Child protection and collaboration between families and institutions are the basic points of the project HOME – Ghana, IvOry Coast, Sierra Leone: a network to welcoME and educate vulnerable children” was launched."HOME - Ghana, IvOry Coast, Sierra Leone: a network for the reception and education of vulnerable minors", which was officially approved at the end of January in Sierra Leone.
The launch event, was organized at the Western Area Rural District Council hall and chaired by Mr. Yillah - deputy chief administrator of WAR DC.
Several ministerial and district representatives have participated, members of the High Table and experts in the field of education and protection of minors.
On this occasion, in addition to presenting the project to the councillors, public officials of the WAR District and the Ministry at a regional level, the agreement between AVSI and the District Council was signed.
This pact stressed the importance of having institutions ensure a stronger participation and responsibility in child protection and abandonment prevention in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Kabbakeh, director of the Ministry del Social Welfare at district level, highlighted that the council needs to start working straight away to reach this goal and to collaborate synergically with AVSI. He also thanked AVSI for its actions in this area of the country, which is affected by cumbersome issues and where cases of abandonment or trafficking of minors are growing and growing.
The joint work of the council with AVSI is, in fact, a point that all the members of the High Table have underlined.
Mr. Sinnah - chief director of Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs - stated that "at the end of this project, the district council will have the necessary skills to work autonomously on matters of child protection. For this reason, the signature of this agreement is a great opportunity for the future, that we now must take.”
The event was also attended by Mr. Raman Tom Farmar - chief administrator of the Western Area Rural District Council - and Mr. Massally - director NGO Affairs of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development. The latter recalled the presence of AVSI in the territory during numerous difficult moments: the civil war, the Ebola epidemic and finally the Covid-19 pandemic.
Acting in collaboration with the Ministries at both national and district level is "one the necessary steps to make children protagonist of their own integral development", declared Gianni Bagaglia - country representative of AVSI Foundation in Sierra Leone.
HOME is a multi-country project implemented in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone in partnership with international organizations (Ai.Bi., Amici Missioni Indiane, VIS – Volontariato internazionale per lo sviluppo), local organizations (Family Homes Movement, Istituto OSU Children’s Home, Child Protection Centre – Don Bosco) and the public authorities of the three countries.
The aim of the project - funded by the Italian Commission for Intercountry Adoption (CAI) - is to contribute to the strengthening of public and private actors involved in pursuing child's wellbeing and in preventing abandonment.
In particular, in Sierra Leone AVSI will deliver training on child protection for institutional actors and supply them with technical resources. Most of the project actions will be carried out with foster families, orphanages, and teachers to empower them with improved child protection skills. Furthermore, a joint working group of institutional operators, social services, welcoming families, institutes will be created, and awareness-raising messages on child protection will be spread.