New Brookfields Hotel, Freetown, Thursday 12 May 2022 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has celebrated the Silver Jubilee with World Vision Sierra Leone, a Christ-centered organisation that is aimed at empowering and protecting children in different communities in the country.
“I join the World Vision family today with deep gratitude and great pleasure to celebrate 25 years of your work in transforming lives in our nation. At the worst of times during the war years, you stood with us. Through 25 years, you have worked with us. Today, we celebrate 25 years of your great work and impact; we celebrate 25 years of working with an organisation that feels, knows, and believes that the future is bright if we invest in and protect our children today.
“Two days ago, I addressed the state opening of parliament with a call that at the heart of each of our communities; central to our achieving the sustainable development goals; and critical to our progress and future as a nation, are our children. They are our greatest assets and we must protect, educate, empower, and inspire them to dream and do the possible and the seemingly impossible,” he said.
Earlier in his opening remarks, chairman of the event, Omaru Sesay, who also doubles as the Programme Manager, South, said they were gathered to celebrate the most vulnerable children in the communities and districts that World Vision had helped, adding that they were particularly pleased to have the President identify with their twenty-fifth anniversary in the country.
World Vision International’s Regional Leader for West Africa, Carla Denizard, expressed their delight at the cooperation and appreciation of the government and people of Sierra Leone for their support. She applauded the country team for their great work, adding that they were one of the strongest teams in the region.
A beneficiary of World Vision, Alice Mami Farmer from Bonthe District, said because the organisation worked in her community, she had the opportunity to go through formal education and was now a proud third-year student at the Institute of Public Administration and Management, University of Sierra Leone.
She narrated her work with World Vision and how she had joined different child advocacy groups and represented the country at different national and international stages to speak on behalf of children in Sierra Leone. She ended by thanking the President for placing punishment on perpetrators who abuse child rights.
Speaking on behalf of Paramount Chiefs, PC Alex Maada J.J. Kainpumu II from Bonthe District said that they were pleased to have the Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organisation work in their chiefdoms, adding that their advocacies had helped to improve the wellbeing of the children in the various districts.
UN Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Dr Babatunde Ahonsi, said he recognised and admired the long-term presence of World Vision and its support to the country’s development trajectory, especially during its most challenging periods.
He also highlighted a few collaborations between the UN and world Vision such as cooperation with World Food Programme, the UN Children’s agency and the UN development agency. He said the two organisations shared a resounding commitment, notably around nutrition and food security, the wellbeing of children and access to WASH facilities.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Francis Kaikai, said World Vision had been resilient over the years by providing support to children and the people of Sierra Leone.
“In the past four years World Vision has aligned their programmes with the government of Sierra Leone and they have done quite a lot, especially on the President’s flagship initiatives of education, health and WASH programmes,” he noted.
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