Sierra Leone’s Asmaa James founder of the Black Tuesday Movement has been listed as BBC 100 Women for 2019. BBC 100 Women is a list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world who are social change makers in the 21st century.
The Indian Government has offered to construct a new Presidential Office complex (State House) for Sierra Leone, to be constructed in Freetown.
This was according to the Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu who was in Freetown past weekend.
In his meeting with His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio at State House, the Indian vice president announced major areas of India’s support to Sierra Leone that will impact economic development in the immediate future.
Commonwealth finance ministers will meet in Washington D.C. tomorrow Thursday, 17 October 2019 to discuss coordinated interventions to prevent future debt crises. Sierra Leone’s representatives are expected to be present.
A team comprising volunteers of the Legal Aid Board Satellite Office, the Approved School Community Advisory Bureau and Councilor of Ward 410 Abu Bakar Sadu Kamara has appealed for the lifting of the suspension on the Bureau.
The outcome of the 2018 presidential polls shocked the All People’s Congress (APC), punctured the nerve and fibre of the Party, causing dissonance and disorientation among its rank and file. The vast majority of the membership and followership have therefore been demanding constitutional reforms and for a new party leadership. While some have been doing so rather quietly; others have been tempestuous, almost contemptuous. The divergence on how the changes should be brought about constitutes one of the few hindrances to the process.
Chairperson, Hon. Ministers, Commissioners, Directors, MDAs present, civil society organizations, development partners, members of the fourth estate, staff of Development Initiative Programme and Child Fund, Distinguished Participants, ladies and gentlemen.
I am delighted to be here today, to participate in the launch of the EU funded project ‘‘Community Empowerment for Prevention of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) for Women and Girls’’.
As EU we take our responsibility to speak up when rights are at stake and we take action when action is due. We want a world where the rights of girls and women are claimed, valued and respected by all, and where everyone can fulfil their potential and contribute to a more fair and just society for all.
What gives you more joy than to observe young girls, in play or in school; young girls who articulate with great fluency the women they want to become; girls with big plans and great dreams; girls who look at the future full of hope and ambition.
And yet we know that much of this hope and ambition will not be fulfilled. Because they are girls.
Does anyone have the right to sit still if we witness that the mere fact of being a girl or a women, puts you in a position of disadvantage? Does anyone really believe that there can be any merit in treating half the population as second class citizens?
Do we really believe in development if that development does not fully embrace women and girls as powerful agents of that development? This is not just about a fundamental human right, it is just as much about harnessing the potential of women and girls. This is what the EU stands for.
Child marriage, teenage pregnancy and female genital mutilation/cutting are intertwined as they are all rooted in the same social and cultural issues: gender inequality, socio-cultural norms, religious interpretation, poverty and lack of access to education and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services.
If a young girl or even a child is forced into marriage or if a teenage girl becomes pregnant we know that their health and education will suffer. But beyond that, when these girls become young women they will miss out on economic opportunities and decision-making in the family and in their communities.
FGM/C can also harm the sexual health and empowerment of young women. That is why child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and female genital mutilation/circumcision (FGM/C) are receiving more attention than ever in recent years.
If we, as responsible partners, as responsible agents of change do not redouble our efforts to reduce child marriage and FGM/C and prevent teenage pregnancy then we will fail in our efforts to realise the Sustainable Development Goals which are driving our shared commitment as partners in development.
In Sierra Leone for instance, the practice of child marriage and female genital mutilation/circumcision are ongoing and teenage pregnancy is prevalent in different towns/districts/regions.
The fact that today more than 10% of women – girls – get married before they reach the age of 15 is staggering. Almost 40% of Sierra Leone's girls are married by the time they are 18. Even with more access to education, young girls continue to be forced into marriage, in rural communities but also in the cities.
Poverty, cultural and religious norms, tradition and are all factors that contribute to this situation. As a result, teenage pregnancy is prevalent, but lack of lack of sexual education, knowledge, power or access to services to avoid an unintended pregnancy are other reasons why there are so many teenage pregnancies in Sierra Leone.
