June 17, 2015 By Victoria Saffa
Women against Inhumanities Sierra Leone (WAI-SL) yesterday supported approximately twenty school children with learning materials and also provided food and drinks for them as part of celebrations to mark June 16, Day of the African Child.
National Coordinator, Michaella Sallu, said they commemorate the historic day each year with school going children from various schools, adding that in 2012 they went on an excursion tour of the Freetown Peninsula to show the children historic places about ‘Mama Salone’.
Ms. Sallu said they had facilitated a scholarship scheme for children, supported by adoptive foreign partners, as well as donated food items to orphanages and widows. She revealed that as part of their contribution to the current fight against Ebola, they had sensitised communities, and in collaboration with Reflex Media created a short skit on Ebola which has been aired by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation.
She noted that in spite of the Ebola menace, Sierra Leonean children have soldiered on, as they desire to go to school and crave for better life during post-Ebola, adding that they are the future of Sierra Leone.
Giving a background to the budding women’s rights organization, she said: “I started this women’s programme officially in 2011, just after I finished college in 2010. By then I was working at We Own TV media centre and it used to be called Women’s Voices Initiative, before it was renamed Women against Inhumanities Sierra Leone (WAI-SL).”
Director of Gender Affairs at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Charles Vandi, thanked WAI-SL for their relentless effort in supporting children and girls’ empowerment, noting that government was desirous of ending child marriage in the country as many girls have dropped out of school as a result of teenage pregnancy.
Mr. Vandi urged school girls not to use poverty as an excuse to destroy their future, stating that government was working on a post-Ebola plan that would target all Ebola affected children.
One of the beneficiaries, Mariama R. Bangura, thanked WAI-SL for the support and ensuring their Day of the Africa Child celebration was a success.