From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, International Youth Day celebrated in Port Loko, Bombali and Freetown
By
Aug 16, 2010, 12:07

Port Loko, Bombali, Freetown, 12th August 2010 War Child Holland in Sierra Leone joined the "Our Year Our Voice" committee and the United Nations Development Programme in celebrating International Youth Day. On this day, War Child facilitated community activities and a dialogue on Internet between youth in Freetown, Port Loko, Bombali and the Diaspora on the theme: "dialogue and mutual understanding".

Youths in Sierra Leone have improved their lives by learning and implementing livelihood skills like agriculture, reading and writing. War Child joined these youths and other community members, public officials and invited guests in celebrating their achievements via football matches, march-passes and radio discussions with key community stakeholders and councillors. The community activities took place in Makeni, Mabanta, Robuya, Punthun, Royeama, Robat, Makeni Lol, Kolisokor and Mangay in Bombali District and Ma-King, Benkia, Maforay Wallah, Kalangba Wallah, Makaba, Gberebana, Robaka and Malaykuray in Port Loko. These are some of the communities where War Child Holland implements a successful Community Based Programme.

Youth on TV in Freetown

"This year, the International Youth Day celebrations in Makeni coincided with the Youth Elections conducted by NEC. "I was fortunate to be one of the observers", said a War Child project staff member in Port Loko. "We invited the newly elected chairperson and PR Officer to our radio program to discuss on the theme dialogue and mutual understanding. In that program we interviewed a cooperative member who explained how their cooperative became so successful. They eventually opened a bank account which they use to buy supplies for the farming seasons. War Child trained up to 60 young people in internet skills, enabling them to open email accounts, do research and access information they never could do before". According to Fatta Kamara, a War Child staff member: "stimulating young people to go onto internet was an easy thing. It has created interest and opportunities among young people in Makeni that they had not realised were possible".

"War Child Holland has started something that we can continue throughout the year" said Ralford Rollings-Bull a War Child volunteer in Freetown. "It was good to see the different organisations celebrate the day in their own different ways. The Our Year Our Voice committee held a focus group discussion that made youths realise that they are not alone. The more fortunate youth could now speak on behalf of the less fortunate ones that may not have access to internet. Holding focus group discussions and inviting the less privileged youths to participate helps unite youth from different economic backgrounds".

Youth in Kolisokoh with a milling Machine

The International Youth Day has been chosen by War Child Holland to emphasize the importance of active youth participation in society. By doing this War Child Holland hopes to stimulate these communities to continue their good work, further supported by public officials.

For more information:
Eamonn Hanson, Project Manager Advocacy and Communications: 076 912513 or through Eamonn.hanson@warchild.nl
Press Release: Note No. 20100913 PR 003



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