assistance helped to cushion the sufferings of these children and their caregivers at the height of the epidemic.
Mr. Kargbo further pointed out that his organisation has also supported the children with educational materials such as school uniforms, text and note books, pens, pencils, calculators, mathematical sets, and other useful materials.
“Aside providing the children with these items, we also employed close to one hundred staff to undertake our ‘Back-to-School’ campaign. Our staff were scattered all over the country, especially in remote places where the media could not be accessed,” explained Kargbo. “We did all of this with the principal aim of getting the kids back to school, because we in Street Child believe that the rightful place for the child is the school and not the farm or the street. This is one of the basic rights of children.”
Commenting further, the SCoSL Head of Sustainability noted that the focus of every parent being catered for in the project should be sending their children to school and not keeping them at home, in the farm, or sending them to do street trading.
“Every parent is entitled to a grant that will be used to do business. So the money being given to you is not meant to prepare food for your husbands or to buy cloths, but to engage in income generating activities and the profit used to educate your children after Street Child would have stopped supporting you,” admonished Mr. Kargbo.
Street Child’s Head of Communications, Advocacy and Mini Projects, Moses Kamara, assured parents and caregivers that his organisation will assign business officers to guide and advice them as to what business they should engage in that will be viable in their respective communities.
“Beneficiaries will also be introduced to the banking system and encouraged to be saving in the bank. Their savings will also be monitored,” said Mr. Kamara, adding that the social team of Street Child will effectively embark on a monitoring exercise in both the homes and in schools to make sure that the children are well cared for and also in school.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Momoh Kamara, applauded Street Child for what he described as their invaluable intervention to alleviate the plight of Ebola orphans and other vulnerable children in deprived communities.
He encouraged parents to use the money provided to them to engage in income generating activities rather than spending it to buy dress or other unworthy things that might deprive their children from going to school.
Kadiatu Kamara, one of the beneficiary parents, said Street Child has intervened as a responsible father and mother of their children to help salvage their appalling state.
She said they will do their own bit to ensure they keep their children in school.