From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Red Cross Engages MPs on Legislative Review
By Mohamed Kanu
Aug 30, 2010, 17:12

In compliance with international standards which demands that every localized Red Cross Society reviews its Act by 2010, the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) on Friday 27th August 2010 engaged Members of Parliament on the review of their Act after 48 years of operation in Sierra Leone.

In his presentation, the Acting Secretary General of the Society, Mohamed Sanusie Mansaray gave a brief history of the emergence of the organization which he said started when a business man called Henry Dunant came across victims of war while traveling in Europe in a battle between France and Austria. He said the initiative was to help control the influenza disease in 1918 and to also protect the wounded and sick. Mr. Mansaray also informed that the organization has series of projects such as Child Advocacy  and Rehabilitation Project (CAR) to restore childrens status after wars, the Youth Empowerment Project which helps to train and engage youths for developmental activities and the Community Health Project which he said they are presently working with the Government to effect sustainability of the free health care amongst other health initiatives.

In his presentation, the head of Resources Mobilization of Red Cross, Desmond George-Williams said the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society is not recognized for its auxiliary roles nor is it fully supported by the government as is being done in other countries such as Liberia has been receiving a lot of support from its government.

He heartily pleaded to members of parliament for their fullest support so that they will be given the authority as a Sole Agency for implementing their projects such as to be given duty free concession on Air, Sea and Landed goods and also to be given the authority to lead in Disaster Management and Social Mobilization. He said their existence will be jeopardized if the government fails to review the act to reflect their desires..

In his remarks Honourable Brima M. Kamanda who chaired the ceremony said there is a great need for the review because in order for special changes to happen  there must be a need for special mandate, adding that the organization which is one of the biggest in the country, is now seen lagging behind others who came behind and who have even less capacity. On that note, he assured of Parliaments support if only the organization will convince them of executing its duties as mandated.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.