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Archive for April, 2010

New Jersey rocks with celebrations of Sierra Leone Independence Anniversary

Monday, April 26th, 2010

New Jersey rocks with celebrations of Sierra Leone’s Independence Anniversary thumbnail

New Jersey seethed with excitement and enjoyment at the weekend as Sierra Leoneans celebrated the 49th Independence Anniversary of their beloved country. The Fourah Bay Community Foundation and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) staged thrilling parties that were well-organized, jam-packed and full of fun. The Fourah Bay dance was held at the Firehouse at Pinegrove Avenue while the SLPP dance took place at the Chinese Community Centre at Elizabeth Avenue, also in Somerset. Sierra Leoneans travelled from different states in Continental America to attend the two occasions.

At the Fourah Bay dance, the Guest of Honour, Sierra Leone’s Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations, Hon.  Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu (in photo), made a brief speech in which he said that he was bringing greetings to the people of New Jersey on behalf of the President, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the UN, Ambassador Shekou M. Touray, as well as the staff of the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN. He told the jammed hall that Sierra Leone was celebrating the Independence Anniversary at a time when good news had started coming out of the country. He noted that in the immediate past, all that people heard about Sierra Leone were bad and distressing news. “However, today, we are gratified to be receiving some wonderful news from our motherland. Sierra Leone, under the progressive leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma, is making impressive strides to carve a different image from the Sierra Leone of the past”, he emphasized.

The Minister pointed to the free health care delivery system for women and kids which President Koroma will launch on Independence Anniversary Day April 27, which he said was the first of its kind in West Africa. He told the rapt audience, some of whom cheered , that President Koroma saw the need to put an end to the country’s dishonorable distinction of having the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world.

Minister Kabs-Kanu also told the audience that another first Sierra Leone has scored is that she now has the best human rights record in West Africa. Sierra Leone, he revealed (amidst cheers ) was now the only country in West Africa that has no political prisoners and “We have the most free press and media in the sub-continent with over 30 newspapers, most of them criticizing the government but none of their editors are suffering any backlash or persecution from the government.  “

The Minister told the revellers about the Sierra Leone National Action Plan For Women that was launched at the UN almost two months ago and which will be signed by President Ernest Koroma and become practicable in Sierra Leone, thus providing much-needed empowerment and advancement opportunities for women and girls. Amidst cheers mainly from the female audience, Minister Kabs-Kanu said the women are about to have the rights they never enjoyed before in Sierra Leone and he jokingly warned those men who love to beat or abuse their spouses or women that Sierra Leone is on the verge of becoming a tight place for them.

The Minister advised the people not to heed the propaganda against the government being peddled in certain online and print newspapers, designed only to tarnish the good image of the President, his ministers and the country. He emphasized that the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma was doing its best to improve the living standards of the people, as a result of which there is electricity in the country now, with the much-delayed Bumbuna Hydroelectricity Project completed. He also pointed to the program the government has launched to make pipe-borne and safe water accessible to all Sierra Leoneans.

Minister Kabs-Kanu told the audience about the road construction and other infrastructural developments that have been embarked upon by the government and said that if given a chance, President Koroma will ensure that Sierra Leone has one of the best road network systems in West Africa, under his AGENDA FOR CHANGE program.

The Fourah Bay community and their guests  enjoyed a lively and interesting dance which was attended by an array of distinguished personalities of New Jersey, including Messrs Lamin Alharahim, Foday Mansaray,  Busari Savage, Tamu Bangura, APC’s Brima Bangura (BB), Sana Talsmith,  Amadu Alharazim, Hardy Gabisi,  Sallu Alghali, Aliru Bakarr, journalist and teacher  Shekou Dauda Bangura, Pharmacist Dr.Abdul Rahman Kamara of SARBEH fame;  the teacher Dr. John Samba;, New Jersey Nurses Association Chair, Madam Madina Rahman, Jarata Savage, Khadi Sillah,  Kuntumi Savage,Seraji Deen , Alima Cole  and a whole battalion of top New Jersey activists .Also present was the Vice-Chair of the new APC NA Branch, Mr. Sallieu Conteh , who travelled from Boston.

DJ ‘Pass Ah Die ‘ kept revellers on the floor constantly with a delicious mixture of African, Reggae, disco and pop music.

An appreciable crowd came to celebrate with the Fourah Bay Foundation, an attestation of the valuable role the Fourah Bay community was playing in New Jersey.

