During a sensitization meeting organized by the charitable organization, Autism Voice – Sierra Leone held in Kroo Bay community, participants promised to love and respect people living with this condition.
They shared the view that autistic people need to have dignity in the society at all times, irrespective of their condition.
Speaking at the event was the Chief of Kroo Bay community, Pa Alimamy Kargbo Kabempa I. He said among other things that he almost sheds tears when he imagines the plight ASD patients are going through.
“I was never aware that we have autistic people in my community until today. I feel sad that some children in my community are living with this condition without getting the right support,” he said.
He urged his subjects to always show love, respect, and care for ASD patients and not to stigmatize them because they are not responsible for their condition.
According to him, when he was approached by the co-founder of Autism Voice – Sierra Leone to sensitize his people on autism, he initially refused to accept because he thought children with ASD were not in his community.
He however commended the co-founder for her resilience and the bold step taken to educate people about autism and how autistic people should be treated.
In her sensitization message, the co-founder Autism Voice – Sierra Leone, Mariama Korrca Kandeh said: “I am here to beg you to please stop calling autistic people ‘fool fool’ or ‘aflahun’. They are not fools, neither are they witches or have evil spirits. Scientists are still doing research to find the actual cause of autism. Genetics and environmental factors have been blamed but more research is being done to confirm these factors.”