Final Batch of Sierra Leone Pilgrims Leave for Mecca

By Abubakarr Bah, Information Attaché, Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone

The third and final batch of Sierra Leonean pilgrims in Lungi are checking-in to depart the Freetown International Airport (FNA) for the Holy land of Makkah, to perform Hajj, the fifth Pillar of Islam.

Already, about 680 Sierra Leonean pilgrims, who safely landed at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia on Friday and Saturday respectively, have successfully performed Umrah and are now comfortably waiting in Mina for the third and final batch to join them in the Hajj journey to Arafat to fulfil one of the major pillars of Hajj.

Despite the many challenges faced by the Saudi authorities in facilitating this year’s Hajj for Muslims across the globe, the Government of His Excellency President Dr. Julius MaadaBio has worked assiduously to ensure that all the batches of Sierra Leonean pilgrims arrive safely in Makkah with no major immigration issues.

Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh on the 1st July, 2022 virtually moved his office to Lungi to help supervise the entire Hajj process.

Unlike some Guinean pilgrims who were deported just after they landed in Saudi Arabia, the 15 Sierra Leonean pilgrims that had immigration issues at the King AbdulazizInternational Airport in Jeddah were cleared to perform this year’s Hajj following the intervention of Ambassador Dr. Ibrahim Jalloh and his team at the Sierra Leone Embassy in Saudi Arabia. 

On Monday, the Minister of Social Welfare, Hon. BainduDassama, assured the last batch of Sierra Leonean pilgrims in Lungi that the Government of Sierra Leone has successfully negotiated with the Saudi Authorities for an extension of the stipulated deadline to ensure that they are flown to Saudi Arabia to perform the 2022 Hajj.

Sources from the Lungi International Airport say the Ethiopian Aircraft that would fly the third and final batch of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia has already landed  at the Lungi Airport and would depart with the pilgrims shortly.

A total of 1,080 pilgrims from Sierra Leone are expected to perform this year’s Hajj in the Muslim Holy Land of Makkahin Saudi Arabia.

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SDI Condemns Arrest and Violence against Women Protesters.

The Society for Democratic Initiative (SDI) has condemned the action of the Sierra Leone Police with regards arrests and violence against women protesters in the country. 

“On 4th July 2022, two peaceful demonstrations were held across Sierra Leone. The first action saw commercial motorbike riders, keke drivers and commercial vehicle drivers, including poda-podas, buses and taxis, hold a nationwide strike sit-down action. The transportation sector demonstration was held to call attention to the difficult economic situation, increases in the price of fuel and dramatic inflationary rises in commodity and food prices”, the release states.

It continues: “The Groups of market women, traders and business women, on 4 July 2022, also joined the demonstration by marching on the streets, carrying banners and plaques and calling for the government’s attention to the severe economic hardship faced by women and the citizenry of Sierra Leone. 

“The peaceful demonstration on Monday 4 July 2022, saw the flagrant disregard of human rights by Police and security authorities. Violence and abusive language were used by the security apparatus against some women protesters. Forty-seven (47) women were arrested across Freetown and Masingba, according to the Police Media spokesperson. 

“On Sunday 3 July 2022, two truckloads of armed OSD personnel surrounded the home of Unity party Chair, Femi Claudius-Cole, on allegations of incitement. Claudius-Cole surrendered herself at CID Headquarters and was arrested and detained. Leader of the National Grand Coalition party, Denis Bright, who appeared with Claudius-Cole at CID, was also arrested and detained. 

“Sierra Leone is a democratic state and must welcome peaceful protests from its citizens. Chapter III of the 1991 Constitution guarantees and provides for “the recognition and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual”.

“These fundamental Human Rights are, inter alia, the Protection from Arbitrary Arrest or Detention (Section 17); Protection From Inhuman Treatment (Section 20); Protection of Freedom of Expression and the Press (Section 25); Protection of Freedom of Assembly and Association (Section 26).

“SDI recognizes the authority of the laws of Sierra Leone especially the 1991 Constitution. SDI also recognizes the authority of several international treaties and declarations, which also guarantee human rights. 

“The current economic situation in the country, and around the world, is difficult. Inflation runs into the high teens. The prices of food, produce, and basic necessities of life have risen significantly over the past five to six-months. The concerns of all citizens of Sierra Leone deserve to be listened to and heard. The rights of all citizens need to be respected and promoted. 

“The Society for Democratic Initiatives condemns the actions of the Sierra Leone Police on the following grounds:

The arrest peaceful protesters, who were not armed with offensive weapons.

The arrest of prominent, high-ranking opposition politicians.

The blatant abuse and misuse of their powers.

The Society for Democratic Initiatives – Sierra Leone (SDI-SL) is a non-governmental organisation established in June 2003, with the vision to ensure accountability in governance, advocating for the promotion and protection of people’s rights with emphasis on women and children’s rights.

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Afrimoney Launches Payment Fees to Liccsal Students.

By Moses Kay Fembeh

Staff of Afrimoney on Wednesday 6th July, 2022 launched their second payment of tuition fees to students of LiccsalBusiness College at Wilberforce village, Freetown.

It could be recalled that the first payment of tuition fees waslaunched at Canadian college, Mile 91 in June this year. 

Registrar of the college, Rev. Philips S. Godwin expressed his profound thanks and appreciation to staff of Afrimoney, pointing out the difficulties students sometimes face in accessing payment system at the banks and the economic situation in the country which is not motivating. 

“This is the best idea so far. It will surely help our students toavoid the stressful situation at the bank. Therefore, I’m encouraging parents and sponsors to grab this great opportunity by making their students’ tuition payment throughAfrimoney”, Rev. Godwin said. 

Board chairman of Liccsal Business College, Mr Mackay threw light on the importance of digitalisation and globalisation, in the sense that the digital is fastly taking over the world. He admonished students and those gathered at the launch of the digital money that everyone should accept.

Martinson Obeng-Akuei is the Director of Afrimoney in Sierra Leone. He spoke on the importance of digital money by encouraging students to involve in digital marketing through their computers after the completion of their studies. 

“Our Afrimoney initiative will help you as a student to save time and money. Imagine your college bank is all the way East End, and you have the tuition fee with you on the day of exams and you are told to pay before taking your examination. Do you want to tell me that it would be possible to pay on that same day and be able to write your examination? No! So to avoid all of those things that is why we have come up with this initiative to your doorstep so that we all could benefit as good neighbours and countrymen”

“This will also help the government to avoid lots of expenses on printing money and you, yourself would not move around with physical money. I can also assure you that we have over 600,000 agents nationwide and that means we have assigned 600,000 agents to you”, he noted.

Principal of Liccsal Business College, Mrs. Cecilia Bangura applauded the director and staff of Liccsal Business College, expressing profound thanks for making it a reality. According to her, when Sheikh Omaru Jalloh, Head of Sales and Marketing met her to discuss the Afrimoney proposal, she was afraid, probably thinking that their college account might be frauded but Mr. Jalloh and team persuaded her that, that would not happen. So she accepted the idea. 

“Today on behalf of the board, students’ body, staff and management of Liccsal Business College, I hereby formally launch Afrimoney at our college”, she proudly announced. 

Afrimoney staff, James Tommy introduced the use of the code *161#. “When you dial that number, the person should select 2 and after selection he/she will see other options and select 11 which is “next” and the student (s) will see 1 and 2 as options and 1 is school and 2 is tertiary and the student must select 2 and continue with the process his/ID number will be needed and confirmation pin or password of the student”, he explained.

Tommy promised to forward the video clip to all the 110 students that were at the event.

Abu Vandi who is a student of Liccsal Business College commended the director and team of Afrimoney for thinking about them, noting the huge opportunity it’d give them as students.

Copyright © Heroes Media Newspaper

Journalists Trained on Climate Reporting

By Ishmail Saidu Kanu

Catholic Relief Service (CRS) in partnership with the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has concluded a two-day training on Climate Reporting for about 15 journalists in Freetown.

The exercise focused on CRS’ programming in Sierra Leone, Effective Communications in Climate Change, Fundamentals Climate Science and Climate Change, Climate Change and Sustainable and Development and Field Visit. 

Addressing participants, CRS’ Technical Partnership Advisor, Dennis Momoh said they believe in partnership hence the reason for the training together with SLAJ. “We’ll continue to strengthen our relation with the media”, he added. 

Mr. Momoh noted that the Fourth Estate has the power to influence decision, and can report issues around climate change for a better world. 

“Sometimes last year, we had an engagement with the media and this is just a continuation of what we started in 2021”

“I want to recognise your role towards nation building. I assure you of CRS’ commitment towards the media. We’ll continue working with journalists all the time”.

Financial Secretary of SLAJ, Mohamed Konneh thanked CRS for the partnership to organize a training on Climate Change for the media.

He pointed out that climate change is a major problem in the world today, stressing the increase in heat wave in Sierra Leone and the world at large. 

“SLAJ supports this training because the environment is key to our existence. So I urge colleagues to take the training seriously”, he admonished adding “Be an environment journalist today and help save the environment tomorrow”. 

Climate Change Consultant, Amara Salami Kanu was the facilitator for the two-day exercise. 

CRS started work in Sierra Leone in 1963 carrying out the commitment of the Catholic Bishops and the Catholic community of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas.

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“Vote me as President of UNIMAK Law Society” -Abass Mamud Sesay

“Vote me as President of UNIMAK Law Society”-AbassMamud Sesay

Abass Mamud Sesay who hailed from the Northern part of Sierra Leone, Makeni Town started and completed his primary and secondary education at the St. Francis Secondary School, Makeni. 

During his secondary school days, Abass served in many leadership capacities as school prefect, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Information and Communication. He also made countless representations for his school in many debating competitions across the country.

Upon completion of his secondary school education, he gained admission into the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology-Freetown Campus where he read Architectural Technology before he travelled to the United State of America to Study Leadership and Civic Engagement at Kansas State University. Currently, Abass is a third year student at Limkokwing University pursuing his Bachelor in InteriorArchitecture and also a third year Law student at the University of Makeni (UNIMAK).

Abass brings on board 6 years of Civic Society leadership,gleaned from NGOs including AANSL, UNICEF, CDC, and Plan International. As a Youth Advocate, the perfect Law student has earned distinguished career in youth and women’s empowerment, youth leadership with domestic, PublicSpeaking and capacity-building in both national and international platforms. 

As a community development activist, Abass is the founder and current CEO of Active Ambassadors Network Sierra Leone (AANSL), a non-profit NGO that works towards promoting climate change, girl-child education, youth and women’s empowerment and youth leadership training. 

Through his organization and lobby prowess, over 10,000 youths especially women and children have benefited from his projects with support from IREX, United State Department of State, US Embassy in Freetown, Elliot School of Communication, Wichita State University and Kansas Leadership Center all in the US. 

Abass has achieved several international recognitions and to date, he is one of Sierra Leone’s finest young leader. In 2016, he was the recipient of the Queen’s Commonwealth Youth Excellent Award on Sustainable Development (The Queens Award for Youth), a recognition that was recommended by the Ministry of Youth Affairs. Abass is a 2015 cohort Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Alumni, a U.S. government signature effort by former President Barrack Obama to invest in the next generation of African leaders and to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across sub-Saharan Africa, he is also a 2019 Mandela Washington Fellow, one of the biggest Youth Leadership platforms in the world that trains future African Leaders, a fellow of the most prestigious Obama Foundation Fellow for African Leaders-a recognition that he received together with the current ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala as the two qualifying fellows in 2018/2019. Also, Abass is Young World Ambassador, a recognition he received together with the former member of Parliament Hon. Osman Timbo(Youngest) as the only two qualifying Sierra Leoneans. In 2015, Abass was appointed by YALI management in Ghana to represent YALI in the MO Ibrahim Foundation award program where all African Presidents meet annually to celebrate leadership and good governance. He has been recognised as the most Influential young leader in Sierra Leone by Student without Boarders in Cotonou, Benin, at their Africa Youth Leadership Summit in 2015. Abass is also a 2016 UN Asia Model United Nations Ambassador, a YALI Network Influencer and the current PRO for West Africa Young Leaders Association, a 2015 TedX Speaker, a writer, mentor and a public speaker who has mentored and inspired thousands of youths in the country.

Abass has remained a true gender activist and someone who believes in inclusiveness. 

His leadership experience and exposure speaks volumes of him as a true definition of leadership and thus, the most suitable person for the position of PRESIDENT OF THE LAW SOCIETY.

In his recent engagements with LLB1&2 students in their various classes, these were the words of Abass: “I know that the world needs more women who are skilled, problem solvers and leaders, and our law society too needs them if we are to make progress as a department”. “My vision is to ensure that I provide a safe and a level playing field for all women in the law department to unleash and exhibit their expertise (s) and develop new skills in which they can be used in their career, classrooms, businesses and organizations in addressing perennial problems”. 

He further adds: “His goal for the department is to ensure that we bolster our credibility, trust, and professional leadership skills amongst women, and to see more women excelling in diverse fields and thus, have the exuberance and confidence in adding their voices to contemporary issues in our department. It’s undisputed fact that the success of the society hinges largely on our women as they’re the movers and shakers of development in all folds”.

In demonstrating true leadership, Abass cited examples of his goodwill he has undertaken in and outside the ambiances of UNIMAK:

The provision of a new i5 Desktop Computer for students to be using in undertaking myriad of research, Electrical Fans for the classrooms, a multi-task printer and photocopier and cleaning sanitizers and sprayers for our Law students hostel dwellers. 

Notably, during the past Law Society Executive, he had helped them in diverse ways like lobbying for materials and finance in setting up the Law Resource Center, assisted in the creation of the Law Garden, sponsored the moot court competition and that of the most successful law tour in which he singlehandedly fuelled one of the busses. 

Notwithstanding the current Law Society Executive, Abasshas been an active supporter of the society in all activities undertaken by the current executive such as financially supporting the Executive on the just concluded Mooting Competition, assisting the society team in-kind and financially as well as providing snacks for all Law students that attended the just concluded Law Tour by the current Law Society Executive. Notably Abass financially supported the just concluded inter classes football competition and that of the just concluded inter departmental competition. 

To the General Students Body, Abass has over the years assisted many Law students on one-on-one tutorials and had organized group tutorials at the hostel from which the current LLB 2 students benefited from that. To many, it is not a novelty that Abass has been tirelessly helping students with reading materials as well as making notes for them on key modules including the current LLB1 students who have also benefited from that. 

Abbas’s ambition for the society was born out of the fact that the law society is one of the biggest at UNIMAK, however, he does not believe it has necessarily fulfilled its responsibilities to its students fully over the past two years. Whilst it has put on some memorable events, he wishes to continue on that path If elected as President to do more and better for society. Abbas’s agenda will focus on robust advocacy for all law students, ensure that students’ welfare is his top priority, lobby for more support to be provided to students especially those that are extremely challenged financially, develop and launch a leadership and mentorship scheme to empower students at the department, organize conferences to inspire students to speak up and provide leadership training as well as expose more students on international conferences to develop their skills through State department programs, develop an all-inclusive programme of events that tailor to the diversity of students at the law department, reform the system of personal tutors and the departmental study aid for academic excellence as well as expand student welfare provision. “I am ready to serve, listen and learn from you all as a humble servant and leader by putting the interest of the student first in all I do”.

The change is now, vote me in as your president of the Law Society for effective leadership, fearless advocacy, accountability, competency, Inclusiveness and Students Welfare.

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At UNESCO Breakfast Meeting….

President Bio calls for Political Will & Scale-up Investments in Education.

By Betty Milton, Information Attaché, Brussels, Belgium

In his opening remarks at the SDG 4 High-Level Steering Committee Meeting on the margins of the Transforming Education Pre- Summit in Paris, President Julius Maada Bio who doubles as Co-Chair of the SDG 4 High-Level Steering Committee, has urged all governments that “there is the real risk of a generational catastrophe if we do not enkindle the necessary political will and scale up investments in education”.

He added: “We must generate the necessary political will and muster a committed global movement to make the desired change happen”.

President Bio maintained that the meeting provided a valuable opportunity to respond to the call for stronger leadership, greater political will, and bolder action in favour of education and lifelong learning. 

The Sierra Leone President and Co- Chair recognised that education is the most powerful investment for sustainable future. He also spoke about the urgency of the global learning crisis, and the need to transform education systems. He continued: “we therefore urge the need for a genuine shift in mindsets towards the HLSC’s Call for Action for the Transforming Education Summit.”

On the Draft Message by the SDG 4 High-Level Steering Committee, President Bio described it as a message of warning and hope, adding: “a message of warning, because the cost of inaction is intolerable; a message of hope, because the opportunities for genuine transformation are considerable”. 