The crowd sang the National Anthems of Sierra Leone and the United States. The whole hall exploded with cheers when the popular dramatist of the 1970s and 1980s Songhai Theatre fame, Mr. Busari Savage, sang the Sierra Leone National Anthem in Krio.

The Minister and  Mr. Foday Mansaray, the mortgage banker and businessman who is a staunch member of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC), were also given an impressive welcome when they appeared at the SLPP Dance, which the Minister attended to promote President Koroma’s  Politics of Inclusion and Political tolerance.  The UN -based minister was well received by top-notch SLPP officials like the President of the New Jersey Branch, Mr. Jerry George, former SLPP NA Vice-Chairman, Mr.Sallu Saidu (Sparko);  Dr. Marda Mustapha;  the Publicity Secretary of the SLPP NA, Mr.Alpha Saidu Bangura; Mr.Jaiah Kallon, Mr.Lansana Jasabe , Mr. Morie Siaffa Toegondo,etc.etc. In fact, by the time the Minister arrived, the President of the New Jersey Chapter of the ruling APC,

Alhaji Allie Badara Kamara had already arrived at the SLPP dance with some of his officials.

The atmosphere at the SLPP dance was friendly, relaxed and all-embracing, attesting to the fact that despite political differences, Sierra Leoneans are one people who may express bitter views about each others’ political beliefs but are not  divided by politics. Mr. Jerry George took both Minister Kanu and Mr. Mansaray to the high table and he introduced the minister to the audience, which cheered. Mr. George said that whether one was SLPP or APC, we are one family.

In discussions with top SLPP officials including Mr. Jerry George, Mr. Toegondo, Dr. Marda Mustapha, Mr. Alpha Saidu, Mr. Jasabe and others , the Minister Plenipotentiary said he had come to the dance to demonstrate that President Koroma’s government  has nothing against the SLPP and  was determined to promote political tolerance and multi-party democracy in Sierra Leone. He noted that Sierra Leoneans were one people who should not be divided by politics. The SLPP officials equally expressed encouraging sentiments that regardless of our different political attachments, Sierra Leoneans were one nation and one people and there was no need for divisions and rancour.

The Minister told the SLPP officials that he gave the SLPP dance the same priority as the Fourah Bay Dance but he stressed that he had to be at the Fourah Bay occasion first because he had to deliver a statement.

The party ended peacefully and Sierra Leoneans and foreign guests dispersed to their homes praising what had been a memorable Independence Anniversary Dance.

More interesting highlights and pictures of the two occasions to come later in the week!


Alhaji Al Haji S. Dumbuya declares APC candidacy for Port Loko Central One constituency

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Alhaji Al Haji S. Dumbuya declares APC candidacy for Port Loko Central One constituency thumbnail


“I will stay uncorrupted even if I am tempted and ensure that those working with my administration do the same.  The first priority I will implement in Port Loko is a self–help project, such as agriculture because constituents that feed themselves are bound to progress and I will make sure to meet with ministers and stakeholders in the Port Loko district to address burning issues affecting the district so that the glory that has been lost will again be regained.”  These are the words Alhaji Al Haji S. Dumbuya during the questions and answer time when asked by attendees during the launching of his fundraising dance for the candidacy of Port Loko Central One Constituency on April 9, 2010, at Sligo Adventist School Auditorium in Carroll Avenue, Takoma, MD.  (Photo: Alhaji Al Haji S. Dumbuya)

As the 2012 elections gradually heat up in Sierra Leone, candidates from different constituencies are emerging from all over the country to contest the elections.  Among them is Alhaji Al Haji S. Dumbuya Esq. who has openly declared his intention in Port Loko town to represent his people in Port Loko Central One constituency.  His intention was greeted with unanimity from citizens and colleagues of Port Loko who gave Alhaji Dumbuya unflinching support and encouragement during his visit in Port Loko recently.   It can be recalled that in 2007, Alhaji Dumbuya wanted to represent Port Loko Central but his friend Kemoh Sesay former Minister of Transport and Aviation at the time had the same intention, he declined giving way for Kemoh Sesay to contest and he subsequently won.

