Sierra Leone: Miss University Feeds 35 Street Kids

Sierra Leone: Miss University Feeds 35 Street Kids
Concord Times (Freetown)

11 April 2008

Ben Samuel Turay

Miss University Thursday fed 35 street kids at Aries International Restaurant on Lightfoot Boston Street.

Khadija Sall said street children are hungry, hardly found something to eat and are not educated. She said the situation of the children saddened her and that prompted her feeding the kids.

"I organized this charity because it is my plan to help street kids in the country, and I want to pledge my continued support to more deprived children," she said.

Sall said she has written letters to various companies to help her address the needs of street children.

She expressed her intention to start visiting the homes and families of the children to acquire knowledge about problems affecting them.

Proprietress of Aries International Abibatu Sesay said she is very impressed to see a young girl like Sall express interest to address the needs of children. She said if every Sierra Leonean could express similar interest towards disadvantaged children, it will be good for the country.

Beneficiary, 15 year-old Mohamed Kamara said the food he had was his first food he had eaten since the start of the day. He said he has never been to school because his parents are poor.

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C.C. Y. O vows to help street children in Sierra Leone.

 C.C. Y. O vows to help street children in Sierra Leone.
By Bampia J. Bundu
Jan 10, 2008, 17:15

The Concern for Children and Youth Organization (CCYO) on Monday 7th January 2008 vowed to guarantee help to street children to achieve a brighter and sustainable future.

Speaking at a press conference held by CCYO, the programme director Mr. George Freeman stated that Concern for Children and Youth Organisation is a non-government and non-profit making organization which was established on the 24th May 2006 by him and other young, talented youths.

The founding director noted that their vision and mission were to create positive change in the quest for sustainable development and to enhance and improve the lives of children and youths for a brighter and sustainable future.

Mr. Freeman further stated that children and youths have become the prey of drug barons, human traffickers and prime targets for prostitution due to poverty.

To a large extent youths and children were the unwitting perpetrators and victims of the ten-year war the nation endured just five years back, and their continued plight has the potential to make this nation implode. Mr. Freeman noted.

He also stated that some of the street children are being treated callously be society in a manner the civilize world would frown at.

Thousands of them need protection which has not been forthcoming and such protection is necessary as many of them were orphaned as a result of the war.

Director Freeman also said that their organization is poised to help government’s effort to enhance the lives of children in pursuit of a better and brighter future.

In his own contribution the director of Amnesty International, Mr. Brima A. Sheriff stated that their organisation has been working side by side with the CCYO and that their collaboration over the years has been fruitfully in their combined effort to salvage street children nationwide.

Another contributor, the PRO of CCYO Mr. Mamadu emphasized the relentless efforts of the CCYO in pursuing, identifying and bringing street children and youths on board their programme in order to rescue them from their plight.

He intimated further that they intend to submit a report of their activities to the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs as well as the youth department of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

Sierra Leone: Street Children Risk Exploitation

Sierra Leone: Street Children Risk Exploitation
Concord Times (Freetown)

8 January 2008
Posted to the web 14 January 2008

Ibrahim Tarawallie
Freetown

A child right organization in Freetown Monday revealed that hundreds of street children are at risk of being exploited and abused in a country where there is increased illiteracy rate.

Director of Concern for Children and Youth Organization (CCYO) Sierra Leone, George Freeman told journalists in Freetown that children and teens have become victims of drug industrialists, human traffickers and prostitutes due to poverty and lack of family support.

He said: "The ten year rebel war, to a large extent, created the hazard that has today become a stigma in our society," adding, "the vulnerability of street children in the country has led to the spate of violations in all facets of society." Freeman said thousands of street children need protection and care but these are not forthcoming.

He observed: "If we are to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, children must be educated as they are the greatest investment that will enhance the socio-economic status of Sierra Leone." Director of Amnesty International, Brima A. Sheriff said the problems faced by children in the street must be treated with urgency.

He said government needs to know that there are lots of children who are suffering in the street and they should be taken care of.

Memunatu Turay, who has been in the street for two years, said she was residing with her uncle at Allen Town but his uncle was not treating her fairly.

"I was left frustrated because my uncle’s children were going to school and having other facilities while I was sitting at home. I have now decided to stay in the street where I am more peaceful," she claimed.