In the worst case, their pregnancy is a result of violence when they are forced to have sex or fall victim to rape. You all can agree with me that teenage pregnancy reduces a girl’s chances in life. Sometimes they stop or are being stopped from going to school or their chances to a full education are cut short.
Under the best of circumstances girls face barriers to move up in society, but teenage girls who become pregnant see their opportunities in life dramatically curtailed. Very often they are at increased risk of child marriage, HIV infections and domestic violence as teenage pregnancy has immediate and long-term impacts on health, education and their economic status.
Maternal mortality in Sierra Leone is amongst the highest in the world and is directly linked to teenage pregnancy. Unsafe abortions, complications during childbirth and premature birth are all contributing factors. The issue of adolescent fertility is important because it is associated with morbidity and mortality for both mother and child.
When a girl becomes pregnant her chances that she will have a miscarriage or that the she will pay the price for this pregnancy with her own life, are considerable higher than for an adult woman. This alone should be a strong enough reason for us to redouble our efforts to change this narrative. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, today we celebrate the International Day of the Girl.
This is the day that, even more than other days, we advocate for the rights of young girls, and that we recognize how girlhood shapes the future of all women in Sierra Leone and globally. We are all aware that Girlhood is a time when young women should be nurturing their skills, pursuing their passions, and building the foundations of their futures.
For far too long in Sierra Leone girls are seen as a burden or a commodity. These mindsets prevent girls from fully participating politically, socially, and economically in their communities and in society at large. And the disadvantages pile on from an early age: in Sierra Leone, though enrolment has gone up, girls are less likely to attend school than their brothers.
It's a bad start. Many girls are not given a chance to equip themselves with the skills to become successful adults. Many girls are not given the tools to give them a chance to move up in life.
And girls who are lucky enough to receive a quality education, will all too often face blatant or hidden obstacles, in the laws or in the minds of people – including women – that will prove a burden to realise their professional ambitions or to become successful entrepreneurs.
Yet we know that societies and economies achieve far better results when they embrace, rather than marginalize, the power of women.
Today, as European Union we are stepping up our engagement to make this a reality. As EU we want every woman, every girl, is empowered to pursue her dreams.
Not only will many of today's girls become tomorrow's leaders; but we want every girl to enjoy the same chances in life as their brothers; we want every girl to have a chance to pursue her dreams no matter how small or big they are. I am therefore very pleased that as EU we can announce our support to Development Initiative Programme and its partner, Child Fund, with a grant amount of 531,000.00 EUR for a period of 24 months, which started in August 2019.
The proposal emerged as one of the selected projects from a call for proposals, successfully competing, in other words, with other good and relevant projects. 3 The project has set itself very ambitious targets; we want to altogether eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2021 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Is it possible? Can we will have to count on the extra-ordinary commitment of all who can make a difference.
The project will also empower women and girls to play a central role in their communities. For that will be equipped with transformational leadership training and new skills. But no one can sit still if we want to achieve and this is why DIP and Child Fund will also improve the capacity of MDAs and CSOs to sustainably manage, coordinate and monitor interventions for the reduction of SGBV, adolescent pregnancy and child marriage.
Overall, I commend the ambition of this project in addressing child marriage, teenage pregnancy and FGM/C. This is not an easy task and we will all need to work tirelessly to encourage transformation through interventions at all levels - structural, cultural and social interventions.
To all duty bearers who are here with us, let me reiterate that we all bear a reasonability to strengthen young people’s capacities – individually, collectively and institutionally. We have to strengthen the capacity of families and communities as they are key to reduce child marriage, teenage pregnancy and FGM/C.
It is our duty to project positive values and attitudes; to demonstrate through what we say and what we do that we are serious when we fight for gender equality at all levels. If we can end child marriage and dramatically reduce teenage pregnancy, Sierra Leone will be a better place.
We trust that Development Initiative Programme and its partner will make good use of the project resources to achieve the results that have been set out. We all have the responsibility to make sure that resources are used efficiently and bring about value for money in a transparent and accountable manner – at the service of the people and always in the interest of the vulnerable and marginalised women and girls who are at the centre of this programme.