Now, the time has come for Alhaji Dumbuya to show his leadership skills, charisma and peace brokering initiatives, and above all his developmental stance for the people of Port Loko Central – a town that has been neglected for decades.  Alhaji, Al Haji Dumbuya emanated from the political elites of the APC.  His uncle S.I. Koroma, was a former Vice President of Sierra Leone under the APC groomed Alhaji Dumbuya in the area of politics and development. As a young man in the late 70s and 80s after he successfully received his General Certificate of Education (GCE) from Schlenker Secondary School in Port Loko town he was able to participate in his uncle’s the late S. I. Koroma, former First Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone self help projects and was instrumental in organizing young boys to carry on their heads mixed cement to the contractors for the cementing and, building of the Port Loko government hospital.  Alhaji’s determination and hard work paid off when he secured a job as an Account Clerk at the Lungi International Airport.  Full of motivation and determination to succeed in life, he was later awarded a scholarship, facilitated by Mr. Patrick Ojong through the APC Youth League Education Program, to study in Czechoslovakia,  (now the Czech Republic)  in 1984.

In a brief chat about his political career and platform for Port Loko Central One Constituency should in case he is elected, Alhaji Dumbuya unequivocally said, Port Loko needs development in all aspect of life,  socially, educationally and economically.  “Port Loko Central needs to be reawakened from its slumber”, he emphasized.  For nearly two decades Port Loko had been neglected and it is time for the citizens of Port Loko to be empowered so the town will regain its past glory.  “This is why I am leaving all opportunities in the United States to contest and help usher development and empowerment to our people in Port Loko.  By the grace of God if elected, I will fulfill the dreams I have for the citizens of Port Loko.”

Alhaji Dumbuya, while in Czechoslovakia completed a Masters Degree program in social science and law and graduated in 1989, followed by a Jurist Doctorate degree in International Law in 1991.  He came to the USA in 1991 and studied social work at the University of Maryland in 1999 and graduated with a Masters in Social work (MSW) in June 2002.   He has been working in the field of social services and has held positions as Mental Health Counselor, Behavior Specialist, Social Worker and is currently Program Director. He is a member of the Association of Social Workers, Maryland chapter.

In the social arena, Alhaji Dumbuya is the Secretary General of the Port Loko Descendants Association USA, and has participated in raising funds for the development of Port Loko district. A strong Muslim who performs five daily prayers, he is member of the Executive Committee of Prince George’s Muslim Association in Maryland and responsible for organizing Muslims performing pilgrimage to the Holy land of Mecca. During the visit of the Vice President of Sierra Leone to the USA, he organized and invited the Hon. Alhaji Abu Bakarr Samuel Sumana to visit and observe Friday prayer (Jumah) at Prince George’s Association Mosque in Lanham, Maryland were he worships and communes with citizens of Sierra Leone. Alhaji, Al Haji Dumbuya is a man of peace and he exemplifies such qualities by brokering peace when the former leadership of APC North America was in chaos and at the brink of disintegration. He is Vice President of the APC Washington-Metropolitan Chapter.

Family and friends of Alhaji Al Haji Dumbuya

In giving a short speech about Mr. Alhaji Al Haji Dumbuya during the fundraising program, the President of the APC Washington Metropolitan Area Chapter, Mrs. Yabom Sesay Koroma said, “I am lucky to have Mr. Alhaji, Al Haji Dumbuya as a Vice President of WMC because he is reliable, dependable, an organizer, pragmatic and full of empathy for his fellow humans.  It is no doubt that he will succeed in his quest to represent the people of Port Loko.”  Yabom Thaslim Sesay Koroma pledged members of the APC Metropolitan Area unflinching support for Alhaji and wished him God’s guidance and blessings.  Alhaji Dumbuya is married with four children and enjoys reading, jogging and playing table tennis.  Above all he enjoys mediation and conflict resolution.

In his final chat with this writer who knows Alhaji Dumbuya from our childhood days in Port Loko town, he reiterated his commitment to restore the dignity of the people of Port Loko which they have lost due to neglect from past leaders and he is committed to work with His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as he strives to restore Sierra Leone in Committee of Nations.


Below is summary of Alhaji Dumbuya’s Educational and Work Experience:



Extensive work experience in program development, strategic planning, policy development and program management. Good grant writing skills. Identifying government funding sources, creating and submitting proposals for funding and support. Developing organization specific plans and assuring plan implementation. Drafting policies, budget reports and presentations to funding sources and/or donors. Careful planning, operating and evaluating programs. Delivering social services.  Coordinating and monitorong services for quality assurance, audit and legal compliance. Networking with organizations that advocate for poor and underserved communities. Community development.