Help planned for street kids in Sierra Leone

Help planned for street kids in Sierra Leone

News – National
Monday, 19 November 2007

Saturday 17 November saw a colourful ceremony take place at the Sierra Leone Scouts training camp in Grafton, on the occasion of the opening of the new site for the St. George Foundation, a leading organisation providing shelter to street children in Freetown.

 

The St. George Foundation is a local non-government organisation, which has helped take over 300 children off the streets of Freetown, successfully reunifying them with their families and ensuring their full-time education.

 

The partnership between the two organisations was struck when St. George Foundation, realizing it had outgrown the accommodation, which housed the 60 children under its care, approached the Scouts Association to share their land. With the support of the scouts and UK-based charity Mission Direct, the derelict site was redeveloped and the children’s accommodation constructed.

 

Speaking at the ceremony the Co-founder of the organisation, Philip Dean stated, ‘the
St. George Foundation and the scouts share a common interest – both are dedicated to building the futures of the children of Sierra Leone. We look forward to sharing this land for the next ten years for the betterment of both of our organisations and for the children of this country.’

 

The organisation’s outgrown accommodation in Wellington, Eastern Freetown has been
re-commissioned as a Computer Training Centre for use by the children, and children of partner organisations GOAL Ireland, Alton Hope School and Don Bosco.

 

The St. George Foundation is currently seeking funding for the completion of the new site, in particular the construction of additional rooms, an office and vegetable garden.

 

The ceremony also saw the donation of five Mitsubishi overland vehicles worth US$100,000 from the people of Hull City in England. The ‘Hull Freedom Trail’ expedition saw 25 Hull residents travel overland for 21 days driving from England to Sierra Leone, to donate five vehicles to Sierra Leone children’s charities. One vehicle was presented to the St. George Foundation and the other four were given to HANCI, AMNET and PRIMED. The Mayor of Freetown, Winstanley Bankole Johnson, was present at the ceremony to hand over the keys to the organisations. Press release provided by the UNDP

Youth Organization Promotes Street children in Sierra Leone

 Youth Organization Promotes Street children in Sierra Leone
By Aruna Turay
Sep 13, 2007, 14:38     

Peer Group Movement for Better Future (PMBF),a youth organization based in Lumley in the West End of Freetown on Monday 10th September 2007 donated used clothing, food items, shoes and other basic necessities worth about Le.764,000 to over fifty street children in a campaign dubbed ‘Promotion for street children’. These children were primarily targeted because of their deplorable living conditions as most of them have no fixed abode in addition to the complete lack of parental care. All the beneficiaries are said to be eking out their living in market places in the Lumley, Goderich, Malama and Aberdeen communities respectively.

According to the chairman of the Organization, Mr. Sallieu Kamara, they took up this venture after taking thorough view of the contents of the just enacted Child Rights Act as they concluded that being the most precious natural resources, children should not be left out. "As the PMDF is looking forward to seeing a well structured Sierra Leone, we can not sit idly by to see them living in miserable conditions. It is this that has . Prompted our action by independently raising funds through our member’s monthly subscriptions and individual donations to undertake this philanthropic gesture," the chairman said.

Also speaking to this press, the Public Relation Officers, Mr. Foday Fowai noted that their campaign is not only going to be limited to the street children in Freetown, but have intentions of extending it to all the other three regions in the country. He said their target is to meet the needs of about six hundred street children nationwide; and that they also embark on film shows and other children’s games to make them have some sense of belonging in society.

He took the opportunity to appeal to Donor Agencies and Non Governmental Organizations that seek the interest of children to come to their aid by means of making funds available to them to make their campaign a success.

In expressing thanks and appreciation, one of the beneficiaries, Komba Kelley, said he is thankful to PMBF for affording him those needed items which will greatly improve his condition. Asked by our reporter why he decided to stay in the streets, he had this to say: "I lost my father during the war and my mother is so sick that she can not support me now. She is staying with her friend in a single room which can not accommodate all of us. So I have nobody to care for me that is why I decided to fend for myself in the streets." He however, said that he wants to go to school if he has the support as he wants to become a medical doctor in future to help his ailing mother.

Church team flies out to help Sierra Leone‚Äôs street kids

Church team flies out to help Sierra Leone’s street kids

A grandmother and three teenage girls from a Surrey church are among a team of eight who will be giving up their Christmas comforts to help street children in Sierra Leone.

