Strengthening human rights and peace clubs in schools

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With funds from UNDP and Irish Aid, the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRSCL) has concluded a round trip to the North, Northwest, South and Western Rural Districts for the strengthening of existing School Human Rights and Peace Clubs (SHRPC) through refresher training, formation of their executives and helping in drafting of club constitution or bye-laws for effective operations.

Additional ten (10) SHRPCs were established in Karena and Pujehun Districts with each District having 5 new SHRPCs.

The engagements took place from the 18th to the 26th of September in the four regions of the country. The thrust was to strengthen existing Peace Clubs so as to make them effectively functional and then establish new clubs in some of the remaining districts.

A total of 150 (70 Male and 80 Female) participants attended the training which was spearheaded by the Directorates of Education, Communications and Training and Climate Change and Information Services with support from the regional offices in the four regions.

The HRCSL’s vision to extend human rights outreach campaign to schools and establish Human Rights and Peace Clubs hinged on imbibing human rights culture in pupils and make them ambassadors for human rights in their schools, homes and communities. 

Over the years, the Commission has trained about 1,500 pupils and teachers, and has established over sixty-five (65) human rights and peace clubs in several secondary schools across the country with the aim of promoting human rights and building the culture of human rights amongst school going children.

At every location, Commissioners told pupils that the Commission is the lawful body established with the mandate to protect and promote human rights of all in Sierra Leone.

They Commissioners told the school pupils that the Commission believes that engaging them young in their schools will ensure that the culture of human rights becomes imbibed in them growing up, particularly when their brains are young and catching them young is an advantage.

A copy of the Commission’s Guidelines for Human Rights and Peace Clubs in Secondary Schools in Sierra Leone was presented to each school coordinator to guide the activities of the clubs. 

The pupils were trained on the mandate and functions of the Commission, Introduction to the Concept of Human Rights, Peace and Conflict, Establishing a Human Rights and the Peace Club in Schools and Introduction to the Concept of Climate Change, among others. 

The participants promised to work with the guidelines provided for the establishment of the peace clubs and to maintain the clubs in their various schools. They appreciated the Commission for the knowledge gained, saying that the training has changed their mentality with regard to human rights, and called on HRCSL to be organizing such training regularly. 

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