United Communities Against Poverty, Inc. (UCAP), 1400 Doewood Lane,Capital Heights, MD 20731 USA

Position: Program Director –  07/07 to Present

  • Identify and secure resources for the organization, grant-writing and program development.
  • Research and identify programs and submit proposals/grants to state and federal government for funding.
  • Develop policy, provide budget oversight and maintain current and new programs.
  • Increase the organization’s participation in social, political and community advocacy activities.
  • Evaluate and expand program services to reflect evolving communities and clients needs.
  • Expand strategic alliance and collaborative relationships to leverage the impact of services.
  • Provide leadership development and self-empowerment for management staff.
  • Examine and prepare program documentation for regulatory, audit and legal compliance.
  • Supervise program staff and provide administrative support to the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

We Care Adult Services, Inc.  1717 Largo Road, Upper Marlboro, MD  20774, USA

Position: Social Worker/Development  –  08/04 to Present

  • Program design, staffing, funding, services and marketing.
  • Identify professional growth and career advancement opportunities for staff.
  • Expand vocational training and other skill enhancing opportunities for staff.
  • Expand and improve programs and services.
  • Secure unrestricted, federal, state, local and private funds to support and expand programs and services.
  • Assess staff skill deficiencies and implement a professional development training program to include program certifications, management skills, grant writing, performance evaluation etc.
  • Ensure staff compliance with policies and procedures.


EMMAUS Services for the Aging, 9th St. NW, Washington DC  20001, USA

Position: Social Worker  –  0/05 to 07/07

  • Worked with a team of professionals in providing support, advocacy and therapeutic counseling for senior citizens.
  • Provided clinical training and supervision to College Graduate Interns.
  • Facilitated psychosocial assessment and access to referral services.
  • Provided information and assisted elderly persons understand their problems and/or diagnosis.
  • Matched services to clients needs.


GUIDE Therapeutic Group Home, 8911 Oak Lane, Ft. Washington, MD 20744, USA

Position: Lead  Counselor  – 01/04 to 03/07

  • Provided supervision and counseling to severely emotionally disturbed adolescents.
  • Introduced and coordinated interventions that focus on attainment of Individualized Treatment Plans (ITP).


Psychiatric Center Chartered, Inc. 3005 Bladensburg Road, NE, Washington, DC USA

Position: Behavior Specialist   – 08/01 to 03/03

  • Taught clients anger management skills.
  • Developed and implemented individualized treatment plans.
  • Responsible for the overall behavior management of clients.
  • Collected and analyzed behavioral data and documentation.
  • Provided individual counseling and group therapy to mentally retarded clients.


Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, RICA, Southern Maryland, USA

Position: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Associate 11/96 to 08/01

  • Provided supervision and counseling to severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents.
  • Introduced and coordinated interventions that focus on attainment of Individual Treatment Plans (ITP).





Program planning and development, Program logic model, Conceptual framework for program development, Functions, Objectives and instruments of policy, Principles of policy making, Effective policy making for organizations, Strategic planning, Public and media relations planning, Resourcing and budgeting for community development, Grant writing for community programs, Evidence based social work practice, Research evaluation.




2002, University of Maryland, School of Social Work, MSW –  Social Work

1990, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, JD. – International Law

1989, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, MA – Social Science/Law


Written by Joseph S. Sherman, Editor-in-Chief, New Daily Nation

Sierra Leone’s progress in peacebuilding, gender empowerment, democracy and transparent government celebrated

Monday, April 5th, 2010

By Kabs Kanu

Sierra Leone ‘s remarkable progress in building a peaceful society where multi-party democracy, political tolerance  and transparent government now prevail was celebrated all last week  at the United Nations where the Peacebuilding Sierra Leone Country Specific Configuration review meetings were held . With Foreign Minister , Hon . J.B. Dauda and representatives of civil society travelling from Freetown to take part in the week-long program at the UN, Sierra Leone was once again celebrated as the UN success story in post-conflict peacebuilding .

On Thursday  March 24,  Foreign Minister Dauda , the civil society representatives and senior staff of the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN were treated to a Buffet Lunch by the Permanent Mission of Canada  at their Mission House at 885 Second Avenue in New York, ahead of the big event– Friday’s meeting at the UN where a statement on behalf of President Ernest Bai Koroma was read by Minister Dauda , stakeholders in the Sierra Leone Peacebuilding Configuration and the Sierra Leone Civil Society represntatives also made statements .