It is now my pleasure to officially launch this project and on behalf of the EU, I wish you every success. Thank you.
If someone or an organization should consider you for an award today, what prize can you win? Be honest to yourself! Would you be qualified for the best liar, best unreliable person, best hypocrite or best selfish individual award? Or would you win the best unfaithful spouse award?
If you are a Sierra Leonean, would you be the favourite to win the “best ‘mass mass/mogofei’ (underserved tips) recipient” award? Or would you merit the “best bad heart” or “best brown envelope receiver” award? And if you are a teacher recruited to be an invigilator but was passionately cheating during the recent private West African Senior School Certificate Examination, would you win the “best Spy Johnson or best cheat” award?
That moment: 2 Statesmen met to discuss national cohesion and more
To show commitment on his part to uphold peace, good governance, national cohesion, rule of law, human rights, the economy and state security, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has convened a meeting of a Ten-Man Bipartisan Committee at the Office of the Vice President at 4:00pm today 15th October, 2019.
Cuban Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Felix Raul Rojas Cruz yesterday 14th October, 2019 played host to top representatives from the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors at his Juba Hills residence in Freetown.
President Bio and Vice President Naidu at State House
Honourable Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, has disclosed that the agreement with Export–Import Bank of India would, therefore, open a credit line of US$30million to support Sierra Leone with a major irrigation development project, boost agricultural productivity at the Tomabom rice project and eventually achieve food self-sufficiency.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai Kai has observed that children always look forward to the free food provided in schools, especially in the rural areas that need not be overstated, that education is government’s flagship program in its Medium-Term National Development Plan, that he is extremely delighted for the Japanese food aid that would contribute immensely to human capital development and underlined the need for the country not to depend solely only on its natural resources stating, “this is the premise.”
The Executive Chairman Cape Lambert, Tony Sage has said the company is now focused on the development of the Marampa Project to bring it to its long-awaited production for the benefit of its shareholders as well as the people of Sierra Leone. See project update below:
As long as Colin Kaepernick doesn’t have a job and social injustice exists, athletes will be inspired to use their platforms to raise their voices.
Monday night in the NFL was all about Drew Brees‘ record-setting statement on the field.
In the victorious locker room, running back Alvin Kamara had his own powerful message.
Alvin Kamara takes on Trump, props up Kaepernick
The New Orleans Saints running back stepped out for interviews after a win over the Washington Redskins wearing a San Francisco 49ers jersey and a hat reading “Make Africa Home Again,” posing for an image shared by The New Orleans Times Picayune’s Josh Katzenstein.
Why the 49ers jersey? It was a Colin Kaepernick jersey, of course.
In a season where sideline protests of social injustice during the national anthem have been fewer alongside dampened controversy over the subject, Kamara’s is one of the most powerful statements yet.
Kamara’s statement follows Eric Reid’s
It comes on the same week that Eric Reid returned to the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and took a knee during the anthem. Reid was a teammate of Kaepernick’s in San Francisco and the first player to join his quarterback in kneeling during the anthem.
A 26-year-old safety who started 69 of his 70 career games with the 49ers, Reid had trouble finding a job in the wake of the anthem controversy.
About that hat
Kamara’s bright red hat obviously wasn’t just to match his jersey, but to take on the “Make America Great Again” hats popular among supporters of President Donald Trump.
Trump has bullied protesting players and pressured owners to punish those who kneel, famously urging owners to “get that son of a bitch off the field.”
Issues haven’t disappeared with exciting NFL start
While the storylines of the NFL so far this season have centered around officiating controversies and soaring offenses, the underlying issues surrounding the social justice protests are still teeming.
Kamara’s post-game attire Monday is a stark reminder that those issues that sparked Kaepernick to kneel in the first place haven’t gone away just because the NFL season is off to an exciting start.
As long as Trump is still president, Kaepernick doesn’t have a job and social injustice exists in the United States, athletes will be inspired to use their platforms to raise their voices.
Jason Owens is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter.
Sexual Violence has been an incessant problem affecting Sierra Leone and the rest of the world. It is commonly perceived as any sexual act or attempt to have an intimate act by violence or coercion. It is also considered as an act which traffics a person’s comfort by throwing a direct assault against an individual’s sexuality.
