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NEWS : Local News  

We the Children of Sierra Leone Deserve a Brighter Future
By Edmond Alim B. Fornah (13 years)
Jun 17, 2009, 17:24
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Children are the greatest resource of any nation and of any family. If the best should come out of the children, they deserve to be protected from all forms of violence, abuse and discrimination.

National President - Kids Advocacy Network

Children are a vulnerable group and as such, their very survival, growth and development are indeed the obligation of all adults.

If children are to grow up and be better citizens, nurturing them in an atmosphere of healthy growth and development and instilling in them the values of sharing and taking responsibility from the earliest stage of life matters.

This will contribute to creating a caring and responsible society that assures all of a brighter tomorrow.

In Sierra Leone, many children are faced with neglect. The consequences of neglect are equally far reaching. Children are compelled to cope with life long deprivation and deficit. They become a great loss to their families, communities and the nation as a whole.

In fact, all the good things children deserve become hindered in the process.

In the face of neglect, many children are excluded in society. Exclusion deprives children of their childhood and hinders them from fully developing their capacities to contribute in a substantial way to the economic and social development of their country.

Breaking the cycle of exclusion by fighting stereotypes and discrimination is necessary if only children are to have a brighter future.

I suppose one way to summarize is this: It would be nice for children to grow up to their full human potential; to live in a society where human rights are respected and where democracy flourishes, and poverty is not an insurmountable barrier to human progress.

By championing the rights of children, it means taking the first step to breaking the bonds of poverty, violence, disease and discrimination, and to building a world of hope and change.

The true wealth of any nation is embedded in showing love and care for us children, so as to enable us grow up to be useful citizens, and prepared enough to take up our rightful position as future leaders.

We would love to see a Sierra Leone, wherein children will always feel proud to be referred to as Sierra Leoneans.

We want to grow up into tough, healthy and educated citizens. We would love to see a government that places the interest of children and other vulnerable groups in the center of its planning.

We want the government to see us as the best resources this country can ever boast of. We are the future, and the very bulwark of the countrys future human resource.

A quality education we long for. One that encourages childrens participation and critical thinking, and is infused with the values of peace and human dignity, with the power to transform societies in a single generation.

The fulfillment of a childs right to education offers a protection from a multitude of hazards such as a life consigned to poverty, domestic labour and violence, and commercial sexual exploitation etc.

While the majority of the children in Sierra Leone especially in the Western Area are now attending school, there is quite a number still left behind especially in the rural or remote areas of the country.

It is no news to indicate that majority of the children left behind are girls, who fall victims to the belief in some societies that girls do not need to be educated. They are meant to be wives and mothers.

This primitive societal thinking should change for good. All children, irrespective of sex, should have access to basic education in learning environments that are clean, safe and intellectually stimulating and that build confidence and life skills.

I end by reiterating that our very survival as children should be a matter of concern to all, not just our parents or caregivers, but of national concern if we are to have a brighter future!!!

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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