The feature of Thursday’s Buffet Lunch was the solid and magnificent presentation made by the civil society representatives, who impressed the large number of guests and demonstrated how much voice Sierra Leone has given to civil society.

Before the civil society presentation, the Chair of the Sierra Leone Configuration, Canadian Permanent Representative , H . E. John McNee and the Executive Representative of the UN Secretary General in Sierra Leone, Dr. Michael Von Der Shulenburg made remarks during which they  highly praised  the progress  being made in Sierra Leone since the end of the war.

Ambassador McNee praised the Agenda For Change and political tolerance in Sierra Leone. He told the gathering that Sierra Leone has created a climate of peace which is impressive and the international community has played a great part in achieving this goal. He indicated that donors working with the UN –The World Bank and the IMF principally- have also helped to bring about the present impressive outcome. He however warned that the Presidential and Legislative Elections next year will be an important step and that Sierra Leone needs a lot of financial and logistical support .The Peacebuilding Commission , he went on, could help in garnering this support for Sierra Leone.

In his remarks, Mr. Shulenburg emphasized the important role civil society groups were playing in Sierra Leone ‘s progress towards a democratic and transparent society and this , he said, was manifested by the presence of representatives of the civil society . According to him, while other countries were having problems with democratic governance, Sierra Leone is a vibrant society where political parties , civil society and Gender representatives were thriving .  He disclosed that all these groups are working together and he  also noted the participation of women which was good. He noted that “the last frontier we have to win is women’s participation ” and Sierra Leone has made progress also in this aspect.

Then came the participation of the civil society group from Sierra Leone. Composed mainly of women, key among them the Women’s Leader of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP ) , Mrs. Isatu Jabbie-Kabbah (commonly known as I.J) ,who respresented the All Political Parties Women’s Organization , the civil society stle the show with their strong and articulate statements which manifested the strong voice they enjoyed in Sierra Leone. Speaking extemporaneously without prepared statements, each and every one of them was eloquent and impressive.


Mrs. Kabbah lauded the progress being made in Sierra Leone in bringing women together , especially with the formation of the All Political Parties Women’s Organization She said that with women constituting 51% of the total population of Sierra Leone, “women want to advocate for our people and now we have the opportunity and we thank the UN and the government for it “. But she stated that much still needs to be done and emphasized that no government can succeed in Sierra Leone without the empowerment and increased participation of women. She lauded the present peace in Sierra Leone without which there will be no progress, but she said that women were advocating for 30% quota in parliament and government following the 2012 elections.

The Permanent Representative of Liberia , Mrs. Majohn Kamara (Third from left 0 having a talk with civil society members from Sierra Leone while Counselor Victoria Sulimani (Fourth from left ) listens keenly.In the background is Foreign Minister Mr. J.B. Dauda

The Hon. Marie Marilyn Jalloh, All People’s Congress ( APC ) Parliamentary Representative  for Constituency 35 , Bombali, who came to New York to represent the Women’s Congress as National Secretary General, said that women had set the pace in Sierra Leone. “We fought for peace and democracy in Sierra Leone .We have a lot to do and the international community is helping a lot.” Lauding the APPWO , she noted that there were still a lot of issues to be confronted ,  “but we are doing our best through gender and civil society participation. ”

Mr. Shulenburg ( Second from left ) and Mr. McNee in conversation

Mrs Iyesha Josiah Kamara , representing the 50-50 Organization , said that women are advocating for the 30% quota participation because they constitute most of the population and they do not want the country to fail. She stated that it was during the war that the potential of women for leadership came out. She said that both during Bintumani 1 and 11, women played a leading role in the negotiations and they even confronted the rebels, pushing forward for democracy . “We want to go forward. The war has taught us that there are roles that women can play . We want support for gender equality and dialogue forums. We have been in the background too long and we want the men to listen to us this time .We want the men’s minds to be re-orientated so they can think like us ” . The hall cheered . She also called for capital development so that women can make their own progress economically .

Civil Society members Moses Ndomahina and Mrs. Victoria Davies pose with Mr. McNee

Mrs .Victoria Fatima Davies , representing the Destiny Women’s Empowerment Organization,  said that for too long women were not empowered and were victims of gender-based violence , but things have changed, thanks to the international community. She outlined the benefits that a nation enjoys when women are empowered : The home does not suffer and  the nation grows and develops .She said that teenage pregnancy and early marriage in Sierra Leone cause women not to be empowered .She called on the international community to provide support and encouragement towards the development of civil society. Expressing appreciation for gender mainstreaming, she emphasized that  “What men can do, women can do, and even better.”

