According to the Executive Director of WAWGE-SL, Mustapha Alycious Lymon, the West Africa Women and Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone is a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) formed with an aim of promoting gender equality and enhancing vulnerable women who live in deprived communities within Freetown and the interiors. He said WAWGE-SL is offers psychosocial support to women/girls who are victims of rape, early marriage and teenage pregnancy and as well conduct psychosocial training for community stakeholders including local chiefs, Imams, Pastors and Youth groups who can pass on the message against gender based violence and discrimination within their communities.
Alycious Lymon further disclosed that, WAWGE-SL is also engaged in empowering women through entrepreneurship – wherein they can train women with different business skills and also advocate to microfinance institutions to give them aid so that they can be able to set up their small scale businesses.
“WAWGE-SL also engages in Agriculture”, he said. He added that the organization strides to engage women in agriculture especially in the rural areas.
He intimated that, in complimenting the effort and strides of madam Fatima Bio in the fight against sexual penetration on girls and other gender-based violence through the “Hands Off Our Girls Campaign”, WAWGE-SL as an advocacy group on women is ensuring that, the message reaches to the least individual within the communities outlined.
“The media despite the few challenges have been tremendous in propagating this very good initiative from the first lady but as community workers, we want to make sure we sit with the people, talk with them, because the problem rest with them”, he asserts.
“WAWGE-SL believes if we go beyond the media and engage the community people before the Launching of the Hands Off Our Girls in Freetown on the 13th December, the people would be able to get first hand understanding of the benefits of the Hands Off Our Girls Campaign”, he maintained.
The Sensitization process will target vulnerable communities like Tombo, Waterloo, Calaba Town, Wellington, Magazine, Susan’s Bay, Dwazark, Kroo Bay, Goderich and Lakka communities.
“The Sensitization is a community driven one, and will be fully be with the grassroots”, he said.
“What we aim to achieve at the end is to see that there is a positive change in the ways the communities understand the message of the Hands Off Our Girls and how they can put it into practice – a practicality that we want to see exist in every community not only in Freetown, but the country at large”, he concludes.