As a strong believer of quality education especially at an early stage the President emphased that education provided the essential pillars for building peaceful, democratic, and inclusive societies where there was respect for human rights, a healthy planet, and a sustainable future for humanity.

The President called on members of the SDG 4 High-Level Steering Committee that they have a collective responsibility to seize the momentum created by the UN Secretary General’s Summit to make the case for transformation in education and as representatives of our respective regions and constituencies, they have a duty to mobilise their countries and all key stakeholders. 

“All actors must urgently pursue both inclusive and equitable education and lifelong learning for all. This is the very essence of the HLSC’s Call for Action. We must therefore strategically use that as a wake-up call,” President Bio stated.

Co- Chair of the SDG4 HLSC, Madam Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, in her statement said looking beyond the crisis of the COVID, there were other challenges before the COVID-19 and were still prevailing which had affected the world and the educational sector especially the technological disruption and the climate change.

She added that, to guide their efforts they needed to look at the coordinated work done by UNESCO on the future of education which offered solid and shared foundation for global education. 

Audrey Azoulay further stated that the role of the Committee was essential as it mobilised leaders of the world to defend and define their nations’ priorities and to better align the financing of these priorities.

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Le 15.7bn For 5,058 Primary Schools.

The Ministry of Basic & Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) has disbursed school grants valued at Fifteen Billion Seven Hundred and Twenty-Nine Million and Two Thousand Leones (Le 15,729,002,000) directly to 5,058 public schools running a full cycle primary education from classes 1 through 6. These grants, based on data collected in March 2022, were disbursed on 15 June 2022 as Performance Based Financing for Term 2 of the 2021/22 academic year, and they seek to improve various components of quality education at the school level. 

The Government of Sierra Leone currently provides largescale support, including provision of teaching and learning materials, and financing (fee subsidies) to ‘government’ and ‘government-assisted’ schools at all levels. However, these resources are not always adequate to cover all the expenses and needs of beneficiary schools and ‘unapproved’ schools do not currently receive such mainstream government financial support. 

The Performance-Based Financing (PBF) school grants are innovative additional resource-support packages to schools that amplify specific learning and administrative outcomes. The size of the support is dependent strictly on performance metrics – the school gets more of the standard PBF grant if it improves student attendance, retention and progression and improves teaching and learning outcomes. Schools with special needs and circumstances (i.e., unapproved or small schools, schools in poor communities, or schools with students with disabilities) also receive extra funds. Guidelines for the use of PBF Grants are available in the PBF Manual on which all School Management Committees (SMCs) and Head Teachers have been trained. Parts of these resources could be used for payment of stipends to community and volunteer teachers, payment of staff bonuses based on performance, and supporting school operations. 

As part of this project implementation, MBSSE received technical assistance under the Free Education Project from the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovations (DSTI) to introduce the Open ‘Government to Person’ (G2P) framework to accelerate cash transfers to the schools. The platform integrates the data collection on the schools’ performances on the PBF indicators, calculation of the grants, and transfer of funds to the schools’ accounts in real time in a secure manner. As a pilot from this collaboration between MBSSE, DSTI and the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, One Hundred and Fifty-Seven Million Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Thousand Five Hundred and Ten Leones (Le 157,766,510) of the total amount was transferred to 58 out of the 5058 school accounts using the (G2P) payment mechanism. This automation and digitization will provide rigor, transparency and efficiency to the system when scaled in the future. 

The Government of Sierra Leone Free Education Project / Multi-Donor Trust Fund is implemented by the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education through the Free Education Project Secretariat and it is supported by World Bank (IDA), European Union, Irish Aid, Foreign Commonwealth Development Office, and the Global Partnership for Education.

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On Sexual and Health Rights, UN Resident Coordinator calls for Collective Action.

UN Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi has called for collective action to reinvigorate efforts to ensure sexual health and rights of all, and, in particular, to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence. 

He was speaking at the 10th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights conference in Freetown. 

“Our world is currently experiencing upheavals that if not addressed immediately, will have tremendous impact on our future. The underlying truth borne out by evidence is that every crisis we have, has a decidedly young, female face”, he said.

The UN Resident Coordinator added: “In Sierra Leone, this is the face of a frightened young woman grappling with gender-based violence. This is the face of a 16-years old pregnant school girl, who is among the 21 per cent of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 that were found to have begun child bearing. This is the face of a young girl, kept out of school due to female genital mutilation rites coupled with pandemic disruptions, and further exacerbated by poverty, lack of social safety net, and digital divide.

“Unfortunately, these challenges are not just found in Sierra Leone, but are replicated to varying degrees across Africa. 

“The 10th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights, therefore, provides a timely opportunity for all stakeholders to rethink and renew our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals – in particular Goal 5: Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls. The theme of the conference, “Accelerating the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence in Africa” is a call to action for stakeholders to reinvigorate our efforts to ensure sexual health and rights of all, and, in particular, to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence. 

“This requires collective action. People, including youth, civil society, the media, the private sector and other stakeholders, need to generate an unstoppable movement pushing for the required transformation. Across Africa, we need to build stronger partnerships, mobilize more resources, and provide innovative and sustainable solutions to address sexual and gender-based violence. In our respective countries, we have to embed the needed transitions in the policies, budgets, institutions, and regulatory frameworks of governments, while ensuring that the most vulnerable, including women and girls are protected and empowered. 

“The solution to so many of Africa’s biggest challenges is likely right in front of us: the realization of the full rights and potential of women and girls, and young people in general. 

“When individuals can exercise real informed choice over their health, bodies and futures, they can contribute to prosperous societies and a more sustainable, equitable and just world. 

“By prioritizing agency and the empowerment of all people — especially women, girls, young people, and the most vulnerable — so they can finally exercise real, informed choice over their health, bodies, and futures, we can unleash a powerful, reinforcing cycle of gains. 

“Therefore, let us collectively take advantage of the transformative opportunity this flagship regional Conference presents to us. Let us work diligently and together to reverse our current trajectories. Let us recommit ourselves towards sustainable and equitable development, where the most vulnerable, especially young people and women, free from sexual and gender-based violence, are at the centre of economic and social development. 

“This is how we will achieve the Africa that we want – an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa progressing towards the Sustainable Development Goals”, he ended.

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Statistics Sierra Leone to spend US$4m after World Bank Approval.

The World Bank has recently approved US$4m to be utilised for various statistical activities and building of district offices successfully presented and defended by Stats SL as part of the Institution’s Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa (HISWA) project.

The Statistician General and CEO of Stats SL Prof. Osman Sankoh (Mallam O.) was visibly excited about this clearance for his team to implement key activities before the end of the year. With the few words “God is great!”, he quickly changed into top gear to begin the engagement with his team on the deliverables.

The results-driven Deputy Statistician General Mr Andrew Bob Johnny thanked the World Bank for its positive consideration of Stats SL’s proposal for the year and he said this would enable pre-construction work for an ultramodern HQ complex at Tower Hill in Freetown in the coming two years and an impressive presence of Stats SL’s own office buildings across the district and regional headquarter towns in Sierra Leone.

Providing some specifics, Mr Albert Bangura-Will, the HISWA Project Coordinator said that the approved US$4m for 2022 would allow Stats SL to effectively prepare for several statistical activities. These include: an agricultural census; a census of business establishments: a new Sierra Leone Integrated Household Survey; and generation of credible administrative data.

Appreciating the World Bank for its favourable decision on behalf of the Statistics Council, the Chairman of Council Mr Moses LJ Williams said that Stats SL couldn’t have been on a better footing to implement its planned activities for the year. He urged Management to continue to be effective and efficient in their work.

The HISWA grant funds are ably managed by the Project Fiduciary Management Unit (PFMU) of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) led by the Team Lead, Mr Alpha Sesay.

©️ Stats SL Comms & PR Div

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55-year-old man in custody for penetrating two kids

By Pastor Mohamed Sesay

55 years old Abu Koroma, a security guard at Medicines San Frontier, is currently detained at CID HQ, Pademba Road, Freetown, after he was captured when he was on the verge of escaping from his Waterloo residence after he was suspected of having sexually penetrated two kids aged 9 and 11.

The suspected pervert who is a relative of his victims, is said to have lured the kids from their town of Warridala in the Biriwa Chiefdom northern Sierra Leone on the pretext that he was taking them to the city to educate them.

The unsuspecting parents of the kids agreed not knowing that Abu Koroma is a paedophile who had in the past exhibited his sexual appetite for kids.

The suspected beast was to later turn the kids into his sex slaves taking turns on them at his evil will.

The children were suffering but they couldn’t explain to anybody for fear that Koroma will kill them through juju.

It was only an observant teacher at the school where the two kids were attending, that noticed the kids’ behavior to be abnormal.

The kids were to later confide in the teacher about what Koromathe monster was doing to them.

It was authorities at the school who alerted the police and on the nick of time the police pounced and they found the demon, Koroma packing his belongings to escape but he was cornered and arrested.

The suspected child penetrator, thinking that what he did is just a small thing and it is believed that Abu Koroma is trying to compromise the matter at the station.

But the Comment newspaper is watching the every move of the police in the matter and therefore calling on Don Bosco and other child right activists to intervene to ensure justice for the kids.

Investigation continues!!

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“Blacklist Underperforming Contractors’’ -Local Government Minister Orders Local Councils.

By Frederick V Kanneh, Information Officer, MLGRD.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Amb. Tamba Lamina has ordered all local Councils to stop giving contracts to contractors that are not worth the salt.

Amb. Tamba Lamina gave this directive while representing the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone on an official handing over ceremony of 22 motor bikes provided by the Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA) to Engineers in the Local Councils for supervision, monitoring and evaluation ofroad maintenance activities in their localities.

“I’m admonishing all Engineers and leadership of the Local Councils to blacklist contractors that do substandard job when contracts are awarded to them. This is because their underperformance is a disappointment to you, the residents of your communities and the Government as a whole,” he ordered in his keynote address while stating that it’s the responsibilities of the Councils and Engineers to make sure that the contractors perform their duties in line with the goal and scope of the contracts, which is why they should not compromise with those categories of contractors.

Minister Lamina further thanked the leadership of RMFA for capacitating the Engineers of the respective Councils with motor bikes which will ease their movement while monitoring road maintenance activities in their communities, adding that as a Minister who is always with the Local Councils, he knows exactly how important the bikes are to the beneficiaries.

He maintained that even though the Government is contending with so many challenges ranging from the effects of  COVID-19 to the repercussions of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine , the Local Councils still keep getting support from the Government and other development partners, citing the “Local Authorities’ Project” that the Famino Municipality in Italy through the European Union had  implemented in five Local Councils and the “10 million Euro EU supported funding projects” in five District Councils, amongst others.

He ended up by appealing to the beneficiaries of the motor bikes to use them for the intended purpose and make sure that they arealways in working order.

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of RMFA, Basiru Sannoh, intimated the gathering about the achievements of the RMFA and the reason why they provided the bikes to the Engineers. Statements from different stakeholders also formed part of the handing over ceremony followed by cutting of the ribbons on the bikes by Minister Lamina.

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Education is not a privilege; it is a fundamental human right.

-President Bio tells World Leaders

By Augustine Sankoh, Strategic Communications Analyst, MBSSE

President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Julius Maada Bio as Co-Chair of the Sustainable Development Goal-4 (SDG4) High-Level Steering Committee during the segment consisting of Ministerial and Stakeholder engagement has emphasized during his opening remark that education is not a privilege, but a fundamental human right.

The Transforming Education Pre‐Summit is organized in Paris on 28‐30 June 2022. A Global Engagement Day on 28 June included technical meetings on Thematic Action Tracks and engagements with key stakeholders and this was Co-Chaired by the Sierra Leone’s Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Dr. Moinina David Sengeh.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the current global economic crises have further amplified the severe education funding gap. We must therefore use this Pre-Summit strategically to rally all forces behind the call for inclusive quality education and lifelong learning for all. We do so because education is not a privilege; it is a fundamental human right,” President Bio said.

He calls on all to collectively advocate that education is not a cost but an investment in the sustainable future of their societies, children, and the planet, adding that he cost of inaction is simply not acceptable and they must therefore assume collective responsibility for taking resolute action for education.

“We must stay focused on using the opportunity offered by the Transforming Education Summit to position education at the top of the political agenda of member states. We can do so with concrete commitments supported by strong political will at the highest levels,” he said.

As Co-Chair of the SDG4 High-Level Steering Committee, President Bio assures all that the Steering Committee stands ready to fully support, monitor, and carry forward the impetus created by the Summit.

I thank her for UNESCO’s exemplary leadership and tireless efforts in advancing Sustainable Development Goal-4.  

According to President Bio, the most vulnerable, most marginalized, and most disadvantaged learners count on education stakeholders to deliver on implementing SDG 4 by 2030, so it is their collective responsibility to call for immediate and bold action towards that end.

He said education is a driving force for sustainable development, noting that it is a powerful lever for responding to some of the most pressing challenges faced by humanity including climate change, migration, youth unemployment, healthcare, and peaceful and just societies.

He said it is also a cross-cutting accelerator for the advancement of all the other SDGs, noting that any integrated, holistic, multi-sectoral approach to sustainable development must include education.

“The HLSC’s Urgent Call for Action is a call to Heads of State and Government to invest in and transform education as the clearest pathway to our shared goals of peace, prosperity, sustainability, and building resilience,” he said.

The overall objective of the Pre‐Summit is to harness the evolving discussions on transforming education, elaborate initial content and establish a shared vision and suggested actions for the Summit, and generate greater momentum in the lead up to September.

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We should not play politics with the economy- Hon. Chericoco

Leader of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) in Parliament, Hon. Chernor Maju Ramadan Bah has told colleague MPs ‘not to play politics with the Economy’. 

Wrapping up the debate during the presentation of theSupplementary Government Budget and Statement of Economic and Financial Policies for the Financial Year, 2022 in the Well of Parliament on Friday, Hon. Chericoco, as he’s fondly called, said they know that the economy is challenged and that the Minister was sincere enough to say it.

“What is important is to ensure that the budget works” he stated and went on to ask the Ministry of Finance to continue to engage Parliament on the challenges on time, and not when they have gone beyond control.

Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma commended the team from the Ministry of Finance for their foresight to the economy. He spoke about the reasons for the Supplementary Budget and other related challenges on the globe using comparative analysis of inflation, compounded with the Ukraine/Russia war. 

He said it was better for all and sundry to address the problem, supporting the harmonization of the Wage Bill. Hon. Nyuma emphasized economic solving problems and commended the Minister. 

He spoke about the prediction of food shortage and the Government’s subsidies to Agriculture in order to ameliorate food security. He categorically stated that fuel subsidy is not available and went on to speak about mitigation of the projection. He spoke about policy to support farmers in light of food security, and asked all to proffer solutions.

Chairman of the Finance Committee, Hon Francis Amara Kaisamba advised his colleague MPs to confine their debate on Standing Order 69, 3, which he said speaks to the matter before the House. He said they are pretty sure that money would be available to address the imaging issues. According to him, the Minister of Finance had given reasons for the Supplementary Budget and related challenges. He expressed that the Minister stated various institutions that would benefit from the Supplementary Budget and also public debts management, salaries, and wages among others. He also cited development activities.

The Chairman of Agriculture Committee in Parliament, Hon. Salieu Osman Sesay said the economy is in shambles and raised concern that, bringing the Supplementary Budget would cause more inflation.

The MP went on to urge the Minister to explain, if the Supplementary Budget would not increase the food price and affected the cost of living, alarming the cost of fuel. He used the opportunity to ask the Government to subsidize the fuel price for the people and went on to say some MDAs have not benefited from the previous budget that was approved, adding that, the Supplementary Budget is so huge. 

Hon. SOS indicated energy as one MDA that is receiving a Supplementary Budget more than its previous budget. He decried Road Maintenance Fund for not implementing projects properly as contractors are not doing well recalling instances. He asked for an effective monitoring process on projects implemented.

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Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights Opens in Freetown.

The 10th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights, convened by the African Federation for Sexual Health and Rights and hosted by Purposeful Sierra Leone in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, on Monday 27 June, opened at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown, with a Youth Pre-Conference, held under the theme “Accelerating the Elimination of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Africa.”

Speaking at the official opening of the event, UNFPA Representative to Sierra Leone, Ms. Nadia Rasheed said UNFPA is committed to work with stakeholders including governments, civil society, youth led organisations towards accelerating progress to end gender-based violence and in creating spaces for young people’s voices to be heard on all issues affecting them.

Ms. Rasheed said, in line with its transformative agenda of accelerating progress towards ending gender based violence, UNFPA was proud to be co-sponsoring the conference and to support the participation of more than 175 young people. 

