The Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sierra Leone, Ekundayo Thompson in his keynote address spoke on the theme “new dynamism and the concept of inter nationalization”
He said that he just returned from a program where they bade farewell to twenty students of the Confucius institute who are proceeding to China for the Winter Camp Program. He pointed out that the VOC building is part of the infrastructural projects of the University of Sierra Leone and that there are projects all over the place.
He charged that journalists are important to enhancing world peace and that the media is the factor for national and international security. He encourages the media to right the wrongs and not to write the wrongs.
The Chairman, Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG) Mr. Ransford Wright in his statement said the MRCG is committed to working with the Mass Communication Department of Fourah Bay College, considering the fact that the Mass Communication Department is also part of the MRCG that are working together to ensure that they strengthen professionalism in journalism.
He said in strengthening professionalism, one of the focus is to ensure that the source from which the professionals develop is supported and that the mass communication department is the factory where professionals within the media industry are manufactured and that as a result of that there is every need for every effort to ensure the factory functions to the best of its ability in order to produce quality products.
He added that it is a shame for mass communication students to leave the university without interacting with technology itself. MRCG through the support of UNDP has been able to donate some equipment to the mass communication department to enable students take classes in smart classrooms.
During the opening of the building, the Acting Director, Alumni and International Relations, Mrs. Bernadette Cole gave an overview of the VOC (voice of children) Building project. She said the Voice of Children Program was launched by UN radio with support from UNICEF in 2003, and that the project derived its relevance from one of the principal rights enshrined in the convention of the rights of the child; children’s right to express their views freely and have those views given due consideration in all aspects of planning and execution of programs and projects aimed at the wellbeing and development of children.
She added that VOC became the first post conflict radio program of its kind that helped not only in trauma healing of thousands of children who were abused during the war, but also assisted the government, supported by the international community to develop projects and programs to address the needs of children in post conflict Sierra Leone.
Mrs. Bernadette Cole, who is the brain behind the whole project, said she feels fulfilled to see that her dream of opening the VOC building has finally come to past.