Response to Fire in Freetown

As reported earlier a fire in Freetown has led to thousands being left homeless with little support. The following article outlines some of the assistance that is being given by the Don Bosco Fambul to those affected by this terrible tragedy

https://www.infoans.org/en/sections/news/item/12531-sierra-leone-urgent-aid-for-hundreds-of-children-who-have-lost-everything–in-a-fire

SLIP meeting with Minister Brophy

On March 31st 2021 a delegation from SLIP met with Colm Brophy T.D. Minister for Overseas Development and the Diaspora to discuss the future of Irish involvement in Sierra Leone.

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Minister for Overseas Development and the Diaspora Colm Brophy

The discussions afforded us the opportunity to present some of our concerns in relation to strengthening the political, economic and cultural ties with Sierra Leone. 

We are very cognisant of the long tradition of the Irish missionary presence in parishes, schools and medical facilities which are now staffed by local personnel, and the Irish missionary presence has declined. In the light of this, and with a view to more overtly profiling Irish people’s continuing financial support to SL we sought increased support for a Salesian Order project, Don Bosco Fambul Bus.  

This social welfare project in the community supporting adolescent girls and boys in the poorer areas of Freetown provides food, clothing, education and on-going support until the young people are re-united with their families.  Providing increased funding for the ‘bus project’ would strengthen its impact by improving its outreach. 

SLIP proposes that this project be given special status and recognised as an Irish Aid ‘Special Partnership Project’, with dedicated funding.

The Minister gave a commitment to continuing support for SL which is already the recipient of important grants from Irish Aid. He is particularly committed to the cause of education for girls which was one of the themes of the SLIP Seminar on Education in Sierra Leone held last year in conjunction with the Dept of International Development in Maynooth University. Arising from the seminar, online meetings have been held between the Teaching Council in Ireland and the Sierra Leone Teaching Commission with the aim of strengthening teacher training in Sierra Leone.

We also spoke of the issue of obstetric fistula a condition which can be caused by early pregnancy and lack of access to medical care.

Minister Brophy said he would like to visit Sierra Leone when travel restrictions are lifted. He reiterated his commitment and determination to stay involved in Sierra Leone.

We thanked him for his interest and support and look forward to continuing the dialogue.

Report on Abuse on abuse of women who travel abroad to work.

On RTE radio there is a distressing report on the fate of many women from Sierra Leone who answer advertisements for workers to travel to the Middle East to work in shops or as domestic workers. Sadly when they arrive, arrangements are not as promised. The full report may be heard on RTE player. It is part of a regular programme called World Report. It may be heard from the following link:

https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/11293648

Fire in Freetown

Last week a fire in Freetown left thousands of people homeless. The area was densely populated and the buildings were makeshift.

SLIP extends sympathy to President Bio, the Mayor Ms.Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and the people of Freetown Sierra Leone on the tragic loss of life and homes in the Susan’s Bay area..We hope that the young children, girls and boys, will be brought to safety and that all the people suffering loss of their homes be provided with food,clothing and shelter as soon as possible.
If you wish to donate to Irish agencies working in SL the following are the website addresses :https://donboscofambulsl.org/
https://www.trocaire.org/
https://www.concern.net
https://www.goalglobal.org