“This conference is an incredible opportunity to connect with other young people and with distinguished experts and decision makers from across the continent. It’s an opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills, to be exposed to different perspectives, and to fuel your advocacy on the issues that you are most passionate about,” she told the over 350 participants drawn from across 41 African countries.

Ms. Rasheed noted that Africa is home to 130 million girls and women who were married in childhood, 140 million girls and women who have undergone FGM, and 40 million girls who have experienced both of these harmful practices” but that despite efforts and commitments to end gender based violence, it remains a serious issue, hindering young people from reaching their full potential.  

Officially opening the conference, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs, Hon. Mohamed Orman Bangura indicated that now is the time to invest in young people and promote dialogue and understanding across cultures and generations that would advance human rights for all people. “To ensure that development policies work for everyone, we must use human rights as our foundation. We must promote and protect the human rights of all young people, especially the most vulnerableones,” Minister Bangura said. 

He called on leaders to listen to the voices of young people and invest in them and ensure they become part of all decision-making processes. “It is time to carry the voices of young people forward to the United Nations Summit in September, where leaders will review progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” Minister Bangura said.

Also speaking at the event was Chernor Bah, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Purposeful Sierra Leone and Conference Host. “We are a feminist organization. It was exactly because of moment like this that Purposeful was put together. We believe in young people. We are particularly excited by the fact that almost half of the delegates would be young people who are leading the change, and who are the reason that we started Purposeful as an organization,” Bah said. 

The conference brings together Civil Society, Governments, UN Agencies, human rights activists and development partners for a dialogue on a common approach to ending violence against women and girls in Africa.

© John Baimba Sesay | Web and Media Analyst UNFPA

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Domestic Revenue Collected in Quarter 1, 2022 Recorded a Shortfall of Le 330Bn- Finance Minister.

By Ishmail Saidu Kanu

“Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, following the impressive performance in 2021 on the back of the recovery in economic activities and improved tax administration, domestic revenue collection weakened during Quarter 1, 2022. Domestic revenue collected in Quarter 1, 2022, recorded a shortfall of Le 330 billion and was also lower than the amount collected during the same period in 2021. Several revenue streams were below their respective quarterly targets, including Petroleum Excise duties, Goods and Services Tax, Fisheries Royalties, and Timber Export Levy”, says Minister of Finance, Dennis Vandi.

He was presenting the Supplementary Government Budget and Statement of Economic and Financial Policies for the Financial Year, 2022 in the Well of Parliament on Friday.

The Minister said in general, the weak revenue performance can be attributed to the delay in adjusting fuel prices, reduced tax compliance, public resistance to tax reforms, especially the use of the Electronic Cash Register (ECR), and supply chain challenges in the export of bauxite and timber logs.

“Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, we are submitting to this Noble House a Supplementary Budget for the Financial Year 2022 for the following reasons: Firstly, the macroeconomic and fiscal assumptions that underlined the 2022 Budget no longer hold. As Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of agricultural and energy products, including oil, gas, metals, wheat, corn and fertiliser, countries, including Sierra Leone, are already experiencing uncertain supplies and higher prices. The sharp rise in global food and energy prices coupled with the general uncertainty has slowed down domestic economic activities, undermined domestic revenue collection and created pressures on the budget.

“Secondly, given the urgent need to protect the poor and vulnerable from the soaring food and energy prices, we will adopt mitigating measures, which I will present later in this statement.

“Thirdly, given the need to ensure fiscal and debt sustainability and to facilitate the implementation of the emerging expenditure priorities, Government engaged development partners, including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank, for the provision of additional financial resources. Thankfully, reflecting Government’s commitment to implementing policy reforms, the World Bank will provide additional budget support and project grants to support energy and education programmes. We also plan to use a larger share of additional Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocated by the IMF to support the budget. The African Development Bank is also providing support under the African Emergency Food Production Programme. 

“Fourthly, to expand the fiscal space to finance the emerging expenditure priorities, we are introducing additional tax policy and tax administration measures. These measures are aimed at increasing domestic revenues over and above the original projection

“Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the key objectives of the Supplementary Budget are: (i) to safeguard macroeconomic stability through prudent fiscal and proactive monetary policies; (ii) to protect the vulnerable segments of our society from the higher food and fuel prices by expanding existing social safety programmes and enhancing support to the energy sector; and (iii) to complete the implementation of ongoing projects as outlined in the original 2022 budget.

Minister Vandi added that the April edition of the World Economic Outlook Report published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised the projected growth of the World economy for 2022 downwards to 3.6 percent compared to the 4.4 percent projected in January 2022. Global growth is forecast to average 3.3 percent in the medium-term.

He pointed out that in Sub-Saharan Africa, the pace of the recovery that started in the second half of 2021 has slowed down significantly, reflecting the uncertainties from the spillover of the war in Ukraine combined with the high and rising food, energy and fertiliser prices, adding that Growth in the region is projected to slow down to 3.8 percent in 2022 from 4.5 percent in 2021. 

“Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, global food and fuel prices have surged during the first half of this year, reaching levels not seen since 2007 and 2008 and are projected to remain high in the near and medium term. The price of Brent crude oil is projected to average $100 per barrel in 2022, a 42 percent increase from 2021 and its highest level since 2013. Agricultural commodity prices are forecast to rise by 18 percent this year, reflecting higher costs of inputs, including fuel, chemicals, and fertiliser. Inflation is therefore projected to remain elevated in all regions of the World in 2022”, he added.

The Minister of Finance continued by saying that the spillover effects of the war are negatively affecting all facets of our economy: slow GDP growth, high inflation, weak revenue performance, increase in Government expenditures, fall in foreign reserves and adverse terms of trade. The negative impact on key sectors, including agriculture, cannot be overemphasized. 

He explained that the growth prospects of the economy in 2022 are weaker than initially anticipated. “The disruption in fertiliser supply has led to a sharp increase in the global price of fertiliser. In Sierra Leone, the price of fertiliser, including urea, which commonly used by our farmers, has increased by more than 70 percent between January and June 2022. Against the background of the general uncertainty in the global economy, combined with higher food, fuel and fertiliser prices, the initial growth projection of 5.9 percent for 2022 has been revised downwards to 3.6 percent”.

He reiterated that this Budget is a continuation of a series of interventions including improving food security, deepening investments in human capital development and protecting all vulnerable groups to enhance our economy’s resilience to shocks. 

Mr. Vandi ended by commending the Supplementary Budget and Statement of Economic and Financial Policies for the 2022 Fiscal Year to the House.

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Today, Finance Minister Tables 2022 Supplementary Budget in Parliament.

Pursuant to Section 4, subsection 1 of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act, 2016, the Minister of Finance, Dennis K. Vandi will today present a Supplementary Budget for the Financial Year 2022 in the Well of Parliament at 10am.

Section 112 (1) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone 1991 authorizes the Minister responsible for finance to prepare and lay “before Parliament in each financial year estimates of the revenue and expenditures of Sierra Leone for the next following financial year.” In addition, sub-section 3, provides for the Minister to lay before Parliament a supplementary estimate when “the amount of moneys appropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient or that a need has arisen for expenditure for the purpose for which no amount of money has been appropriated by that Act.

The Minister is also expected to give global and regional economic outlook in relation to Sierra Leone, and the impact of COVID-19 and gains of the Quick Action Economic Response Programme (QAERP) which has the overall goal of maintaining macro-economic and financial stability and mitigates the impact of the COVID-19 shock on businesses and households. Also on the effect of the Russia-Ukraine war on Sierra Leone’s economy. 

Vote Controllers, Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), State-Owned Enterprises, representatives of Development Partners Institutions, as well as Non-Governmental Organizations, District Budget Oversight Committee members, Local Community representatives, Non-State Actors, other Civil Society Organisations and members of the General Public are expected to witness the proceedings in the Well of Parliament.

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Trade Minister & Kuwait Minister of Commerce Discuss Investment Potential for Sierra Leone.

Trade Minister & Kuwait Minister of Commerce discuss Investment Potential for Sierra Leone

On the Margins of WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva, the Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Honourable Dr Edward Hinga Sandy, today held a productive bilateral meeting with his counterpart Minister of Commerce and Industry of Kuwait, His Excellency Mr Fahad Mutlaq Al-Shuraian. The pair discussed trade and investment opportunities in both countries. 

Minister Dr Sandy used the opportunity to articulate His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio’s positive record and transformational programme in updating Sierra Leone’s trade laws and policies aimed at creating the enabling environment for private sector investment, job creation, and guaranteeing a handsome investor return. 

The Minister of Trade and Industry maintained that the objective of Sierra Leone’s trade reform programme is to position Sierra Leone as the hub for trade and investment in the Mano River Basin.  

In his brief statement, the Trade Minister highlights the range of potential investment opportunities in Sierra Leone, citing the country’s successful transition from a war-ravaged nation to a leading example in Africa for peaceful elections, democratic governance, a rule of law nation and have had five successful transitions of governments through the ballot box. This is a nation that where businesses can thrive based on its favourable personal tax system and concessionary and competive cooperation tax regime. 

The Minister of Trade and Industry intimated his counterpart on possible Private sector areas for investment ranging from manufacturing, to agribusiness, to technology and the mining sectors in Sierra Leone.

In his response, the Minister of Commerce and Industry of Kuwait, Mr Fahad Mutlaq Al-Shuraian, thanked his colleague for the meeting and extended his felicitations on behalf of his Head of State, the Emir of Kuwait, His Highness Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Al-Sabah to His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio, the government and people of Sierra Leone. 

The Kuwaiti Minister said Sierra Leone and Kuwait should each serve as a staging post for each other in their respective regions to enable their entering into new markets and the build trade relations and infrastructure necessary for export and trade promotion. 

The Minister of Commerce assured of his government’s collaboration and cooperation with Sierra Leone. Adding that his Ministry will continue to encourage the private sector in Kuwait to seize the opportunity to trade and invest in Sierra Leone.

During this meeting, the two Ministers discussed several trade and investment opportunities including the need for a Bilateral Agreement between the two countries that will focus on specific sectors for growth, such as Agriculture, Manufactory, Tourism, Infrastructure, Transport and Aviation, and Energy among others.

At the end of the meeting, the Ministers registered mutual commitments to improve their two countries’ trade relations and discussed staging a planned Investment Conference in Kuwait to bring together investors in both countries.

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National Tourism Parliamentary Governance Conference Starts Today

The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the National Tourist Board with support from the World Bank have briefed the media ahead of the first National Tourism Parliamentary Governance conference to be held at Galliness Paradise, Bo from the 17-18 June, 2022 on the theme: the role of parliament in the development of tourism and culture in Sierra Leone.

The two-day conference which will move all the parliamentarians including the speaker of the house to Bo is aimed at deepening the knowledge and understanding of the role of parliamentarians towards helping the tourism sector overcome its prevailing challenges, enact favourable legislations, seek requisite support and collaboration of MDAs and entice key players at all levels of society to support the sector. The conference will attract speakers and presenters from different MDAs in the area of investment opportunities and asset, hospitality and law, development of SME’s, cultural heritage, marketing and promotion among others.

Mohamed Jalloh, the Director of Tourism mentioned that the tourism sector was a multi-faceted, multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional industry that requires the collaboration and contributions of plethora of sectors and players in ensuring a holistic and comprehensive development of a destination. He said they intend to familiarize parliamentarians on the framework for tourism development and their respected roles to contribute towards the empowerment of the sector. 

The chairman of the parliamentary oversight committee on Tourism and Culture, Hon. Tom Tucker thanked the Minister for her strides in uplifting the sector. He applauded the Ministry for considering the role of parliamentarians in the development of tourism saying that what will be discussed in Bo will be beneficial to them and their constituents. He said they are all eager to attend this remarkable conference as it complements their roles as members of parliament.

Giving her remarks, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt said it was not the first time the Ministry is holding conference on this nature as they have held the tourism governance framework which articulates the responsibilities and functions of all arms of government in ensuring that tourism thrives, a reason they are embedding tourism in all levels of governance.

She told the press that the essence of bringing parliament together is for them to share the common platform and think critically on the improvement of the sector. She added that the conference will alleviate the long standing challenges of the sector especially as it concerns the enactment of laws that deals with tourism. She informed the press that she has got the most standing reception from parliament while disclosing that the Speaker of Parliament will be the keynote speaker of the conference and that they will use the conference to relaunch and exhibit the explore freedom logo with the parliamentarians. 

© Information Unit, MTCA

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MTCA, NTB Validate Hospitality Management Curriculum.

MTCA, NTB validate Hospitality Management Curriculum

The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (MTCA) and its subvented agency, the National Tourist Board (NTB) with support from the Enhanced Integrated Framework Tier 2 under the Sustainable Tourism Development and Promotion Project validated the final draft national integrated tourism, hotel and hospitality management curriculum for the tourism sector. The event was held at the Family Kingdom Resort, Aberdeen in Freetown.

In his opening remarks, the Director of Tourism, Mohamed Jalloh pinpointed that several reforms have been undertaken to address the longstanding challenges faced by the sector and thereby enhancing its competitiveness within the African continent, saying that issues relating to creation of an enabling environment for the sector to thrive, development of sites, robust and aggressive marketing among others are being addressed.

He continued that in complementing President Bio’s human capital development initiative they have embarked in an effort to improve the human resource capacity of the sector. He said the recently concluded training needs assessment highlighted weakness in human resource capacity as one of the biggest challenges faced by the sector due to an acute human resource capacity limitation, hence they hired a consultant to develop an integrated curriculum for the sector which will be utilized by educational institutions thereby strengthening their capacity. 

Articulating the rationale of the gathering, the General Manager of the National Tourist Board, Madam FatmataHamid Carew mentioned that despite the great opportunities in the sector, the sector continues to suffer from an acute human resource capacity limitation at all levels of the demand or service providers side, lack of highly qualified lecturers/trainers, weak contemporary tourism-related curriculum to inadequate modern training equipment which she said precipitated the need for the overhauling of the curriculum for the sector and the need to build the education infrastructure and capacity for the delivery of education in tourism and hospitality.

In her keynote address, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt intimated that lot has been done in putting the sector where it is today, and in order to actualize all these gains, the human resource capacity must be developed, as it also resonates with the mantra of President Bio’s human capital development drive. She maintained that the development of the human resource capacity of the sector is critical to the development of the sector, a reason she said they are providing a reference guide for the government of Sierra Leone through the Tertiary Education Commission for higher learning in tourism.

Dr. Pratt expressed her conviction that it was necessary to have a common template for tourism education in Sierra Leone. She thanked the EIF for their support in the development of the curriculum which she said will serve as a reference guide and a tool for tourism across the board. She added that they are working with the hotel association to ensure that the curriculum serves the short term courses and training needs in collaboration with existing institutions.

In his presentation of the curriculum, the Consultant, SylvanusBisodu Betts said they took two international universities in Kenya and New Zealand and two universities offering tourism in Sierra Leone as a case study for the formulation of the curriculum. He said after the completion of the courses, students will be able to understand the overall structure and operations of the tourism, hotel, hospitality industries in Sierra Leone and other parts of the world, under the roles and responsibilities of a hotelier among others. 

The chairman of the National Tourist Board, President of the hotel association and representative from the Tertiary Education Commission all made valuable inputs towards the discourse.

Group presentations on Bachelor of Science and Certificate and Diploma programs and the unanimous validation of the document climaxed the occasion.

© Information Unit, MTCA

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ACC Boss Elected Executive Member of AAACA

The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Sierra Leone on Wednesday 22nd June, 2022, unanimously elected to serve in the Executive Committee as West African Regional Representative of the Association of Africa Anti-Corruption Authorities in the just concluded 5th Annual General Assembly meeting at the Royal Palace Hotel, Conference Centre, in Bujumbura, Burundi, East Africa.

The Executive Committee is the second highest body of the AAACA and has the responsibility to take care of the day to day affairs of the Association. Currently, the Secretariat of AAACA is in Bujumbura, Burundi. 

Francis Ben Kaifala continues to make Sierra Leone proud, as his unanimous endorsement is as a result of the the remarkable and exemplary gains he has made and continues to make in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone which the African continent continues to commend and be proud of.  His successes are well known and often referenced on the African Continent.

The erudite legal luminary, Commissioner Ben Kaifala the public may also recall was in 2020, unanimously elected to serve on the Africa Advisory Board on Corruption as member.

He is also the immediate past President of the Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA).

Congratulations Commissioner for adding another feather to the cap of Sierra Leone on the Global Stage.

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Ahead of Five Bye-election Tomorrow, APC, SLPP Commit to Peace & Tolerance.

Alfred Peter Conteh (APC) & Dr. Robert Chakanda (SLPP)

 

The leadership of the All Peoples Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) in the presence of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL), Office of National Security (ONS), the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) on Wednesday 22nd June 2022 signed a memorandum of Understanding ahead of the five (5) Bye-Elections on Saturday 25th June 2022.

