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AVSI Foundation, Ward-C Sign Agreement

HomeNewsBreaking NewsAVSI Foundation, Ward-C Sign Agreement

AVSI Foundation, Ward-C Sign Agreement

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By Victor Sawyerr

A very important project which seeks to protect vulnerable children has been launched at the Hall of the Western Area Rural District Council, WARD-C at Waterloo.

“HOME- Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, a network to welcome and educate vulnerable minors” project – approved with resolution no. 5 of 13th January 2021 by Italian Committee for International Adoption (CAI), was finally launched and the Agreement between AVSI Foundation and the Western Area Rural District Council signed.   

HOME is a multi-country project implemented in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. The Aim of the project is to contribute to the strengthening of public and private actors involved in pursuing children’s wellbeing and in preventing abandonment. 

In Sierra Leone in particular, AVSI will deliver training on child protection for institutional actors and supply them with technical resources. A great part of the project will be done with welcoming families, orphanages, and teachers to empower them with improved child protection skills. Finally, a joint working group between institutional operators, social services, welcoming families, institutes will be created, and awareness raising messages on child protection with a particular focus on prevention and referral measures will be disseminated. 

The launch event which was chaired by the Deputy Chief Administrator of WARD- C, Mr. Yillah, was well attended by host of dignitaries which included Raman Tom Farmer, Chief Administrator Western Area Rural District Council, Noah Kabbakeh,  Director of Ministry of Social Welfare at District level, Sunday Sinnah, Chief Director of Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Eric Masally, Director NGO Affairs of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, and the Deputy Chairman of Councillors, and all of them formed part of the high table.  

Making his statement, the Director of Ministry of Social Welfare at District level Noah Kabbakeh pointed out that they are glad that AVSI decided to work in the Western Area Rural District Council. He further highlighted present key challenges of the district which include mostly child abandonment and trafficking while emphasizing the need for Council to take a drastic action to put a stop to it. He ended by thanking the AVSI for involving the council in the action.

The joint work was highly appreciated by all the members of the High Table. “It is important to talk about the sustainability of the project, which will complement the efforts of the Government in improving the Alternative Care System. The District Council should already think about how to act after the end of it. That is why its signature in the Agreement represents a great opportunity and we must make use of it.” Mr. Sinnah said.

Country Representative of AVSI Foundation, Gianni Bagagliaexpressed his appreciation for the high participation in the event which he said represents a milestone for the organization. He emphatically highlighted that AVSI will not be alone in the action as they will be working in collaboration and consultation with the ministries at both national and district levels and that their joint work and responsibilities will allow them to make children protagonist of their own integral development.   

Program Coordinator of AVSI Sierra Leone, Elga Contardi gave an overview of the project, its objectives and activities in which she explained that the direct beneficiaries of the project are members and social workers of the Child Welfare Committee, formal and informal foster care families and orphanages. 

In his statement, the Director of NGO Affairs at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Eric Masally, said that he’s happy to be part of the launch as his Ministry is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the government actualizes their aims and dreams. While thanking AVSI for a job well done, Masally pointed out that he had known AVSI for a very long time and that they have been bringing programs thatare most needed by the people.

He furthered that AVSI has been supporting Sierra Leone during the days of the war many years back and that they supported during the Ebola Epidemic, the current COVID 19 and in education they have trained teachers and supported pupils which is a big plus to education. He stated that the activities of the project clearly speak to the issues which include vulnerable families and children who are always at a disadvantage when it comes to societal and developmental issues.

He explained that children are seen in all negative aspects of society namely, poverty, artisanal fishing, sexual abuse victims and so on. He further encouraged the AVSI to continue to work with the standards set by the government and to ensure ownership by involving the beneficiaries and to also share information at all levels with their implementing partner. He ended by encouraging council to give their maximum support to the project.

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