Foreign Minister J.B.Dauda enjoying a joke with a stakeholder

Mr. Moses Ndomahina , representing Transparency Organization, joked that he was the only man among the women but quickly added that this was a demonstration of the government’s commitment to the empowerment of women. He also called for more support to empower women in Sierra Leone and said his organization was committed to support of the 30% quota in participation being demanded by women.

Mr. Schulenburg , Minister Dauda and Permanent Representative Shekou Touray ( Back turned ) enjoying a chat while Mrs. Victoria Sulimani looks on

The statements touched the stakeholders so deeply that in his closing remarks, Ambassador McNee said : We listen to speeches whole day at the UN , but rarely do we hear such articulate and heartfelt statements ” .  He thanked the civil society for its powerful statements and assured them of the support of the PBC.

© 2011, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

Sierra Leone’s impressive Civil Society rocks the UN : Pictorial Display

Monday, April 5th, 2010


By Kabs Kanu

During the recent United Nations Sierra Leone Country Specific Configuration review meetings at the UN, Sierra Leone’s Civil Society participated and made a deep and stirring impression. As we said in our previous reports, each and every member of the Civil Society fascinated stakeholders , development partners and other members of the international community with their analyses of socio-political and economic issues in post-conflict Sierra Leone , as well as the peacebuilding initiatives of the government and the country’s gallant strive to create a democratic society where women and vulnerable members of society were empowered. The eloquent women and man demonstrated how much voice Civil Society now enjoys in the new Sierra Leone. We bring you snippets of their statements during the open debate at the UN and a pictorial display.

MRS. ISATU KABBAH ( The Women’s Leader of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party -SLPP-also representing  the All Political Parties Women’s Organization ) : Wife of former President Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

She called for multi-stakeholder approach in peacebuilding. She said women constitute 51%of the population and played a great part in bringing peace to the country and are also contributing to economic development but lamented that their visibility and participation are low th0ugh the government is doing a good job in promoting gender participation. She lauded government’s efforts in providing access for women to free health care and justice and for the laws adopted against sexual violence.  She condemned “female genital cutting ” and called for more efforts to end the practice .She called for increased participation of women in governance. She said out of 124 parliamentarians , only 16 were women; only 2 women held full cabinet positions while only 4 were deputy ministers. She stressed that women were demanding 30% representation in parliament and governance after the 2012 elections.

MADAM MARIE JALLOH (All People’s Congress ( APC ) Parliamentary Representative  for Constituency 35 , Bombali, who came to New York to represent the Women’s Congress ) :

She said that the emergence of the All Political Parties Women’s Organization has helped to change the dynamics in Sierra Leone .She went on : “We fought for peace and democracy in Sierra Leone .We have a lot to do and the international community is helping a lot.” Lauding the APPWO , she noted that there were still a lot of issues to be confronted ,  “but we are doing our best through gender and civil society participation. ”

IYESHA JOSIAH KAMARA ( Representing  the 50-50 Organization )

She said that there is solidarity among women in Sierra Leone and she spoke against what she described as the feminization of poverty, which , along with illiteracy, were a menace. She called for literacy programs for women and said she wanted to see women having economic capacity , and able to purchase and own their own properties. Present new laws in Sierra Leone now make this possible. She called for the setting up of an entrepeneur base for women .She also spoke against ‘female genital cutting ‘ and said that violence limits women’s political participation. She said no one has questioned why female genital cutting has persisted .She called for capacity and confidence building programs for women.

MRS. VICTORIA FATIMA DAVIES ( Representing Destiny Women’s Empowerment )

She spoke about the evil effects of early marriage and female circumcision and how they were retarding women’s progress in Sierra Leone. She also condemned the act of women working in quarries, breaking stones to gain a living. She called for  accessible safe drinking water because men rape women who go searching for water. She called for tough laws to punish those whose engaged in violence against women.

MOSES NDOMAHINA ( Representing Transparency Organization –The only male in the Civil Society delegation )

He praised the government for efforts being made towards gender empowerment. He also called for more support to empower women in Sierra Leone and said his organization was committed to support of the 30% quota in participation being demanded by women.

Also read : “Sierra Leone’s progress in peacebuilding, gender empowerment, democracy and transparent government celebrated ” here :