In the MOU, both parties agreed to refrain from the use of obscene language, insulting songs, and hate speech against themselves and other state functionaries and to individually, collectively, and actively promote tolerance and condemn any act of violence and intimidation by their supporters and members throughout the electioneering cycle.

The parties also agreed to continue to obey the security sector’s ban on the use of political party marshals and that all political actors, party stalwarts, and non-accredited individuals who are not ordinarily resident nor eligible to vote in those elections must not be seen within the precincts of Polling Centres on polling day.

It was also agreed that party officials accredited will be allowed in the Constituency and Wards and that contesting political parties, their candidates, and supporters shall refrain from all forms of violence.

Parliamentary Bye-election will be conducted in Constituency 056 Tonkolili District, and Local Council Bye-Elections in Ward 031 in

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Kenema, Ward 138 in Falaba, Ward 212 in Karene, Wards 239 and 252 in Port Loko District On Saturday, 25th June 2022.

Sierra Leone and Saudi Arabia Sign Bilateral Agreement for Domestic and General Workers.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mr. Alpha Osman Timbo and the Vice Minister for Labour Affairs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Abdullah Nasser Abuthnain, have signed bilateral agreements for the recruitment of domestic and general workers between the two countries. 

The two agreements which were signed at the Hilton Honours Hotel in Riyadh by the two Ministers relate to the recruitment of domestic and general workers from Sierra Leone for both the Public and Private sectors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Labour and Social Security of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mr. Alpha Osman Timbo, said he was in Saudi Arabia on behalf of His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, the Government and the people of Sierra Leone to sign the “workers’ recruitment agreements” which the two countries had been working on for the past two years. 

Mr. Timbo commended Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ibrahim Jalloh and the Embassy for facilitating the process on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone. 

The Minister said the New Direction administration of President Bio believes in Human Capital Development, adding that Sierra Leone was looking forward to marketing its labour force globally, and Saudi Arabia was considered as one of those ideal places.

“Your Excellency, we believe with the signing of these agreements and ensuring that we regulate the process itself to ensure a smooth and orderly migration, both countries would benefit from the relationship. As a government, we believe in our people. Our country is predominantly Muslim and most of the people aspiring to come and work in Saudi Arabia are also Muslims and we also share similar cultures and values,” Mr. Timbo assured. 

He said he was confident that the two countries were sowing a seed that germinate to benefit generations yet unborn. 

Earlier, the Vice Minister for Labour, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Abdullah Nasser Abuthnain welcomed Mr. Timbo, noting that the Government of Saudi Arabia was pleased to sign the recruitment agreements with Sierra Leone. 

“Saudi Arabia values its bilateral relations with the Republic of Sierra Leone and we are pleased to gather here with you today on this special occasion for the signing of the recruitment agreements between our two ministries. These agreements would pave the way for fruitful bilateral cooperation in the labour field for both countries,” the Saudi Vice Minister for Labour Affairs noted.

Minister Timbo was accompanied by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, his Deputy Mohamed Hassan Koroma, Rev. Dr. A.K Ocansey, Founder and CEO SOS Ghana and Consultant to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Head of Chancery, Ahmed Tejan Kabba, First Secretary, Mohamed S. Sankoh and the Information Attaché at the Embassy, Abubakarr Bah.

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Minister of Planning Receives CARL’s Report on the Impact of DCF on NGO Operations in Sierra Leone

The Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai has on Tuesday, 7th June 2022 received a report from the Centre for Accountability and the Rule of Law (CARL) and the Institute of Governance Reform (IGR) titled: “Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 Responses on Governance and Accountability Processes in Sierra Leone”, with support from the Irish Aid in Sierra Leone. 

The report presents an assessment of the impact of the Development Cooperation Framework (DCF) on NGOs and CSOs after two years of implementation by the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Planning and Economic (MoPED). It also discusses the implication of retaining the policy for NGOs/CSOs working in Sierra Leone. 

Making the presentation, the Irish Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Claire Buckley thanked the Ministry for their show of commitment to a spirit of partnership, which according to her, was evident in its setting up of a dedicated DCF Committee, comprising key NGO and national partners, to review the DCF/NGO regulations after two years of implementation. 

She said strengthening civil society capacity and space was an important policy and programming for Ireland, adding that the civil societies have a critical role in promoting inclusive and accountable democratic institutions and processes. 

On his part, the Minister thanked the Irish Ambassador for the support they have provided for the DCF review process, noting that it was very timely and coming at a time the DCF was been reviewed. 

He said that he was pleased that the document would contribute to the body of knowledge already available in the operation of the framework. 

“This particular document is spot on and I am sure it will inform the current review process conducted by the DCF Committee. The Irish Embassy are one of our key partners that cover very significant areas in our development trajectory”, said Dr. Kai-Kai. 

He said as a Ministry, they would continue to create the enabling environment for NGOs and CSOs to organise and engage with government.

As you may be aware, the Ministry had set up a committee that comprises NGOs, CSOs, and other partners to review the current Development Cooperation Framework— the regulatory policy guidelines for non-governmental organization in the country. 

©️MoPED COMMS TEAM

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Former Housemate Ina Cole Aims Big

Former Housemate Ina Cole Aims Big

By Ishmail Saidu Kanu

Former Housemate and CEO of Luxury Beauty Queen, Ina Elizabeth Cole, is aiming at setting up a hair beauty company in Sierra Leone.

This is part of her plan after her exit from the 2022 Housemate Salone Reality TV Show on AYV where she spent two productive weeks.

Ina, raised by a single parent at Goderich, shared her experience with Tribune Times during her time in the House where she interacted with old friends and made new ones. She described her two-week stay in the House as a ‘good journey’.

“I feel excited when I was told I had qualified to enter the house. I was so so happy because I had got the feeling that they would not shortlist me. A lot of people made several attempts to go into the house but they could not succeed. I was actually surprised,” she says.

The 27-year-old hair vendor added: “When I entered the house, I showcased hair products. I was also helping in doing some domestic work.

“The experience in the house was awesome. I met people from different backgrounds, interacted with them and gained knowledge from them. My best friend in the House was Yeani. She was really friendly.

“My expectation was to stay much longer in the House. It was like a shock to me when my name was announced as one of the evictees, but I honestly learnt a lot in the House including how to be self-minded.”

Ina is planning to get a very big platform on the social media. “One of my platforms is the Luxury Beauty Queen. We aim to turn this into a manufacturing company in the near future,” she adds. 

Speaking on women’s empowerment, the former Houseman says she aims to upgrade women from doing hair sales, hair maintenance and hair plaiting to luxury design in the near future. “This would help keep women to remain engaged and prevent them from being bullied by men,” she remarks.

She surmises by thanking her fans, especially those who voted for her, her family and manager, Dalton Shyllon. 

According to Manager Shyllon, they want to make the Luxury Beauty Queen the ‘most wanted’ and talked about brand in the beauty industry. 

“The various platforms of Ina Elizabeth Cole will help bring children closer to her because of her soft spot for children, especially those under-privileged children.”

“Ina understands the plight those children are facing, so she knows what to do when it comes to their welfare. Some children in this Goderich community do not have parents. Some struggle for food on a daily basis,” Manager Dalton reveals.

He continues: “So this is the platform we are trying to build. We are also trying to have a Public Relations firm where Ina would be a Brand Ambassador to advocate for less-privilege children as well as promoting her luxury business.” 

“We have good hair products, and we are aiming for the biggest hair salon in Sierra Leone where we could have various factories and malls for air maintenance and other hair businesses,” he explains.

On Ina, Manager Shyllon says Ina did not only go into the Housemate Salone programme for the sake of it but to create a platform for a bigger project. “That’s what we are aiming at achieving. We know it’s going to be challenging, but we know with the help of the media, we will pull it through.”

He states that Ina Elizabeth Cole is also qualified to work as PR Consultant and Brand Ambassador. 

Meanwhile, Ina attended St. Joseph’s Secondary School and later went to Ghana where she studied Database Technology at IPMC in Accra.

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International Trade Centre Applauds MUNAFA Fund

Trade Minister, Dr. Edward Hinga Sandy 

By Mohamed Sheriff, Information Attaché, Geneva, Switzerland

The Honourable Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Edward Hinga Sandy, accompanied by the Chief Director and Professional Head of the Ministry, Mr Emmanuel Konjoh, held a closed-door meeting with the leadership of the International Trade Centre (ITC) and discussed wide range of issues around Trade Governance Architecture and the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AFCFTA) implementation in Serra Leone.

The International Trade Centre is a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The meeting was hosted by the ITC. 

The Sierra Leone delegation was welcomed by ITC’s Deputy Executive Director, Madam Dorothy N. Tembo, and the Chief of Africa Division and Programme Manager for EU-funded West Africa Competitiveness Project (WACOMP), Yared Defecado. 

In her remarks, the ITC Deputy Executive Director, Madam Dorothy N. Tembo, commended Sierra Leone for its initiatives in helping businesses grow back better from the COVID -19 pandemic and made a special commendation of the “MUNAFA FUND” launched by His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) especially those owned by women which account for 70% of beneficiaries. 

The Deputy Executive Director further maintained that the importance of such an innovative financing model is critical to poverty reduction among the ordinary people, and emphasized the ITC would like to closely study, evaluate and learn from Sierra Leone’s ‘’MUNAFA FUND’’ implementation experience and roll it out to other countries for possible programme intervention in future crisis situations.

She assured the Minister of Trade and Industry of her organisation’s commitment to continuing to work with Sierra Leone, and that a New Country Work Programme will be developed for implementation in the near future.

In his response, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Dr Edward Hinga Sandy, thanked the International Trade Centre Senior Management team for the warm reception accorded to him and his delegation and praised the ITC for its current programme of work in Sierra Leone.

He said the need to build the capacity of MSMEs to becomeexport-ready and market-competitors is critical to the overall private sector development agenda of President Dr Julius Maada Bio’s government. 

Dr Sandy further maintained that the lack of Trade Statistics undermines the design and development of policies and urged the International Trade Centre to work with his Ministry to address this challenge supporting it to roll out the “One Trade Africa Observatory”. 

On the West Africa Competitiveness Project (WACOMP), the Trade Minister noted that the impact is being felt by the beneficiaries within the four (4) value chains identified and that more is urgently needed to enable MSMEs to take advantage of the numerous preferential market opportunities available to them. 

In the end, both parties agreed to continuous engagement to channel necessary support to private sector actors in Sierra Leone and provide them with access to trade supporting institutions around the globe.

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SLAJ Prexy Urges Media Owners to Comply with NASSIT & NRA Regulations

By Ishmail Saidu Kanu

The President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, has urged media owners to comply with the regulations of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) and National Revenue Authority (NRA).

He made this call during his speech at SLAJ’s Triennial General Meeting in Makeni on the theme: “Towards an Economically Viable and Independent Media”.

“How do we ensure the welfare of our reporters? This is an age-old problem of the media industry in this country”, he said, adding that When media houses become economically viable entities, it should naturally reflect in the welfare of reporters or journalists. “That is why we are urging all media owners to adopt new and innovative approaches to their operations.

“We also urge us all to be compliant with NASSIT and NRA regulations, and for the IMC to be robust in ensuring compliance.

“In the meantime, we are also working with the Sierra Leone Reporters Union (SLRU), probably the largest affiliate body of SLAJ and the most affected by what we have repeatedly described as poverty of the media, in their engagement with the Ministry of Labour to acquire a bargaining certificate that will help to address their welfare situation,” he remarked.

On the significance of his call, President Nasralla said the welfare of journalists is so close to the heart of his administration that in the ongoing AGM, they want to begin discussion on financial inclusion of journalists. “We have invited Mr. Solomon Mwongyere, General Manager ILCUF Ltd to talk to our members about managing personal finances using the credit union model where journalists will be encouraged to own, use, control and benefit from credit unions. Journalists can save and take credit at low interest rates”, the President noted.

Speaking on self-regulation, Mr. Nasralla said public interest journalism depends on economic viability, independence and professionalism of the media, calling on all journalists to take that route now.

“To support this path, the Disciplinary Committee (DC) is now very active in promoting adherence to the SLAJ Code of Ethics. Under the NED project to promote professionalism in the media sector in Sierra Leone, the DC is now supported to do its work with the help of District Media Monitors across the country. The DC recently embarked on provincial trips to appraise the work of the monitors and to hear cases of professional misconduct and threats against the work of the media. They are expected to submit a report to the general body during this conference.

“On Friday night, we will continue with our Annual National Media Awards which also seeks to recognize excellence and promote professionalism in the media sector,” he explained.

He ended by thanking Government for fulfilling its promise in giving SLAJ One Billion Leones as subvention for 2021 and 2022.

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New Leones Take Effect 1st July 2022.

New Leones Take Effect 1st July 2022

The Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) says Redenomination starts on 1st July 2022 with the New Leones used side by side with the Old Leones until 30th Sept. 2022, and use of Old Leones will stop on 1st Oct. 2022 but can still be exchanged at BSL from 1st Oct. till 15th Nov. 2022 when it will cease to be legal tender. 

According to a Public Notice signed by the Bank Governor, Professor Kelfala M. Kallon, the redenominated currency shall become legal tender on 1st July, 2022, pursuant to Section 1 (3) of the Redenomination of the Leone (Characteristics) Regulations 2021. 

“The existing currency shall continue to be legal tender (concurrently with the redenominated currency) for a transition period 1st October, 2022”, the notice states.

It adds “The existing currency shall cease to be legal tender effective 1st October, 2022”.

The notice also says “Notwithstanding [the above], from 1stOctober to 15th November, 2022, the public may exchange the existing currency for the redenominated currency free of charge at the Bank or such other places designated by the Bank.”

“The Bank shall cease to exchange the existing currency for the redenominated currency after 15th November, 2022, subject to the provisions of section 30 (3) of the Bank of Sierra Leone Act 2019.”

The notice ends by saying that all provisions herein shall remain in force unless otherwise stated in a subsequent Public Notice issued by the Bank and published in the Gazette.

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Parliament Passes The National Electronic Communication Act 2022.

The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Wednesday 22/06/2022 passed into law with some amendments the bill entitled, “The National Electronic Communication Act 2022”, after committing it to the Legislative Committee for further scrutiny.

The bill seeks to establish the National Communications Authority and to provide for the licensing and regulation of electronic communication operators and other related matters.

Earlier, the bill has been debated intensively by Members of Parliament, outlining its positive effects on the development of information and technology for the nation.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Solomon Jamiru Esq. piloted the enactment of the said bill.

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SLRSA Cautions Scrap Metal Dealers.

By Hassan Nelson Barrie, SLRSA Outreach & Communications

Executive members of the Sierra Leone Scrap Metal Dealers Association on Wednesday June 22, 2022 met with the Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority [SLRSA] at the Authority’s headquarters Kissy Road, Freetown.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss some key issues identified by the Authority relating to the business of scrap metals in the Country.

Addressing the meeting, the Executive Director, Rev. Smart Kelson Senesie expressed appreciation to the Executive members of the Association for responding to the call of the Authority. He disclosed that, scrap metal was a very important business as they provide employment and pay taxes to the government. The E.D advised the Association to operate within the confines of the law.

The Executive Director highlighted some key concerns which he requested both the scrap metal dealers and the Authority to jointly address some of these concerns were: sale of vehicles as scrap and the disposal of Vehicle Number Plates without reference to the Authority. He said vehicle number plates were the property of the SLRSA therefore, they must be returned to the Authority before the sale of any vehicle as scrap.

He informed the meeting that, the Authority had a mandate to keep data of all vehicles in the country and added that, for a vehicle to be sold as scrap without the return of the registration plate will distort the data of vehicles in the country. Rev. Smart admonished the Association to collaborate with the Authority in order to address the concerns raised.

The President of the Association, Abdulai Daboh informed the meeting that, the Association had a membership of over 29,000 people. He said they deal in Brass, Copper, Aluminum, Plastic and Batteries. He however, noted that, as an Executive they had cautioned their membership to always do legal business and also to desist from buying government assets without going through due process.

Acting Director of Transport SLRSA, Daniel C. Kaitibie said the SLRSA was the government agency responsible for the regulation of the road transport industry with a responsibility to keep data of all registered vehicles in the country and warned against the disposal of vehicles as scraps without the approval of the Authority.

Public Relations Manager SLRSA, Mr. Abdul Karim Dumbuyanoted that, the storage of scrap metals in certain environments and movement through push carts “omolankay” was a challenge to Road Safety as pedestrians were often exposed to danger.

He called for the development of policies and regulations to guide the disposal of vehicles as scraps.

Other notable contributions were made by the Planning Manager Mr. James Stevens and Research and Development Manager Mr. Ambrose Tucker.