Graham and Ruth Seldon, John Mills and his daughter Catherine, Peter Horder and his daughter Louise, Rebecca Meech and Laurence Brooks (right) from St Wilfrid’s Church, Horley will be joining four others from Mission Direct and St George’s Foundation who have long-term project links with street children in the West African country.

The team will be flying out on December 18 for 12 days to help build accommodation so that every year 100 children can be taken off the streets to receive medical attention and counselling and re-enter education.

An estimated 3,000 children live on the streets of the capital, Freetown with twice as many boys as girls. The St George’s Foundation focuses on the under-14s who are most vulnerable and have been orphaned as a result of the brutal civil war. Many have been abandoned after being used as young soldiers in the rebel army.

For more information write to: St Wilfrid’s Church (Sierra Leone), Horley Row, Horley, Surrey RH6 8DF.

AYPAD to reform street kids in Sierra Leone

AYPAD to reform street kids in Sierra Leone
By Sama Garrick
Nov 15, 2006, 17:07


A local youth organization, Africa Youths for Peace and Development (AYPAD), last Saturday, 12th November, organized a day’s forum for street kids at the Victoria Park, in Freetown. The forum, which was organized in collaboration with an international organization called ‘Taking It Global (TIG),’ was aimed at strategizing possible ways of reforming street children and youths in the country.

Street Child narrating his ordeal

In his opening remarks, Chairman of AYPAD, Abdul Aziz Conteh, who also chaired the occasion, intimated his audience about the aims and objectives their organization, one of which, he said, was working to reform street children and youths. "We are in constant contact with the youth and children on the streets, in order to be able to know what their constraints are, and to see how best we can cheep in to assist," the Chairman stated.

Cross section of AYPAD members

In his statement, the Project Coordinator, Salifu Bangura, said among other things, that though the Child Right Act was enacted since 1992, very little has been done to address child rights violation in the country. "The number of youths and children in the street increases everyday," Bangura said.

Mr. Ibrahim Bakarr Kamara, pledging his support

He further went on to appeal to the Government, as well as NGOs and donor agencies to be more proactive in addressing the needs of the youth and children in the streets.

The High Table, (L-R) Abdul Deensee, Sec. Gen, Mohamed Sankoh, PRO,Abdul Aziz Conteh, Chairman and Salifu Bangura, Project Director

The Program Coordinator also urged NGOs working with children to ensure that funds received for the welfare of children are used for their intended purposes.

Cross section of street children at the forum

Speaking on behalf of the street children, 12-year old, shabby-looking Francis Amara narrated a tragic story that led him to take to the streets. According to Francis, he has been living in the street for the past three years, after he left his poor parents in Guinea in search of fortune in Sierra Leone. "My only source of livelihood is sweeping, toting and doing other odd jobs," Francis informed the gathering. Other street kids also took turns in explaining circumstances that led them to the streets.

Project Director, Salifu Bangura, making a statement

Having listened to the plight of children, participants brainstormed on the strategies to be put in place in order to tackle the issue. At the end of the discussion, it was agreed , among other thing, that a coalition of youth groups present at the forum be formed to work with other child-rights organizations in a bid to address the welfare of this targeted group.

Chairman Abdul Aziz Conteh, welcoming participants

In his contribution, a friend of AYPAD, Ibrahim Bakarr Kamara, who has been very much supportive of such programmes, pledged his continued support to the organization.

Speaking to Awareness Times shortly after the programme, Kamara intimated that he has been in the United States all this while. "I returned home in January this year to see what contributions I can offer to my country," he said, adding that he received a letter from the organistion a couple of weeks ago, asking him for support. "I went through all their documents attached and I discovered that it was a sober organization and got interested in them right away. That was how I became a friend of the organization and that was how I came in to assist them in organizing this all important event," he said.

Ibrahim Kamara is businessman who is also deeply involved in youth activities. He holds a BSc. degree in Economics and a Masters in Public Administration from the Baltimore University in Maryland, USA.

Also
present at the forum were the Public Relations Officer of AYPAD, Abdul Deensee and the Secretary General, Mohamed Sankoh, among others.

AYPAD is a member of Taking It Global (TIG), an international organization developed within the context of several emerging trends; from the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, to the emerging crisis of global warming, to the threat of terrorism or the specter of war. TIG is encouraging its members all over the world, including AYPAD, to run an open-space forum in their communities.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.