Giving an overview of the rainbo centre and its activities, the Director of the institution, Daniel Kettor expressed their deepest appreciation to Madam First Lady for her timely intervention and unwavering support and commitment to the fight against rape in Sierra Leone, highlighting the many successes they’ve had as a team since the pronouncement of National emergency in rape by President Bio in February 2019, the collaboration of the Office of the First Lady, the setting up of the special sexual offencess court, the presidential Tax-force on SGBV cases, but to name a few.

Mr.Kettoh emphasized on the need to do more in strengthening the rainbo initiative, as they remain consistent as the only advocacy organization since they started operation in 2003, that provides medical support, psychosocial counseling, and provides medical certificate for prosecution in court.

ย According to him, they have received an outburst of reports on SGBVs right across the country, due to the Hands Off our Girls campaign by the Office of the First Lady, with the youngest being a three months old baby and the oldest a 100 years old woman, hence the need for the construction of more rainbo centre of excellence throughout the country, as the one in Bo was constructed through the support of donor partners like European Union, Irish Aid and Osiwa for 35.000 dollars.

Delivering the Keynote address at the opening ceremony, Her Excellency, Madam Fatima Maada Bio congratulates the rainbo initiativeย  and other organizations cushioning the burden of SGBV survivors for such a great achievement, which is a step in the right direction in protection the young women and girls in Sierra Leone.

Madam Fatima calls for community ownership as, growing up her neighbors were all considered family, and the sadly the reverse is what is happening presently in the country; but if as a nation everyone condemn rape and protect each girl, regardless whose child it is, then rape will be a thing of the past.

She emphasized on the need for parents to refrain from giving their underage girls into marriage, as that’s just a way to legalize sex for men old enough to be their Grandfather, who after a year of sleeping with the girls, return them to their parents due to lack of knowledge on domestic chores and family life; this First Lady said will be her next task 2021 to ensure that she lobbies for laws that will give 50% equal share of a man’s property, anytime he returns an underage girl a year after she being his wife.

First Lady disclosed that, she is committed to working with rainbo initiative because they are selfless and spend all donor monies for the appropriate reasons and their impact in society cannot be overemphasized.ย 

Madam Fatmata Kamara from the Family Support Unit mentioned that the rise of rape cases began after the Civil War in Sierra Leone and the results have been devastating, but due to organization like rainbo, FSU, the Office of the First Lady, the police and other partners, their work is being less stressful and they could see hope for the future, where a child will be secured after being raped., until Justice is served.

A centre of excellence Madam Camara said, is one of the many success stories that will additionally help to strengthen their work.

CEO of purposeful, Chernor Bah, expressed sentiments to the political will power of what he has been advocating for since childhood and that 2020 has been a good year for gender activists, as he looks forward to 2021 being a much better one with the involvement of women at the centre, while congratulating the Rainbo centre for such a massive achievement.

Other highlights of the event included donor partners from Osiwa, Irish Aid and E.U made statements and performances by Treasure and Linus the Genius.

Strategic Communication Division
Office of The First Lady
+232 303 68273

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