Joining Forces Sierra Leone Chapter

Country Directors of Five Organizations and Minister of Gender and Childrens Affairs
Country Directors of World Vision International Sierra Leone, Plan International, ChildFund, Save the Children, and SOS Children's Villages Sierra Leone, the Ministre of Gender and Children's Affairs, Deputy Minister of Education and President of Childrens Forum Network Sierra Leone.
Thursday, February 1, 2024

World Vision International Sierra Leone, Plan International, ChildFund, Save the Children,  and SOS Children's Villages Sierra Leone have launched the Joining Forces (JF) Alliance Sierra Leone Chapter.  Under the theme 'United to end violence against all children and secure the right of every child', the five organisations pledge to work together to promote children's issues and rights.

As coordinator of the coalition for the next six months, World Vision's National Director Sagane Thiaw says they are taking a significant step to accelerate positive change for children in the country. He notes that the Joining Forces Alliance works in more than twenty countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and America, and this launch will combine the individual organisational expertise, resources and efforts of the coalition for the protection, participation and overall wellbeing of Sierra Leone's children.

Despite remarkable progress in several areas for children, Sagane notes that their rights continue to be regularly challenged. He further states that growing inequality and the misuse of technology, among other factors, have worsened the challenges of gender bias, hunger, poverty, ill health, and exploitation.

“Just like all the chapters around the world, we are dedicated to accelerating positive change for children by actively engaging in resource acquisition that empowers and uplifts the lives of our youngest generation. Through fundraising initiatives and collaborative efforts, we aim to secure resources such as education, healthcare, and support systems, ensuring that every child receives the care and opportunities they deserve. Together, we are committed to creating a brighter future where children thrive and reach their full potential”.

In her keynote address, the Honourable Dr Isata Mahoi, Minister of Gender and Children's Affairs, praised the composition of Sierra Leone's strong child protection alliance. She acknowledged the efforts made over the years, but emphasised that there is still much to be done, especially in the preventive spectrum of child protection. The Minister urged all partners to work harder together towards this goal. 

The Minister recalled that the Government of Sierra Leone has signed and ratified several instruments that protect the rights of children and provide for their welfare. These include the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter and several others. The Minister also mentioned that the Child Rights Act of 2007 is under review and promised that a new Child Rights Act will be in place by mid-2024. The Minister noted that the current legislation has many gaps and loopholes that need to be addressed to ensure effective child protection.

To achieve this, everyone needs to work together in a coordinated approach to bridge the gaps and solve the problems related to the protection of children”.

As separate international entities, all of the organizations have different approaches in their advocacy work to end all forms of violence and abuse against children; yet as they have joined forces, they have agreed to work on unified messaging to address child protection issues. The coming together will bolster already existing local and national child protection structures while working with families, communities and institutions to raise awareness and improve capacity to protect children.