The meeting was chaired by the SLRSA company secretary Mr. Abu Bakarr Sheriff who reminded the scrap metal dealers that, rights go with responsibility and appealed to them to always be mindful of their rights and responsibilities when plying their trade.

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Our Goal is to Achieve Zero Out-Of-School-Children in Sierra Leone, President Bio Says.

By Cyril Barnes, Information Attaché, Sierra Leone Embassy, State of Kuwait

Sierra Leone’s President, His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio, has re-echoed his government’s objective to achieve zero Out-of-School Children by continuing to invest in the Free Quality Education programme for Sierra Leone.

His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio made this disclosure during his meeting with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development in Doha. 

He thanked the Foundation for the opportunity to meet and speak about shared interests in education. Recalling four months into his presidency, the President prioritized education and launched the Free Quality Education programme, realizing that investing in human capital was pivotal to developing the nation. 

He added that the primary objective of the Free Quality Education was to cater for free tuition; however, the scope was broadened to provide school feeding, free transportation, core textbook, teaching and learning materials and radical inclusion to break the barriers to children acquiring quality education. 

“My government identified education as the key to inclusive and sustainable national development; we have initiated radical inclusion to provide access to education for pregnant girls, learners with disabilities and the poor to go to school. 

“Our goal is to achieve the zero Out -Of-School-Children. My government has conducted a study on Out-of-School children and will launch a strategy to handle the problem. The strategy will inform how, as a nation, we tackle this crisis and further work to 100% access to education for all learners,” the President said. 

He ended by calling for partnerships to ensure access to quality education globally. 

Speaking about her role in boosting the self-esteem of the girl child, Her Excellency the First Lady, Madam Fatima Maada Bio, disclosed that her duty during these four years has been primarily to encourage the girl child to acquire education despite the posing challenges. She furthered that the objective was to inspire them to contribute to nation-building. 

Responding to the His Excellency the President’s inspirational presentation, Dr Mazen Jassim Jaidah of Qatar Foundation noted that Sierra Leone and the State of Qatar had shared aspirations of providing quality education for all. He revealed that Qatar Foundation created the foundations for education, research, development, and innovation; and would continue its journey to make a positive impact, locally and internationally. 

Mr. Fahad Al-Sulaiti, CEO of Education Above All Foundation, thanked the President for providing the political will to support quality education, adding that they had been working with Sierra Leone’s Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education to provide support for approximately 45,000 Out-Of-School-Children (OOSC) in Sierra Leone at an estimated cost of $4 million. He also pointed out that the two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the commencement of the project during the Doha Forum in March 2022. 

He assured the President of their commitment to ensuring Sierra Leone achieve the zero Out-Of-School-Children goal in partnership with the World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF and other development partners.

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SLCA, PALS Engage 150 Participants on Softball and Baseball.

To bolster the work of batsmen and to improve overall cricket performance, the Sierra Leone Cricket Association (SLCA) partnered with the Philadelphia Adults League Softball (PALS) to engage over one hundred and fifty participants drawn from different backgrounds and age brackets on the basics of softball and baseball.

Early this week at the Kingtom Oval, the SLCA received 18 officials from PALS of which 15 come from America and 3 from Bolivia to conduct joint training on softball and baseball.

The delegation donated cricket equipment to SLCA to enhance the Association’s preparation ahead of four cross-border tournaments and to strengthen the existing ties between the two institutions.

Speaking during the training, the Chairman of SLCA, Francis Trevor Samura, said holding exercises on the basics of softball and baseball serves to introduce a new sport in Sierra Leone. “And for us in cricket, the baseball is very important. Once one is able to play baseball, one should be able to be a better batsman. The difference between the cricket bat and that of the baseball bat is that the baseball bat is round whilst the cricket one is flat, so one needs high concentration, timing and good sight to hit the baseball.  Once one is able to get these skills right, one should be able to be a better cricketer,” he explained.

Thrilled by its novelty and its skill-packed movements, the enthralled attendees vowed to keep the games playing even after the departure of the strangers.

Addressing participants,  PALS Directors, Kelly O’ Connor and Steve O’Connor, promise to give their all to see Softball and Baseball play in order to contribute positively to the development and empowerment of youths in the country.

“ We run a Softball league in the United States, and we are here partnering with different organizations to roll out the Softball and Baseball programmes for young people to first get involved by having fun trying a new sport and learning something new, but also to teach them more about Softball and Baseball. The goal is to have it as a long term programme, so we are working with the Sierra Leone Cricket Association and some football clubs. We will be providing training resources and equipment so that these programmes will be sustainable, “ Kelly O’Connor said. 

The programme climaxed with donations of cricket equipment and school materials for kids.

© SLCA Media and IT Department

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ACC Partner with Advocate for Social Justice in Kono.

ACC and ASJD staff after the engagement

In its drive to enhance integrity in the management of public funds and public procurement processes, the Kono Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has engaged staff of the Advocate for Social Justice and Development(ASJD), a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Kono, on anti-corruption laws and best practices in the management of public and donor funds. The event took place at the ASJD conference room in Koidu on 21st June, 2022.

 

The customized meeting, according to the ACC Regional Manager, Hawanatu Omotayo Kamara, was to engage and educate the ASJD staff on various issues of corruption and to ensure best practices in their operations. She also noted that the engagement will serve as a platform to map out areas of collaboration in identifying corruption risks and vulnerabilities as well as mitigating same. The Manager stated that corruption is a sensitive issue in the NGO world, something that requires a clear understanding to determine its true scale, nature, effects on service delivery and ways to prevent it.

Explaining the mandate of the Commission in the fight against corruption, Senior Public Education Officer Sam P Gogra,expressed dismay that most times NGOs, contractors and suppliers are often reluctant to talk about corruption for fear that it will lead to bad publicity, unavailability of contracts, and consequent  loss of funds. According to him, such funds secured for and on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone are public funds and by extension their activities and operations are covered by the ACC laws. 

Mr Gogra stated that the fight against graft is not done in a fire brigade manner and it therefore requires the need to engagethem on various issues of corruption and for them to institute anti-corruption measures whiles implementing donor projects. 

Commenting on key corruption issues in public procurement and activities of his organisation, the Executive Director of ASJD Arthur Kargbo, thanked the ACC for partnering with them to fight corruption. According to him, their office has codes and anti-corruption policies in their internal operations. He said that their partnership with the ACC will give credence to their activities in the district and can also help them act as whistleblowers for corruption activities within their operational areas.

Mr Kargbo said that their activities are based on development and they have been operating in Kono District and beyond on education, health and mining, to ensure transparency and accountability in service delivery. He said that they often follow best practices to procure goods and services. He registered his office’s support to the activities of the ACC.

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ACC Convey Integrity Messages to School Pupils on Day of African Child.

Pupils from various schools at the engagement

By Alex A. Bah – Communications Officer, ACC

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on 16th June, 2022, engaged over pupils from various schools in the Western Area in commemoration of the Day of the African Child. The engagement took place at the Cathedral Hall in Freetown and it brought together members of Integrity Clubs set up by the ACC in schools, teachers and school authorities to discuss issues of integrity, examination malpractices, among others

Giving the welcome address, Deputy Commissioner of the ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, gave a brief history of the day, noting that the children of South Africa were very instrumental in taking action against injustice and bad governance, which are the upshot of corruption. “You are expected to stand up for what is right, no matter the consequence,” he said whilst encouraging the pupils to support the anti-corruption cause. 

Chairing the occasion, Director of Public Education and External Outreach, Patrick Sandi, encouraged the pupils to commit themselves to the cause of fighting corruption. He noted that poverty is never an incentive to engage in corruption, and that a person can be rich and still be corrupt.

There was a panel discussion on the topic ‘The Impact of Examination Malpractices on the Attainment of Quality Education: Ways Forward’ moderated by journalist Samuel Wise Bangura of the AYV Television. 

During the panel discussion, Jammie Victoria Sankoh, Public Relations Manager of the Teaching Service Commission, described integrity as a personal value, adding that low salaries should never be an incentive for corruption. “We have grown up seeing teachers that earn way less than what most teachers earn now, yet they prided themselves in upholding integrity, while at the same time they respected the code that guides their profession,” she added.

“If we uphold the values of integrity, then we can eliminate examination malpractices,” Tamba Deen Kamara, Head of Communications, Civil Rights Coalition, also noted whilst underscoring the dangers of examination malpractice and the importance of sanitizing the education sector. 

A question and answer session climaxed the engagement.

L-R: Tamaba Deen Kamara, Head of Communications, Civil Rights Coalition; Jammie Victoria Sankoh, Public Relations Manager, Teaching Service Commission; Antoniette Horton, Principal, JSS, Annie Walsh Memorial School; Augustine Foday Ngobie, Deputy Commissioner, ACC; Patrick Sandi, Director, PEOD, ACC; Samuel Wise Bangura, of AYV Television

 

Deputy Commissioner, ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, giving the welcome address

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29 Early Childhood Development Centres to be Constructed in two Districts.

By Augustine Sankoh, Strategic Communications Analyst, MBSSE

The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) with support from the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will be constructing twenty-nine (29) Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres in Karene and Moyamba Districts.

According to Mr. Emmanuel Alie, the National Coordinator Global Partnership for Education, 20 0f these centres will be constructed in Karene and the remaining 9 in Moyamba District.

He said evaluation and assessment of bids is in progress by UNICEF which is the grant agent.

He said last year in September, MBSSE completed the construction of 30 new ECD centres in three districts (Bombali, Pujehun and Kambia) in Sierra Leone which according to him open doors to an estimated 2,100 children that benefitted. 

The ECD landscape in Sierra Leone has been fraught with challenges and poor outcomes. Sierra Leone has one of the highest maternal, new-born and under five mortality rates, stunting, high rates of poverty, and poor learning outcomes globally. 

The current government’s commitment to human capital development, enables the country to achieve middle income status by 2035; it is necessary for governments to prioritizeinvestment in ECD. The development of a clear policy framework to provide directions and guidance for structuring equitable access to quality ECD cannot be overemphasized.

This national Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) policy provides an overarching framework with shared vision, mission, goals, and objectives for the delivery of holistic ECD interventions and services for all children ages 0 to 8 years; and ensures that all Sierra Leonean children have the best start in life and are able to achieve their full potential.

Early Childhood Development is about the overall wellbeing and welfare of a child as it encompasses the child’s cognitive, language, social, emotional, and motor development. Early Childhood Development (ECD) is recognized as a critical foundation for fostering positive lifelong outcomes, human capital development and sustainable national development.

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MBSSE, Stakeholders meet on the guidelines for school approval and use of school subsidies.

By Augustine Sankoh, Strategic Communications Analyst, MBSSE

The Leadership of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) has held a day meeting with MBSSE personnel in the districts, the Teaching Service Commission, Paramount Chiefs, Parliamentarians, Local Council authorities, Sierra Leone Police, Anti-Corruption Commission and other stakeholders in education to discuss the guidelines on the approval of schools and the use of school subsidies.

The meeting took place on Tuesday, 21st June 2022 at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.

“We want judicious use of the school subsidies. Over the past four years, the subsidy paid per term has risen significantly from Le 30.1 Billion to about Le 60 Billion in the last term. We think that some of these monies have not been going for the purpose they are meant; that is why we call people so tell them how the subsidy should be spent,” according to the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) Coordinator Mr. Amara Sowa.

He said after the workshop, school authorities should not have any excuse for the misuse of school subsidies, noting that that is why they invited the ACC, Audit Service Sierra Leone, Ministry of Finance and the Sierra Leone Police because these are institutions that normally hold them (Ministry of Education) to account and they should be part of the rolling out of the guidelines.

The Director of Planning and Policy in the MBSSE Mrs. AdamaMomoh corroborated what was said by Mr. Sowa, adding that some schools are using almost all the subsidies to give allowances to board members and paying of teachers that are not on payroll.

She said there are also schools that are claiming to have a certain number of pupils which is not true, just so that they can have more subsidies.

In her keynote address, the Deputy Minister l Mrs. Emily K. Gogra calls on her audience and every Sierra Leone to prioritize the education of their children, adding that regular visitation of schools will keep the teachers on their toes and also increase learning outcomes.

He commended stakeholders present for the gains made in education thus far and called on them to keep working hard.

According to the School Approval Guideline, there are two levels of School Approvals: level One approval which is authorized to operate as a school which is required for all schools and all school types, and level two approval which are eligible to receive financial support.

Schools must have Level One Approval before applying for level two.

A Level One Approved school becomes eligible to submit a Level Two Approval application after one full school year of being a Level One Approved school.

Private schools are not eligible to receive Level Two Approval, and would have to change ownership type.

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Day Break Column

Thursday 9th June, 2022 there was fuel shortage across Freetown. 100s of commercial vehicles, kekeh and commercial motorbikes (okadas) were in queues at various filling stations finding ways to get their tanks filled. 

Some concerned citizens told this medium that fuel regulators are planning to increase fuel products to either Le 18,000 or Le 20,000.

Kekeh and commercial motorbike riders are not helping the situation; they have been overloading and over pricing commuters.

Some commuters especially WASSCE candidates who were rushing to exams hall for Mathematic, and average business persons did not have a choice but to succumb to the new price from the Kekeh riders and motorbike riders.

Barracks old Road motorbike riders have been demanding Le 7000 from Sierra Leoneans to take them from Shell Old Road to Upgun, and Kekeh riders are demanding same for the same destination.

Only few Poda podas were on the road yesterday morning. 

100s of other commuters in Waterloo and Jui junctions werepatiently waiting for vehicles to take them to their various destinations. 

On the flip side, the few Poda podas on the road had been engaging in overloading and exploiting commuters. They were asking them to Le 5000 from Jui junction to Texaco and Shell. The current government price from Jui junction to town is Le 3,500 and from Bombay Street to Waterloo Le 5,500 but unfortunately majority of the drivers and conductors (apprentice) were demanding Le 6000 yesterday. Vehicles plying Water to Bombay were stopping halfway (Jui), charging Le 5000. They always take advantage of the situation, exploiting poor citizens. 

The reason for the closure of some filling stations across Freetown was not clear but it is believed it’s because of the imminent increase in fuel price.

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Internews School- Female Teachers and Pupils on Digital Safety

 

 

By Moses Kay Fembeh

The Safe Sisters Fellowship (Internews) in collaboration with the Women and Girls Initiative in Sierra Leone, has held a training session on digital safety for female teachers and pupils on digital safety at Baptist Convention Primary School,Gloucester village, Freetown. 

Four primary schools with a total number of 28 people attended the first ever digital safety training.

Ms. Christiana Sagba is a member of Internews- Safe Sisters Salone. She is also the Founder and Director of Women and Girls Initiative Sierra Leone, established on 11 October, 2018 with the aim of giving every girl and young woman an opportunity to be strong, confident and physically fit for socioeconomic drive and other empower benefits. 

Delivering her keynote address, Sagba urged teachers and pupils to serve as agents of positive change, saying they should put into practice every information giving to them to keep them safer from internet fraudsters who come around pretending to be lovers.

She further spoke on the reason for the digital safety training for female teachers and pupils: “Our Sierra Leonean women and other women in Africa are sometimes bullied by the men in society and therefore, if any man or stranger sends a friend request and eventually message to date you, you have to be extra careful”.

The Founder and Director of Women and Girls Initiative Sierra Leone told this medium that the digital safety drive will not only be limited to the Gloucester community but will be taken to other parts of the country. “We are seeking for fund to foster this initiative nationwide”, she said.

She continued by saying that women and girls must be careful not to send their naked pictures to social media boyfriends and not to give their passwords to others for recharge or megabytes, adding that women and girls should not use simple password numbers or letters. “The essence of doing this is to save you and your personal information including bank details and private conversations”, she noted.

Head teacher of Baptist Convention Primary School in Gloucester Village, Mrs. Safinatu appreciated the digital safety initiative, thanking Ms. Christiana for her philanthropic ambition. She promised that they as Community stakeholders will work together to make sure the initiative continues in the community where pupils and teachers would serve as ambassadors. 

Felicia Moseray a class six thanks Ms. Sagba for the digital training and also promised that she will help sensitize her peer group on the positive and negative use of the internet. 

One of the participants from Church of Christ Primary School,Janet Dumbuya promised that she will deliver what she has leartn during the program to her fellow teachers and pupils to help spread the good news.

Admonishing parents, Ms. Sagba said parents should be best friends to their kids. “There must be open communication among them, and parents/guidance must stop letting their kids watch Nigerian & Ghanaian movies”.

She recommended cartoon and other kids’ movies, adding that “kids must be kids, our kids should use the internet for educational materials, not for pornography or other harmful things that have the tendency to endanger their future”, she ended.

