The Hands Off Our Girls Campaign was initiated by the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Her Excellency madam Fatima Maada Bio and Launched by the President, H. E. Dr Julius Maada Bio.
The national sensitization tour is concentrating on protecting and educating the girl child today, for sustainable development tomorrow. Advocacy during the tour will deal with Issues surrounding Rape, Early Marriage, Teenage Pregnancy and the importance of formal education.
The people of Makeni, Kono, Moyamba and Pujehun Districts were very welcoming and the tour was very successful in these districts . the message the tour has on Saturday, 23rd November, 2019 advanced to the Eastern District of Kailahun.
Welcoming the First Lady and Her Entourage in Luawa Chiefdom, Kailahun district, the Deputy Chairperson of the Kailahun District Council, madam Nancy Coomber, expresses her heartfelt appreciation to madam Fatima Maada Bio on behalf of the people especially women of Kailahun.
She said the essence of the Hands Off Our Girls Campaign cannot be overemphasized and as a council, they will try within their powers to compliment the effort of madam Fatima Maada Bio and her husband, H.E Julius Maada Bio.
She admonished the women present to join the fight against sexual abuse on their children, they must be vigilant and report such cases regardless of the perpetrator being a family member or a neighbor.
“Parents must at all time ensure their girl child is protected especially those at a very tender age. Girls should not be used as shield for money making purposes”, She said.
“She appealed to the First Lady for the provision of logistics to the vibrant women groups within district who are eager to make the campaign a success in the district”, she concluded.
The President of the Kailahun Women in governance, madam Lucy Foray Gondor, said the Kailahun Women in governance group is women group formed to champion the cause of women activities within the district. She intimated that, the group clearly frowns at a society which devalue women as their mandate is to yearn for a society wherein women are included for the general good.
Honourable Wuatta Songa of constituency 008 in Kailahun district, in making a statement on behalf of her constituents and other Parliamentarians within the district, she assured the first lady of herself, colleague MPs and the people of Kailahun desire to see the Hands Off Our Girls Campaign becomes a successful one in the district.
She said in complimenting her strides, parliament on Sept 2019, amended the 2012 sexual offences act (Section 6) making it more effective in the fight against sexual violence.
Madam Songa praises the First Lady for her relentless fight to see the laws passed in parliament, and implemented judiciously.
The Resident Minister East, Andrew Fatorma, in his brief statement said, as a man he feels disheartened to to hear the news of men’s sexual urge on young girls. He admonished the girls who are aspiring to be role models in the future to reject whatever approach from men though he said, it takes courage and self belief.
The minister of state East called on men to distance themselves from girls who supposed to be their daughters.
Making her statement the country Director Save the Children, Heather Campbell applauded the First Lady for her passion in championing women empowerment. She called on all to join the campaign adding that her Organization has been a strong partner with Office of the First Lady.
According to her, the success of the campaign is a step towards achieving sustainable development and that the First Lady has been taking this campaign world wide.
Hon Baindu Dassama-Kallon, the Minister of Social Welfare , reiterated the commitment of her Ministry to women’s empowerment and protecting the girl child .
Delivering the Keynote address Her Excellency Fatima Maada Bio called on all mothers to go back to community parenting. She stated that together they can chase rapists out of their community.
“This is about the future of our children the development of Sierra Leone.” She said.
HE Fatima pleaded with parents to always monitor their children, maintaining that the mothers themselves have been implicated in some cases of girls involvement with men.
She furthered that some bike riders themselves are sexual abusers, and warned against that. She maintained that mothers should not encourage their children to be involved in relationship with bike riders or any other individual.
She concluded by pleading with the law enforcement agencies to treat sexual offence cases with the seriousness it deserves. She handed the campaign to the Paramount chiefs of the District.
Officially handing over the campaign, Chief Minister Professor David Francis encouraged the stakeholders of the district to embrace the campaign, adding that it a campaign geared towards empowering the girl child for sustainable development.
Strategic Communication Division
Office of The First Lady
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