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22,Aug 2016
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In a bid to ensure that transparency and accountability are at the core of the implementation of the Social Safety Net (SSN) project funded by the World Bank and UNICEF, the  Public Education and Outreach Department of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Wednesday concluded sensitization of beneficiaries in Kowa and Timindale Chiefdoms in the Moyamba District. The town hall meetings which were held at the community centres of Njama Quee and Gondama attracted stakeholders and beneficiaries from the fourteen (14) communities benefiting from the SSN project.


Speaking at the engagements, the Deputy Director, Public Education and Outreach, Patrick Sandi, said the Commission remains very crucial in the SSN project and so far the project has recorded remarkable gains which makes him describe the SSN project as a huge success. Mr. Sandi also stated that, the beneficiaries have been able to utilize the funds for the intended purposes, bringing about a positive change in their life styles. He maintained that the meeting was to further empower beneficiaries on their rights and responsibilities and to also update them on the positive interventions made by the Commission for a successful project implementation. 

The Deputy Director implored community stakeholders to support the process as the project goal is to improve the livelihoods of extremely poor and vulnerable people. "This project is not exclusively for the old or aged as perceived by many, but for those who live in extreme poverty and are vulnerable, no matter the age bracket," he added.

Addressing his audience, Public Education Officer Magnus Bendu emphasized that reporting is key to fighting corruption. He stated that the focus of the grievance redress component of the project handled by the ACC  is not prosecution, but resolutions and administrative actions. However, he noted, when there are incidences of  suspected corruption they would be treated seriously by the Commission. He shared with his listeners the free hotline numbers for reporting to the ACC and assured them of their protection as provided in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.  

Earlier, at Njama Quee, the chiefdom speaker Alfred G. Fanawo and the Town Chief Gondama, Sorba Tham heaped praises on the ACC for the good work in addressing corruption in Sierra Leone and also its strategic role in the SSN project. Speaker Fanawo and Chief Tham disclosed that the SSN project has contributed greatly to the facelifting of their chiefdoms; with beneficiaries replacing their thatch houses with corrugated iron sheets, parents bold enough to send their children to schools, take them to clinics/health centres for medical attention, because they could meet the costs, and tranquility in homes as food can be provided for members of the household to eat. 

The engagements were chaired by the Public Education Officer, Joseph M. Hazeley, who stressed that the Commission was poised at making sure that the social and economic needs of people in rural communities are met.

Similar sensitization campaigns will be held in the remaining three project implementation districts; Bombali, Kono, and Western Rural.

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