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HRCSL Staff Trained on Gender Sensitive Dimensions

HRCSL Staff trained on Gender Sensitive Dimensions 

With support from the United Nations Development Programme and Irish Aid, the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) has trained new staff in gender sensitive dimensionsof the United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The training at the Civil Service Training College, Tower Hill on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th June, 2022 was spearheaded by the Directorates of Gender and Children’s Affairs and Business and Human Rights and Labour Relations. The aim was to strengthen the capacity and knowledge of staff to handle gender issues in business and human rights.

Director of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Madam Gloria Bayoh, described the training as timely and important as new staff were able to understand what the United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, especially in relation to gender sensitive issues is all about.

She urged participants to make good use of the training by putting into practice the knowledge gained.

 

Also, Deputy Director and Head of Business and Human Rights and Labour Relations, Abdulai Yollah Bangura said it is the first time the Commission is organizing training for staff on business and human rights in relation to gender issues and therefore urged staff to take it seriously.

“This training is to make us understand the trending things in the regions, especially those connected to businesses,” he said.  

Presentations during the second session include; Women’s Rights and SGBV in Companies and Host Communities by the Chairperson; Madam Patricia Narsu Ndanema, Understanding the Business and Human Rights Ahenda and UNGPs by Head of Business and Human Rights Directorate; Abdulai Yollah Bangura, Mechanisms for Monitoring Business andHuman Rights in Sierra Leone by the Executive Secretary; Joseph Kamara and Categories of Rights Affected by Business Operations by Moses Massquoi.

Copyright © Heroes Media Newspaper

Sumaila Town Resident blast EDSA

Energy Minister, Alhaji Kanja Sesay

The residents of Sumaila Town have expressed their utter dissatisfaction regarding the manner in which the Electricity and Distribution Authority (EDSA) is distributing electricity. 

Reports say the community has gone 14 days without electricity with no one saying anything about it.

Residents say they last had electricity on May 28th, 2022. Since then, they say the community has been dwelling in complete darkness, leaving them in deplorable conditions.

Momoh Kamara, one of the residents, expressed his disappointment over the current situation, calling on EDSA to act like a sober institution.

“Why is EDSA behaving like this? For two complete weeks they have deprived us from electricity. Aren’t we citizens of Sierra Leone? Why have they chosen to treat us this way? We are honestly not happy with them. All our food go bad because of this annoying blackout,” he said.

This medium has learnt that residents of Sumaila Town have suffered from attacks by thieves at night; some even lost their personal effects as a result. They say the entire community is unsafe at night because of the consistent blackout. 

Marian Senesie, a mother of two, told this press that her children find it difficult to study at night because of the blackout. “The one who’s currently taking the WASSCE Exams uses candle to study, which is not healthy for his eyes,” she explained.

She called on EDSA to step up by doing the needful. “I believe EDSA are just too wicked. Why are they not giving us light? Why are they not saying anything to us? They are not doing us any favour because we are paying for it. This is the worst institution in Sierra Leone”, angry Marian lamented.

Councillor Augustine L. Bangura has on several occasions called on authorities to solve the electricity challenge his community is facing but to no avail. 

Sumaila Town, situated back of Winners Chapel Church, has been deprived of constant electricity for several years and residents have been asking, but they haven’t been given any answers.

We reached out to the EDSA Public Relations Officer, Sahr Nepor, for response but has refused to comment on this very important issue.

Copyright © Hero’s Media Newspaper

UN Resident Coordinator calls for reflection on conditions of detention.

 

 

 

United Nations Resident Coordinator Babatunde Ahonsi has encouraged senior-level staff of the Sierra Leone Correctional Service (SLCS) to reflect on the conditions of detention and the complaint mechanisms available for the detainees in corrections centres across the country.

 

Mr Ahonsi made the call on Wednesday at the opening of a three-day training for senior-level staff of the SLCS on Conditions of Detention and Human Rights at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown.

 

The RC said that during his various engagements with the highest authorities of the country, including the office of the Vice-President, the need for the UN to support the capacity building of the staff of the SLCS often emerged. Therefore, he described the training as timely and hoped that it would contribute to staff development and the reform of the correctional service that the government is undertaking.

 

According to the UN Resident Coordinator, “the programme of the training is adequate as is the calibre of the facilitators involved, from the SLCS, the UN, the Human Rights Commission of SL, the Legal Aid Board and civil society organizations”. He noted that participants would also discuss issues including the rights of persons deprived of liberty, roles, and responsibilities of correction officers and, security and management of correctional centres.

 

The RC underscored the UN’s belief that all people, regardless of their backgrounds, have rights and responsibilities to fulfil their potential in life and lead decent, dignified, and rewarding lives in a healthy environment. 

 

“None should be left behind in this journey to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said Mr Ahonsi, adding that the training will contribute to the achievement of various sustainable development goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 16 – promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.

 

In his welcome remarks, Acting SLSC Director-General, Mr Ahmed Turay, said he was deeply honoured that 30 senior officers of the SLCS were partaking in the training. He said this would strengthen the knowledge and skills of officers to perform their duties with the human rights of inmates in mind.

 

The Acting DG said the SLCS Act of 2014 lays a premium on the recognition of the rights of inmates irrespective of the crimes they have committed. Noting that human rights are directly reflected in the SLSC’s mission statement, he assured partners that the Correctional Service is willing, ready, and able to utilize the training opportunity as it will enhance his officers’ ability to effectively and efficiently manage correctional facilities.

 

Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Minister of Internal Affairs Mr David Maurice Panda-Noah said that it was fitting that such training is organized for Corrections officers to remind them once more that they are under obligation to uphold human rights principles, especially in the dispensation of their duties.

 

Minister Panda-Noah underscored the importance of Human Rights for Correction Officers when one takes into consideration the value it will add to the SLCS and the country. “It will provide them with the psychological tools, the requisite knowledge and skills, and the right attitude to perform their duties in accordance with national and international laws on the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty,” he emphasized.

 

United Nations Country Team in Sierra Leone Senior Human Rights Advisor, Christian Mukosa, said the training aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of senior staff of the SLCS on the rights of the detainees with a focus on prisoners with specific needs, including women, juveniles, persons with disabilities and foreigners. He added that participants would discuss and produce an action plan to implement the various human rights principles and recommendations from the training during these three days. 

 

Over the next three days, senior-level Corrections Officers will be exposed to human rights principles of good prison management, prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment, women in detention, and prevention of gender-based violence in correctional settings, and pre-trial prisoners and legal assistance to persons in detention, among others.

Copyright © Heros Media Newspaper

BLACK TAX IN SIERRA LEONE

Black tax is a system where African/ black professionals are expected to cater for the rest of the family, whether immediate or extended. Such expectations are mostly placed on the first child of the family, but it goes for every young educated professional. In a country where extended family links are prevalent, you can understand how embedded the black tax system is for young professionals. No wonder everyone is in a rush to make the soft life rather than put in the hard work and getting the results.

In our African cultures, it is impressed on us from childhood, especially firstborns that the prosperity of our family rests on our shoulders. We are taught to be a piece of a whole, and our parents intentionally impress certain characters in us to make us feel responsible to honour the black tax. Statements like “remember where you are coming from, and know where you are going” are re-echoed throughout our lives. With little or no preparation, the responsibility of providing for your immediate and extended family will rest on you immediately you can lift your head above water. We take on these roles, sometimes unconsciously. We see it as a way of paying back our families for their sacrifices or so we think. Black tax is mostly driven by guilt because of how we were raised.

Black Tax can be just the feeling of entitlement or the expectation by some people who think they should have access to your finances. Through community words or action they will tag you “the umbrella in the family”. When you hear such sentiments, run, don’t get lost in them. Most times, these statements are from people who did not contribute in any shape or form towards your wellbeing, they never cared. The moment you make something of your life you are in trouble. They try to create a benefactor position in your life with statements like ‘Na we men am ooo’ (meaning: we raised him/her). The black tax is one of the reasons responsible for low savings and capital accumulation by young people and hence they cannot make investments that will take them out of poverty. The recipients of black tax sometimes think you owe them. And so they’ll spend/mismanage whatever they receive from you. The sad part is they’ll come demanding your help because they know you are unable to say NO.

This system has led to a lot of financial and mental stress on young professionals since they most times find it difficult to say No. This is particularly so when the demand is coming from their parents. To be honest, most African parents are good at manipulating and gaslighting their children either for themselves or for other members of the household/community. So it is very important as young educated professionals we figure out ways to cope with this system. We should learn how to read and see through their demands and make informed decisions based on our budget.

LET ME SHARE WITH YOU SOME  TIPS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH BLACK TAX.

1. Don’t you ever make the mistake of giving them everything they asked for, they will think you have a lot and will come again.
Start by giving a fraction – half or a quarter of what they asked for.

 2. If you are finding it difficult to say NO, then focus on giving only towards important things that will make an impact on their lives. Focus on certain things that you consider serious such as health and education.

3. Choose one person in a family within the community at a time. If you decide to help that person make sure you let the rest of the household know that you will be helping that person and cannot be in the position to help anyone else within the same family for that period.

 4. Do not give immediately they ask for help unless it is an emergency. Always try to give yourself time to work within your budget to be financially in the place where you can help them without neglecting your needs.

 5. Try to know your limit financially and say No to anything above that limit.

 6. Now by all means try not to fall into the ‘nice person trap. You do not give to be recognized as a good person.

 7. Do not be a people pleaser because you will be left unpleasant. Those you are trying to please will never be pleased, and most importantly they can never please you.

 8. Try to say No when the manner they request is not right. If the tone suggests you have money and don’t want to give or you have money and should give them, then try not to give them, that’s the typical entitlement syndrome.

9. Try to emphasise your needs and let them know if anything happens to you they won’t be able to help you or your family.

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I truly hope these tips help you to navigate your way through the black tax system and just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Try to help and give back to your family and community within your means. Black tax can take its toll on your life and well-being, therefore always be sure to put your needs first above all else.

© By Rahima Vandy Kargbo popularly known as dasalone-titi Rahima.

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Profit Point By Lima Diary

Lima’s Diary is set to premiere the movie title “PROFIT  POINT.” This movie will divulge the manipulative skills of each group in the system towards those in the slums, as this triggers each party to strive for PROFITS.


The premiering will take place at Sierra Bay on the 29th of May 2021, at 6:00 pm prompt.
Tickets;
Joel…….Le 150,000
Elijah…..Le 250,000

Don’t forget to make a date will Lima’s Diary to enjoy the best of Sierra Leone Movies.

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Eid & Fashion In Sierra Leone 2021

Yes, you know we have our tradition here. We can’t let all these beautiful gowns, kaftans, dresses, suits and photos slide just like that. Sorry, this is coming late but as the saying goes; it is better late than never. So, here it is readers

PC Our first family
PC Kadiatu Jalloh
PC Hawanatu Sankoh
PC Isatu Kamara
PC Mariatu Tejan Kamara
PC Shema
PC Angela
PC Salma
PC The Mansarays
PC Zarah
PC Teeta Scott
PC Isata Bangura
PC Kadiatu Kallon
PC Hawa Mansaray
PC Fulaniqueen
PC The Ibrahims
PC Baddest Hijabi
PC Victoria
PC Mariama Ayodele Doe
PC Humu Tejan-Jalloh
PC Abiba Zainab

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Evolution Fitness with Razia Sultan Kamara


“Your health is an Investment, not an expense” -unknown

Ms Razia Sultan Kamara
Coach Razia before her weight loss journey
Aka Coach pepper (peppeh)

Are you in Freetown and thinking of a lifestyle change? Don’t let those aspirations of a healthier and better you be a never achieved resolution. Get up, motivate yourself and get started. Encouraging other women to lead a healthy and vigorous lifestyle can be a daunting task for many, but not for our featured entrepreneur this week.

Success stories

Today’s entrepreneur is a fitness enthusiast who has not only achieved incredible results for herself but has turned her newfound passion into a business through which she is helping and empowering other women to lose weight and gain their long lost confidence. She is the beautiful, strong, selfless, sassy, hardworking, and assertive Ms Razia Sultan Kamara, popularly known as Coach Peppeh (pepper).

Coach pepper did that

Losing half of her body weight through diet and exercising two years ago has led her to rediscover herself and her purpose. She has become an expert through experience and research. She has managed to sculpt her body with toning exercises. For someone who lost half of her body weight, you cannot find one saggy spot on her body. Her goal now is to maintain the weight of her choice as she continues to sculpt and tone up. Her success has come with determination, consistency, and perseverance. She could have decided to keep her journey and experiences to herself but not Razia.

The transformation guys

She thought it fit to share herself with others and help them become a better version of themselves. She saw other women struggling to lose weight, and she decided to bring them together. What started as a way to help just a few women she knows has blown into a total gym, known as Evolution Fitness. It runs in two-shift with over fifty women. The fear of being judged or body-shamed has stopped many people from taking part in the public exercise. Razia is one of the few who have stood up to change the narrative and has proven these stereotypes wrong.

Be motivated and enjoy the results

At Evolution Fitness, women from different backgrounds and social footings are united under a single umbrella to lose weight. It has been a solution or result centre for many, where people who are tired of moving from one gym to the next without a solution find solace.

Some of her strategies are to not only work on the outer body, but she starts with the minds of her clients. She helps them with a meal plan as well. This has worked well for most of them as food plans are given according to body shape and type. Razia tries to build honesty and trust among the women. To stick with the program and food plan is very difficult, as she has only but a few hours with them in a day; getting them to be truthful to themselves is a must if they are to achieve the desired results. To lose weight, one has to develop the mindset, make a conscious decision, and be committed to it. We all know losing weight starts with the right attitude, as she’ll usually put it, “one should always connect their mind with their muscles”.

Consistency is the key

She has flexible workout plans that she frequently changes so that her client’s bodies will not get adapt to a specific workout. Her other edge is that at Evolution Fitness, you don’t get a flabby or saggy body when you are losing excess weight. You lose the fat, tone up, naturally, evolve, and become a fitter version of yourself. She deals with these things thoroughly, thereby making women feel more encouraged to get out and get fit.

She lets her clients know they compete with the scale and not the next person, as body type and metabolism make people lose weight in different places, pace, and rate. With Evolution Fitness, you get to experience that personal touch that is lacking in most gyms. You cannot help but feel important and worthy even among the crowd, and you can’t get that anywhere.

This could be you, only if you believe in the process.

The phrase, staying motivated is easier with the right coach is the gospel at Evolution Fitness. It is no wonder women of all capacities, ages, and statuses come together to work out and are loving it. Razia makes other women feel relax in their imperfections. She has been helping women for almost a year, and you will be amazed at her accomplishments and results.

Coach Razia with housemate 2020

Razia’s humility and hard work have not gone unnoticed. She has gotten a lot of recognition from the movers and shakers in the industry. She has been on the Ellen Kiester show to tell her story, dreams, and aspirations to the rest of the world. During the housemate’s Sierra Leone season 2 show, she was the coach on duty; she goes into the house in the morning and helps the housemates get in shape with their morning workout. Razia collaborates with other women like Cherry Marshall, owner of Donerry Elegance, who sponsors her Saturday training with water and other goodies.

In all this, one thing we should know is that there is no magic in losing weight. It is a process, and it starts from within. It is a choice. As we try to change our lifestyles, let’s be reminded that we are what we eat, and what we eat is much more important than exercising. Let’s pay attention to what we eat, portions, how we eat, and finally, when we eat.

Are you tired of doing all sorts of yo-yo diet? Are you tired of how your tummy looks in those beautiful body con dresses? Are you tired of gaining weight? Do you want to lose weight permanently? Then evolution fitness is the right place to be. Currently, you can find evolution fitness at the tennis court, Hill Station, Freetown or you can reach Razia on this number +23276137944

Cross members of the Evolution Fitness Gym

© By Rahima Vandy Kargbo otherwise known as Dasalone-titi Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

WOMEN’S HEALTH CORNER – International Women’s Day 2021

PC Mamaye.org

Today March 8th is celebrated as International Women’s Day all around the world. This year’s theme is “women in leadership – achieving an equal future in a covid-19 world.” There is no equal future where a woman’s life will be cut short due to childbirth and other maternal health issues. Someone who gives life does not deserve to die in the process. Today on women’s day let us talk about maternal health in Sierra Leone. So we go by the general theme this year which is “choose to challenge” we challenge you all that no woman should die due to childbirth. We strongly believe that maternal health is something that should be championed by every gender. Women have carried the continued existence of the world for far too long. If the future depends on female reproduction then all hands must be on deck.