Example of some of these attitudes can be rape, smacking, forced abortion, sexual slavery, forced marriage, unwanted touching of the breast and other parts of an individual.
Undoubtedly, sexual violence has become common today, and it is extensively spreading at a swift pace. Sexual violence is deemed as one of the most excruciating, pervasive, and most common human rights violations.
Evidently, the majority of victims of sexual violence are women, more specifically young girls. There are trends of serious reported cases of sexual violence nationwide, and it is becoming too common every day. Looking into sexual violence cases in Sierra Leone, for example, 2018/19 data portrayed a hike in the number of such cases in every part of the country with Kenema and Kono districts recording the highest according to news reports.
On the 22nd of March 2019, in a remote area in the eastern district of Kono, an unfortunate report mentioned the death of a 12-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped. This news was published both local and international news headlines. Allegedly, police report implicated a 56-year-old man as the perpetrator of such a gruesome act.
Obviously, the aforementioned occurrence has marked serious many questions of the security of our women and girls today. It literally positioned our society as unsafe for women and girls.
Undoubtedly, though the acts of sexual violence have been persistent, yet, the government and non-governmental entities are striving in various ways to combat the “pandemic” that carries so many negative ramifications on our society. The fight was intensified by the launch of the Hands Off Our Girls Campaign by Her Excellency Mrs Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Followed next by Black Tuesday Campaign, actions from Family Support Unit of the Sierra Leone Police In and a declaration of rape as a national emergency by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.
This and many more cases have signified the ill effect of sexual violence, which has been used as a weapon by perpetrators to demean and humiliate women.
As a feminist writer, I strongly condemn the act of sexual violence and seek to promote the rights of women in Sierra Leone and beyond. I encourage everyone to frown at such barbaric acts that have succeeded to barter, demean and cause unending suffering on millions of women and girls nationwide.
Women and girls are strong, intelligent, and adorable partners to national growth. Therefore, women must be cared for with respect and dignity and must be granted a good quality education. Women are the backbone for development and change. I invite all Sierra Leoneans and the world at large to discourage all forms of discriminations and gender inequalities against women to achieve a fair gender-just world where women can be themselves and valued in the scale.
Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh past Saturday 12th October, 2019 welcomed to the shores of Sierra Leone the Vice President of India Dr. M'Venkaiah Naidu and entourage.
Dr. Mohamed C. Kamanda, Secretary General- SLNatCom for UNESCO
Sierra Leone National Commission for the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (SLNatCom for UNESCO), over the weekend concluded a one-day workshop for Teacher Coordinators of UNESCO School Clubs.
The event held at the UNESCO, NCTVA Building on AJ Momoh Street in Freetown, attracted School Teachers drawn from several leading schools across the country.
Former Mines Minister who also doubled as the Chairman of the Sierra Leone Hajj Committee and the former Minister of State in the Vice President's office were on Friday, 11th October, 2019 acquitted and discharged in the Hajj case filed against them by the Anti Corruptions Commission in July 2018.
Serabu in Bumpeh Gao chiefdom in Bo district experienced International Day of The Girl Child 2019 as a bait, educational and motivational tool that can be used to create a child friendly environment in the chiefdom.
11 October every year is globally celebrated as International Day of the Girl Child as declared by United Nations in 2012.
The West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Zone A confirmed, after its extraordinary general assembly on 12th October 2019 in Dakar, the holding of the first women's football tournament in December this year in Bo and Makeni cities in Sierra Leone.
One of Sierra Leone’s hit R&B star, Neisin I. Kargbo, aka Markmuday is all set to rock the people of Sierra Leone and beyond with his live concert dubbed: “Thank You Sir” to be held at the Kallon Car Park on Lumley Beach Road in Freetown on 20th December, 2019.
Sierra Leone is a nation that has a lot of talented citizens based abroad and Supa Saa is an example of that. He is working ever so hard to put Sierra Leone music worldwide and he is proud of the rich culture of our sweet mama Salone as he exhibit that in most of his music videos