22nd July 2018
EU and Bo Council and PDO Wage War on Social Barriers to Child Education!
By Patrick Jakema in Bo (19/03/18)
Social barriers to child education in Sierra Leone is undergoing a strong face-lift by the European Union and the Bo District Council and PDO.
The Bo District Council and the Peoples Development Organisation PDO, a national NGO based in Bo that supports Mothers Clubs - with funds from the European Union - are presently working on educational project that supports access and retention of needy children in schools. (Photo: Mothers Clubs members in Bo).
Reports say the project started in 2016 and has a core objective of improving the livelihoods of the people, especially children, through good local governance and effective education service delivery in Bo District.
The formation of Mothers Clubs, a group of community activists that promote education particularly for the poor, was one of the major outputs of the EU funded project.
On Thursday, 15th March, over fifty women belonging to Mothers Clubs in Bo received agricultural tools namely shovels, hoes, wheel barrows etc. and the sum of one million Leones 1,000,000 cash to enable them embark on cultivation of groundnuts, vegetables for the benefit of the needy children. The proceeds from the agricultural investment will be directed towards supporting the education of children whose parents cannot afford to pay tuition fees.
Addressing the women, the Director of Peoples Development Organisation, Gassimu Mallah pinpointed that the Mothers Clubs formed an important component of the sustainability of the project. He said the Mothers Clubs have been empowered in order to increase the enrolment of children in schools and cater for the vulnerable children.
Mr. Mallah said part of the responsibility of the Mothers Clubs is to engage them in raising awareness on the child right to education and provide support to vulnerable children within their communities. He added that the clubs have responsibility of monitoring and supervising the children to achieve quality learning. He described the Mothers Clubs as very effective in pushing good education service delivery.
The Bo District EU Project Coordinator, Abdul Karim reiterated on the role of the Mothers Clubs in keeping the project alive even when funding fades out. He urged them to be vibrant in mitigating the social barriers to education of the girl child. He said Education is a right and all children should have equal access to it.
The Education Supervisor, Bo District, Martin Sahr emphasised on the support of the District Education Directorate towards meeting the key objectives of the project. He said the project had resounding success in areas of enrolment of children in schools. He appealed to the members of the club to be steadfast, focused and result oriented.
The Chief Administrator, Bo District, Augustine Amara encouraged the Mothers Clubs to compliment the good efforts of Bo Council in promoting quality education in the district. He said the clubs should ensure the project stays through commitment and sacrifices. He said quality education for children will secure a better generation.
Mr. Amara called on them to resist any traditional practice that militate the chances of children getting quality education. He entreated all to make judicious use of the tools and cash donated.
The Chairperson of Mothers Clubs in Njala Komboya, Jenneh Korjoe affirmed their commitment in stepping on the campaign for the rights of the child to education. She assured implementing agencies and donors that Mothers Clubs will work tirelessly to promoting the children especially girls education in the district.
Other members in the respective clubs spoke positively about the virtues of the Mothers Clubs and also singling special praises for the Peoples Development Organisation and the Bo District Council for coming to their aid.