This is a topic I have been avoiding for so long because it touches the deepest part of my heart. In 2011, I lost a dear friend and colleague to maternal mortality at the Princess Christian Maternal Hospital and that experience scarred me for life.  Her death was preventable, the placental did not follow immediately after delivery, we don’t know what they did to salvage that situation. She eventually died at 23 years of age. I will remember it for the rest of my life. This year we will be celebrating her tenth death anniversary, ten years just like that.
Therefore to celebrate women’s day this year we went to PCMH to interview a gynaecologist on the state of affairs.

Interviewers: Tell our readers about self

DVJC: I am Dr Valerie John-Cole, obstetrician and gynaecologists at the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) popularly known as Cottage Hospital. I work there in the capacity of a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist. I have worked for five years as a specialist but a total of eleven years as a doctor in the maternity hospital.

IV: What are the common health issue among women in Sierra Leone?

DVJC: The common complaints are numerous but as a gynea, I’ll say; infertility issue is the most common, then fibroid that is otherwise known as uterine myoma is also becoming prevalent among women of childbearing age; menstrual irregularities caused by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS); cancer is also on the rise affecting women of all ages, women who have reached menopause sometimes wake up to bleeding and when the test is done it will be discovered that the bleeding was due to cancer; there is also the issue of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and Urinary tract infections (UTI).

IV: What is the most effective form of birth control?

DVJC: Birth Control is also known as contraception or anti-conception. It is a method or device used to prevent pregnancy. The most effective form of birth control is abstinence. This is so because each form of birth control has a failure rate, we have had incidences of patients who are on birth control but end up getting pregnant. Another problem here also is that most people do not do consultations to know which birth control works best for them. Before birth control is prescribed for a patient, past medical history and present medical information must be reviewed to know which one works best. Some people do well with the pill, some with condoms, others with implants, some are better off with depo etc. Therefore, a proper examination should be conducted before any prescription. But what is common in Sierra Leone is that most people follow the advice of their peers, and do get these birth control methods over the counter without a prescription. The most effective depends on the patient’s clinical history.

IV: Do birth control have side effects?

DVJC: yes, of course, each one of them has its side effects, take for instance Intrauterine Device(IUD) what we commonly call coil; if it is not properly fixed it can lead to bleeding, infections, blocked tubes and or ectopic pregnancies. Other side effects of birth control methods are; nausea, bloating, withdrawal symptoms (small amount of blood or spotting), menstrual irregularities, mood change caused by hormonal imbalances, etc. Each of these methods has a side effect.

Iv: Have you ever had a patient who has reached menopause but experiencing bleeding?

DVJC: Yes! We call it post-menopausal bleeding. In most cases, it is due to cancer( cervical cancer,  endometrial cancer) but there are other causes. Let me use this medium to tell each and everyone out there with parents who have reached menopause, to see a gynea immediately they start seeing blood. It is also important to note that any form of smelly discharge should also be a cause for concern and to visit a gynaecologist immediately. Because in most cases it starts with smelly discharges and they stay home until it gets to the point of bleeding. Other times post-menopausal bleeding can be caused by polyps. Polyps are ball-like structures that grow on the inner lining of the uterus. Polyps can sometimes be malignant growth that can be cancerous. Menopausal bleeding usually happens rarely with older women.

PC Mamaye.org

IV: Can you tell us what fibroids and ovarian cyst are and if they are the same thing?

DVJC: No! They are not the same, even though they have some similarities they are different.
Fibroids are unusual growths that develop in or on a woman’s uterus. Sometimes these tumours become quite large and cause severe pain and heavy periods. This growth can be benign but non-cancerous. Sometimes, it can be corrected through a surgical procedure.

Ovarian Cyst- are fluid-filled sacs or pockets in an ovary or on its surface due to ovulation. Many women have ovarian cysts at some point. Most ovarian cysts present little or no discomfort and are harmless. The majority disappears without treatments. However, ovarian cysts especially those that ruptured – can cause serious symptoms.

IV: What are some of the challenges you face in the health care systems in general and how does that affect women’s health and maternal mortality?

DVJC: Hmmm, the challenges are many, some of them affect the health systems generally, and some are peculiar to our facility.

I am sure you may have read a tweet in recent weeks about the lack of water in our hospital.  Yes, we do have a regular supply of water now from Guma since the tweet went viral, but even that is not sustainable. Somedays the water finishes at night and we go the whole night without it until we have a supply in the morning. In instances where we have to perform overnight surgery, what do we do? That is a major challenge.

Another I’ll say is the lack of human resources. When we talk to our colleagues overseas, we find out that they have teams made up of over thirty personnel. Here we have a team of five people to work the whole. What if you have to perform ten caesarean sessions? By the time you get to the fourth or fifth, you are tired and when you are tired you cannot work as effectively as you should. The most important thing is that these operations cannot be deferred because most of them are emergencies.

Logistics and supply is another challenge. For us who work at the free health care section, the supply of resources is not commensurate to the influx of people. Supply is never enough sometimes we have to put our private resources into the job.

A conducive working environment again is another factor. No sustainable electricity, medical supply not available,  no proper coordination, e.g even our blood banks do not have a single drop of blood. Before now we used to have a policy that each pregnant women should donate blood, but due to some legislation, that policy was scrapped. If you go to places like Aberdeen women centre they religiously follow that policy and they always have blood for patients who need it. These are some of the reason why Sierra Leoneans abroad do not want to come back to work in the medical sector.

Limited space is another issue. The fact that our facility is small, and we are now catering to more than the number of people it was built for is a problem. It was called a cottage because it was built for a small number of people. Now with the free health care, there is a large influx of patients. It should no longer be a cottage.  Another reason is that some other health clinics are not equipped to handle all the health issues, thereby causing the influx of patient at our facility and we can’t efficiently cater to everybody

Demotivation: The staff are demotivated, the salary is nothing to write home about. In other countries doctors have on-call allowances, here we don’t have perks like that and this is contributing to brain drain. Medical personnel are diverting to public health and avoiding the clinical aspect of the job. Others are leaving for greener pastures abroad and even other private facilities within the country.

Finally, the lack of public health education by most people, especially, pregnant women. A large number of them do not show up to the hospitals until they are in their second trimesters.

All of the aforementioned are challenges that affect maternal health directly or indirectly. Each of them weakens maternal health care in the country.

Interviewers: would you say the health care situation in the country is improving or deteriorating?

DVJC: This is difficult to tell because in some areas there are progress but the deterioration in other areas will derail and override all the efforts or progress that has been made in some. Until we stop recording the death of pregnant women in high digits or incidents of child mortality, we cannot claim any progress. For now, PCMH is being highly supported by an NGO and if that NGO decides to pull out there will be serious implications. This place will be left completely naked and exposed.

IV: So what are your expectations, recommendations, and advice?

DVJC: We look forward to days when we will have a proper hospital setting, where both patients and doctors will be satisfied working or using the facility. If Patients know that when they go to the hospital they will get efficient and effective service delivery they will be excited about their visits. Doctors and nurses are motivated to work, money is important but it is not all we need. The working environment should be conducive, medical supplies must be always available and enough. We hope to have a twenty-four-hour functional lab for investigation and diagnosis. For instance, if a patient needs a CT Scan we will have to refer such a patient to private institutions like Ramsey and Ecomed. Since these services are not available in government hospitals, and the cost can be a burden to some patients, considering the economic situation in the country. We need twenty-four hours running water( pipe-borne), twenty-four hours electricity (it is high time hospitals have special electricity line). We should have a rich blood bank,  blood is essential when a patient needs blood nothing can substitute that. You will be surprised to know that emergency hospital gets medical supplies from government, but we either don’t get the same supply or we just have a broken hospital system here. All of us have to do more, government, health workers, and even you people blogging. We should all do more in raising and creating awareness and education for more people.

IV: Thank you so much for your time, Doctor Valerie.

Dr Valerie John Cole

Conclusion: Sierra Leone has one of the highest (if not the highest) maternal mortality rate in the world. A UNICEF report of 2019 indicated that 1360 mothers die in every 100000 live births. The mortality rates of neonates, infants and children under five are also amongst the highest globally at 34, 82, and 111 deaths per 1000 live births, respectively. These staggering figures represent the real and pervasive challenges women and children face in Sierra Leone with poor healthcare practices and sub-standard and ill-equipped health care facilities.

Authors:
Dasalonetiti Rahima and Juliana Sesay

https//:www.dasalone-titi.com


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SHOP WITH AANTIE

Shopping Made Easy

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Walt Disney

My dear readers, as we are in the Christmas spirit, a season of love and sharing. Let’s not forget to patronise small businesses owned by locals as their growth and expansion depend on it.

Meet the CEO of Shop With Aantie, Hawanatu Uwanie Dumbuya

Today, I want you all to meet the very promising business owner, Hawanatu Uwanie Dumbuya popularly known as Aantie. She is the CEO of Shop With Aantie. A candidate at the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute, an MBA Finance Student at the University of Zambia, a postgraduate candidate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Amity University India. She holds a professional certificate in Human Resources Management from UNICAF University, a verified certificate in Data Analytics for Managers, Michigan University, a certificate in Equity Finance and Innovative Markets and Industrial Technology from The Open University (UK). Hawanatu graduated from Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone with a Second Class Upper in Accounting and Finance. She is currently working as a Finance Officer in the Energy Sector Utility Reform Project.

Gift basket/box by Shop With Aantie

She had always dreamt of starting a business since she was a little girl. Born and raised in a household known for entrepreneurship, she saw first hand, how her mother was able to raise them through her business alone. Even though she wanted to work in the corporate world, she was not going to sit and wait for a job. So after graduation she went ahead and start her business venture known as Shop With Aantie. Now let’s hear the rest of her journey from the horse’s mouth.

Dasalonetiti: Tell us about your business?

Hawanatu: Shop With Aantie is an online gift store that caters for kids ranging from ages 0-15years. I am also into; home decor, office furnishings, cleaning Items, and personalized picture frames. Shop with Aantie makes it easy for my clients to discover, access, and buy products they see in videos, pictures and flyers. The public can access Shop With Aantie 24 hours round the clock, seven days a week. I offer premium customers satisfaction. As I bring my clients their choices right on their doorsteps.

Dasalonetiti: What made you start Shop with Aantie?

Hawanatu: I started Shop With Aantie to provide the general public with a much easier way to buy gifts for their families and friends. To ease the stress associated with going to town and walking miles just trying to locate the right place or the right gifts, cleaning materials or home decors. No one has time for that now, as people are extremely busy nowadays with work and other side dealings (which could be family, business or education). The goal is to take off the stress associated with scouting for gifts and home decor for our clients. I provide a one-stop service to my clients, as they can just go online locate all they want and I can get it for them.

Frames by Shop With Aantie

Dasalonetiti: What are some of your successes since you started shop with Aantie?

Hawanatu: One of my biggest success has been getting different contracts with notable organizations and offices to supply assorted food items, gifts, water, and drinks. As this was not part of my initial business plan. But one thing I have learned is to be flexible based on our customers demand. My close proximity with my client had led to the opening of a whole new area for my business. Another Sucessful thing about Shop With Aantie this year is that we made our first 100 million or $ 10,000 in sales this December, the year 2020 has not been bad after all. Business has been good and favourable so far and I am sincerely grateful to all my clients.

Dasalonetiti: You are known for gifts, home decor and cleaning materials, why the moved to general supplies?

Hawanatu: (laughs out loud!) Well like I said earlier this few months of doing business I have learned to be flexible. Doing business with corporate staff and workers, the question about general supplies will always come up in conversations. As a smart and savvy businesswoman that I am, I cannot let such opportunities slide. If my clients want general supplies for a specific occasion or their organisation, then that’s what they will get.

Dasalonetiti: Can you share with readers some of the challenges you’ve faced in the course of doing business?

Hawanatu: Sure! One of the major challenges for me so far is time. Being caught up with school work and business at the same time and now working a full time job has not been easy for me or those around me. I am in constant pursuit of ways to manage my time so that nothing that concerns me is affected. It was hard at first as I rarely have time for Shop With Aantie. But so far I have been blessed with good and hardworking people supporting me. Another constraint is the cost of transporting goods to the doorsteps of our customers. I usually spend a huge amount of money to hire the services of a delivery van for a whole day sometimes. Especially, If I have an urgent delivery of supplies for a client

Dasalonetiti: How has covid affected you and your business?

Hawanatu: Covid 19 has not spared anyone or anywhere in its quest of wreaking havoc. Personally, the inconveniences of wearing a mask and the ban on social events or gathering, the restrictions on movement, have not been easy. Business-wise covid19 pandemic has adversely affected my placement of stock. I usually run out of stock because of shipping constraints. Most of my gift items are from the United Kingdom. The UK had been severely hit by covid 19 and was in lockdown. land, air, and sea thereby bringing everything to a halt. Goods took longer to get here when they resumed services leaving us out of stock a few times. Thereby causing clients to wait for long periods to get their supplies. Thankfully, most of them have been understanding, patience, and tolerance towards me and the business.

Dasalonetiti: what should we expect from Shop with Aantie in the coming years?

Hawanatu: I just want people out there to watch my space. I am moving and will keep working hard. Even though it may seem as though Shop With Aantie is taking another route. They should also know that I am an online gift and decor store operating as an enterprise. I am still into what I established this business for. I have just added general supplies to it wherein I supply Food items and other essential to different offices and organizations. Shop With Aantie is now beyond the normal Baby, family and friends gifting thing or Picture Frames. I do bulk supplies of drinks, bottle water, gift hampers, and cleaning enssentials. Shop with Aantie has been doing huge things behind the scenes. I hope to continue that way and keep satisfying my clients.

Dasalonetiti: What is your advice to other young people, who are afraid to take the risk of starting a business?

Hawanatu: Being able to do what you love and want to do is a good thing. I can tell everyone and anyone who cares to listen that for sure business pays. No matter how small you have to start, try to give it your all. It is usually important to start small in the first place. Always back up your hard work up with prayers as this is key as well.

Dasalonetiti: Thank you very much, we hope to catch up with you in the future. We wish you the very best with Shop with Aantie.

So, there you have heard it all from Hawanatu CEO of Shop with Aantie. Even though some people will say we are romanticizing entrepreneurship, it is not an easy thing as others are claiming it to be. Nobody said it will be easy. Entrepreneurship is hard everywhere. But if you have the zest for it, why not take the risk and start small like Hawanatu?

What are you waiting for? Are you looking for any type of gifts for your loved ones. You are moving into your new home and wants to decorate? Do you want to redecorate? Are you looking for a supplier for your office essentials or private events? If you are in need of any of the above or you simply wish to get more information on how to Shop With Aantie? Kindly, contact them on:
Mobile: +23276719264
Whatsapp: +23388242439
Email: shopwithaantie@gmail.com
Instagram Shop With Aantie
Facebook: Shop With Aantie

©By Rahima Vandy Kargbo otherwise known as Dasalonetiti Rahima

 https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Basket Of Ajo – Sierra Leone’s finest online gifts platform

Basket of Ajo is inspired partly by my Dad’s younger brother, Alaba.  Growing up, all our home furniture and decor were crafted by Uncle Alaba, a skilled woodworker.  Art has a long history in the family.  Grandpa Tommy was a Sculptor and his father, Grandpa Joseph was a Draughtsman in the Colonial Surveyor department in Southern Nigeria.  Each ancestor is an inspiration to continue a family heritage of creating artwork and tools that preserve history and identity. 

A creative urge and the desire to see more people motivated and empowered through handmade and curated products led to the forming of a gifting and home decor enterprise.  In certain African cultures, the term ‘Ajo’ means a display of goodwill to those around you. Ajo is a journey, and a contribution, with the essence of sharing and encouraging good fortune.  The concept of Ajo illustrates the essence of what we are about and a desire to create a culture of gifting for people of African descent around the world. 

Gara textile making has a long history and tradition in Sierra Leone.  This tradition has been in Fatmata Kabia’s family for generations.  The creativity that goes into the production of our throw pillows is partly inspired by her family heritage and identity.  She leads the creative team and oversees the production of our signature fabrics, all handcrafted by skilled craftsmen and women in Sierra Leone.  All of our Throw Pillows are made in Sierra Leone by our team of Tailors and Seamstresses.  

Our Gift boxes are filled with arts and crafts bought from craftsmen/women traders at “Big Market” in Freetown.  Our small canvases are packaged in shukublai bags made by inhabitants of a historic village called Rogbonko in Northern Sierra Leone.  Shukublai has strong links to the sweetgrass baskets made by African Americans along the Gullah-Geechee Corridor.  The product highlights the strong connection between South Carolina, Sierra Leone and the region.  

Big Market is one of the national historical monuments of Sierra Leone.  Located in Freetown, it was originally built in 1861 by an Afro-West Indian builder, Charles Hazelborg.  It sits at the heart of the historic settler town, founded by African American settlers in 1792, who gained their freedom from fighting for the British during the American revolutionary war.  Big Market is a perfect illustration of the dynamic history and diversity of Freetown. Market traders, especially women traders and arts & crafts traders are at the heart of our brand.

Visit Basket of Ajo to find out more about them and their gifts.

©By Akindele Thomas Decker

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Yabom The Book

About the Author

Rahima is a Sierra Leonean writer whose works range from short stories to poetry. She is a writer who possesses an astounding creative mind and vivid imagination. Not surprisingly, she deploys the same with laudable objectivity, prudence, and calmness in her thoughts. This has led her to attract a new generation of readers to African literature.


Rahima is an entrepreneur and who works for one of the MDAs in Sierra Leone. She has an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Global Business with a background in Financial Services. Writing has come naturally to her– and, in the wake of her undertakings in this direction, she is doing it with finesse and top-notch brilliance. She started developing her writing skills after her tertiary education. She also blogs and who uses her platform to promote young entrepreneurs, especially women. She dares to put under the lens some of the issues affecting young people on her website @ https://www.dasalone-titi.com and all other social media platforms as Dasalone-titi. Rahima is a co-founder of 272 Foundation with her husband, which is a charity organization that helps primary school children with school learning materials. She is married to Alimamy Kargbo, and they have a daughter.

Yabom is on Amazon currently, and in Freetown at Blessed Farouk’s Enterprise, 17 Regent Road, Central.

© By Rahima Vandy Kargbo otherwise known as Dasalonetiti.

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Big Sister Sierra Leone Season 2 Finale

The big sister show is Sierra Leone’s first-ever reality TV show. BSSL is created and owned by our very own entertainment guru Zainab Sheriff. The show was piloted last year and it became a huge success. According to her, this platform was developed primarily to nurture and empower young women in Sierra Leone.

This season, we saw a lot of disparity from last year’s; in terms of the venue as a whole village was created just for the show. The involvement of other nationals from West Africa and Asia, and of course the grand prize which was a whopping Le 500,000,000 or $ 50,000.

The show is still very young and has its challenges. One thing that we cannot deny is it potential to grow and go beyond our borders. Yes, there were hiccups here and there during this season just like the last, but overall it was entertaining. Which is one of the fundamental reasons why the show was created in the first place.

Out of the thirty-two girls that entered the competition. Majo Bona, a professional dancer residing in the United States, emerged as the winner as she clinched 50% of the total votes. Fans of Majo Bona called themselves cocolians and they showed their voting prowess very early on the show. We wish Majo all the best in future endeavours. As we have been hearing from her fans, that she wants to use her winnings, and platform to help other young Sierra Leoneans with talents. We hope she achieves this and creates the space for others to nurture and grow.

Finally, as BSSL season 2 is over we know Zainab Sheriff has all it takes to address some of the concerns raised by viewers during this season.

© Rahima Vandy Kargbo otherwise known as Dasalonetiti

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

The Prompters of Dreams


When I was a little girl. I will sit in front of our rented apartment in the east part of Freetown, Wellington to be precise. Every day at around 5:00 to 6:00 Pm, I will leave everything I was doing and dashed to the veranda, just to have a peek of Miss Davies; a lady whose father’s name was on the street. They had the best house on the street, fenced with barbed wire, with a lot of fruit-bearing trees in it. Did I mention the wild dogs? Yes! Wild dogs, so if you don’t have business with them or you are not invited to their compound, you don’t go anywhere near their house.
Why do I always rush, to go seat and wait around that same time in the evening? I didn’t even know what time meant but because of the routine nature of it all, I will surely know it was time to go to that spot. My reasons then were as follows; she was the first woman I ever saw in my life driving a car, she was always well dressed, and I enjoyed watching her taking those slow strides in her thin heels up the hill if she did not drive. Thirdly, she worked in a bank and my idea then was all bank workers are rich. Finally, and most importantly, she would smile and waved at me most times. Ask me a few questions a few times, and will give me money ( laugh out loud).


Why am I telling you this? Those encounters planted a seed in my psyche. Her actions and warmth prompted me to dream. From those moments forward I looked up to her, her kind of woman or what she embodied; the educated, independent and hardworking woman. I wanted to be educated, to drive a car, work in a bank and become rich like Miss Davies, and that idea never left me growing up.

Unconsciously, this became my driving force through the years. Adulthood they say is a scam (smh). This is true indeed, I grew up and got my first degree. Coincidentally, my first job was at a bank. Lo and behold it was no fun, not what I expected after all. Why was she always cool and calm after work? I usually thought to my self. Again, I got to realize not everyone working at the bank is rich and happy (smile); I had to quit my bank job because l didn’t quite enjoy it.


I’ll tell you I have had so many dreams and aspirations. I have dropped a lot, changed a few, and I have picked up others along the way. The fact is I will never stop dreaming. I am not perfect, and not where I want to be, but my wish for every other young girl is to have that one adult that will smile at them and prompt their imaginations. That these girls will encounter strong women that will plant seeds to be more in their minds, seeds that will germinate into something beautiful. I hope every girl has the opportunity to encounter that one person in their lives. Be it a man or woman that will change their perceptions, and attitudes to life in a positive way forever. Seeds that will reorientate their minds.


Since we left that area, I have neither seen nor heard about Miss Davies. I have completely forgotten how she looks. But what I vividly remember is how she touched my life in so many incomprehensible ways. Well, maybe we might have met somewhere along the way without recognizing each other, who knows? Isn’t that weird or the thought of it? Today, I am here, sending Miss Davies love and light where ever she is or might be, she is my shero. I want to let her know that I have never stopped dreaming. She did me good and God bless her for me.

©By Rahima Vandy Kargbo otherwise known as dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Dreamglam & Co Teepee


Are you contemplating on gathering your family and friends? Are you planning on making precious moments? To create memorable experiences with loved ones? Have you heard about Dreamglam & Co Teepee?

If you haven’t, then, activate your fantasy and creativity with no other but Dreamglam & Co Teepee and enjoy the thrilling adventure.


Dreamglam & Co Teepee is a sourcing, decor, and event planning business owned by Elizabeth Fatu Conteh-Kamara. This business is located in the east part of Freetown at 154 low-cost housing estate kissy.


As the holiday and wedding season is slowly creeping upon us. Don’t wait till you get disappointed by that unreliable supplier of yours before you start scouting for a dependable and efficient one. Call Dreamglam & Co now on +23278147102, and bring all your worries to an end.


Don’t forget! Call Dreamglam & Co for all your theme birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, artificial flowers, design and event planning. They make it all happen for affordable prices. Now feast your appetite on some of their work.

Colour theme party decor
Spa theme for kids
Mickey Mouse theme
Unicorn
Girls date
Happy client
Happy girl

©Rahima Vandy Kargbo also Known as Dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Shea and More Sierra Leone

Have you heard about Shea and More? Have you tried any of their products? Shea and More is a local cosmetic and Agric-Business Company that organically produced and sell; the African black soaps, body butter, facial scrubs, lip balm and peanut butter. They have mastered the chemistry of blending locally grown products fit perfectly for the African skin and weather. Taking into consideration the different skin types. Shea and More have become a household name with a lot of positive reviews from its clients. Rush now and be a part of history, don’t be left out. If you battling with blemishes, white and blackheads, acne, and scars. Are you looking for homegrown organic peanut butter? Why not try Shea and More today, and get that amazing skin result you have always wanted.

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

International Day of the Girl Child 2020

Don’t forget! Sierra Leoneans, one unafraid girl at a time. As we commemorate this day, let’s not forget to lend our voices to what truly matters in the lives of young girls in our homes and communities.
#everygirlmatters
#internationaldayofthegirlchild2020

Thanks to @level_upsalone for all you do in lifting other girls/women. We see you🤝💪

4Her_Every_Girl_matters

VC 4Her Organisation

Sierra Leone’s Print Embroidery By LeoneCulture


Predominantly worn by the Creoles of Sierra Leone. The print is a specific cotton design with a unique type of embroidery for ladies. It is a loose-fitting dress with matching scarf of a particular colourful cotton printed fabric made purposely for that. The surface is pleated from the imperial waistline down. Necklines may be square or
be in an asymmetrical zigzag decorative
pattern. Sleeves are three-quarter length,
with ruffles around the cuff. The bottom of the dress has a decorative ruffle sewn just above the bottom hem. Only white or off white thread was used for the stitches. The dress has side pockets and it is then adorned with embroidery around the neckline, pockets and back shoulder. This is what the typical print/Kabba slot Embroidery looks likes.

Print Embroidery in the 50s’


LeoneCulture aims to rejuvenate the print embroidery by embracing modern styles and designs using vibrant African Wax/Cotton, and using different colour threads, and unique cutwork to bring the Print embroidery to life. While maintaining the foundation and respect for the women before us, who wore the prints embroidery with love. We don’t want the prints to be limited to only women as is used to be. That is why we are creating for both sexes. Shop from the website @www.leoneculture.com. We also wants to get young people interest in wearing prints as they are the drivers of trends and fashion. One way we can achieve this is to make the print as attractive and modern to fit their taste.


Sierra Leone has a few traditional attires such as the Print/Kabba Slot Embroidery, Country Cloth Smock, Ronko Smock, Batik(gara tie-dye). Over the years not much has changed fashion-wise especially, for the Print embroidery in comparison to the Kente and Ero and Buba by our counterparts in West Africa such as Nigeria and Ghana. Fashion keeps evolving and for a particular style to stay relevant it has to be flexible and adaptable. Willing to evolve and change with times and we have not seen this in the print embroidery fashion industry. We have seen the same materials, design, and thread work been used since the 1950s. Thereby pushing away a lot of young people or none creole Sierra Leoneans from embracing the print embroidery culture. Most have resigned from wearing it and have left it in the hands of the aged.

Be Casual in this Leoneculture Midi
Be dreamy in Leoneculture’s Oversized Pockets tshirt dress


Leoneculture’s mission is to get more young people (both sexes) in Sierra Leone and elsewhere to be interested in wearing the print as a national symbol and pride by styling and designing it in more attractive ways, with different thread colors.

You can never go wrong in these Jackets by LeoneCulture
Rahima Print Embroidery Jackets by Leoneculture


HOW IT IS MADE
The first step is to make the stitches on a particular type of paper or canvas. After stitching, the next step is cutwork of designs on the yoke of the “Kabba slot,” the perimeters of the cutwork are intricately bound with bias tape or the cotton. Then the cutwork is joined together to bring the design to life.

Beautiful Jackets by Leone Culture


HISTORY OF THE PRINT
Print embroidery has a rich heritage and has moved from one generation to the next. It is resilient as the women of Sierra Leone. The Cotton fabrics utilized for the dress called “kabbalah slot” were printed in Europe. A well-known firm in Manchester was manufacturing the fabrics. During the height of the fashion in the 1950s, the company sent representatives with specimens to Freetown to research the preferences of women and then created the favourite designs for the Krio market women. Some of the design chosen was called “Birds Eating Rice.” “Bananas.” “Flowers” and so forth.



HISTORY OF THE CREOLE PEOPLE OF SIERRA LEONE
The Sierra Leone Creole people (Krio people) are descendants of freed African American, West Indian, Jamaican Maroons, NovaScotians, Recaptives, and Liberated African Slaves. They settled in the Western Area of Sierra Leone between 1787 and about 1885. The colony was founded by the British, supported by abolitionists, under the Sierra Leone Company as a place for freedmen. The settlers called their new settlement Freetown. Today. The Sierra Leone Creoles comprise 1.3% of the population of Sierra Leone.
The Creoles went on to become some of Africa’s first professionals and experts, becoming physicians, solicitors, managers, supervisors and pioneers. Some of them would later move through the course of their work to go settle in Ghana, Gambia, and Nigeria as important actors in the business and public service.

©By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as Dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Grafton’s Hills and Waterfall

Sierra Leone is as blessed as they come. Check out this beautiful waterfall at Grafton. My country people, nature is fair and has shared this between the East and the West part of Freetown. I hope everyone can now enjoy theirs in peace (pun intended).

PC Sal Black

According to Alpha Mansaray, a young resident of Grafton around the Zion area, the falls had always been there. He had childhood memories of going up there with his friends in search of Apple and other fruits. As children, then, they knew neither the value nor the beauty of the fall and the view up there was much more different from what it is now.

PC Sal Black

Presently, due to human interference and development, a lot of new infrastructures are springing along the stream where the fall is located. This has affected the force and speed of the fall, and this is especially so during the dry season. He advised that the best time to enjoy the view of the falls is during the rains. As it is only then one can enjoy the magical and enchanting glory of the fall.

PC Sal Black

Amidst all this, there are still opportunities for Sierra Leoneans to explore and discover our beloved country Sierra Leone. Grafton and then environs around the fall still have large palm fruits, cashew, and other fruit farms along the way to the fall, a beautiful place to enjoy sunrise and sunset, Alpha explained.

PC Sal Black
PC Sal Black

The road network along that area is deplorable as most of the hilly roads in this country. It is motorable only to a certain point, where cars can Park and the rest of the journey would be on foot.

Sal Black

©By Rahima Vandy Kargbo otherwise known as dasalonetiti Rahima.

https:www.dasalone-titi.com

TAKE A TIMEOUT

We say this to our children all the time. So definitely you must have heard a family or friend say this to their child(ren) multiple times as a punitive measure, especially if they are out of line behavior-wise. These kids will be crying, saddened because they hated it. They are not programmed to sit still or not to do anything. They are kids, and those years are the only time they got to be the children they are. Yet, we cheat them into taking time out every now and then.

PC google Stock


DO THEY REALLY NEED TIMEOUT?


Yes! Time out is the word. When in essence adults do need these time out sessions than the children in our lives. As an adult, we go through a lot of everything, work, home, family, friends, and finally, society. As all of these things do come with their own level of stress. Stress over a period of time can derail our mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. This will take a toll on the body in diverse ways; some may lose weight, some may gain, some will experience hair loss, some early grey hair but most significantly many might experience a breakdown.

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MENTAL AILMENT IN SIERRA LEONE


In a country with a single psychiatric hospital and few doctors. You will be amazed at how much Sierra Leoneans don’t know about mental illness. How many of us go through this ailment without realizing it. Is it because our society has only one name for a complex disease like this? Crase! My people will call it. Crazy, Madness these negative adjectives has left more fear in the minds of people. Mental Illness is not all about madness and craziness, is it? There are several symptoms of mental health that are less severe and more common among people. Yet, I have come to realize how people will just gaslight your symptoms through their words, actions, or inactions. You will hear them asked, are you really sure that is what you are experiencing? Just because they don’t want to agree that you are actually suffering from mental illness or they’ll just dismiss you, claiming black people do not go through such ordeal. Black people, don’t get other types of mental illnesses except for the blanket one, CRASE. At least that what most Salone people think.

Google stock


THE DEVIL HAS A HAND IN EVERYTHING


The notion of mental ailment in a culture like ours is a complex one, and it is mostly treated as a curse or something associated with the devil, sorcery, witchcraft, or some other superstitious myth. Most times people who have mental health issues are ridiculed and left on the street to tend/fend for themselves. They are left to live with their struggles alone. For this reason and more people are not willing to talk about their mental state.
Depending on their faith or background we almost always advise them to seek God. Through the church or man of God for their mental state. Which in itself is not bad if some of them can figure out what you are suffering from and can offer help through counseling. In cases where they feel it is beyond their control refer the victims for professional medical help as fast as possible. Some are even taken to shrines for charms and other diabolical stuff used to drive these assumed evil spirits that have possessed these victims and causing the madness. I don’t know if it is possible to drive evil with evil or maybe there are levels to these evil powers, but that we will leave for another day.

For the purposes of this Time Out article let’s try to answer some of these questions;
What is a mental health illness?
What are the types of mental illness?
What causes mental illness?
What are some of the signs of mental illness?

PC google



MENTAL ILLNESS-is a health condition encompassing changes in attitude, thinking, or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are related to discomfort and difficulties functioning in social, work, or family activities. Mental illness is common.
Numerous people have mental health problems from time to time. But a mental health problem comes to be a mental illness when continuous signs and symptoms result in periodic stress and influence your capacity to function. Mental illness is common. About 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness in any given year. Mental illness can begin at any age, from childhood through later adult years, but most cases begin earlier in life.
The effects of mental illness can be temporary or long-lasting. You also can have more than one mental health disorder at the same time. For example, you may have depression and a substance use disorder.


COMMON TYPES OF MENTAL ILLNESS

Clinical depression

A mental health ailment characterized by a never-ending unhappy mood. It can also be the loss of interest in recreations, causing notable suffering in one’s daily life.

Anxiety disorder

A mental health disorder that is considered to be the feeling of worry, anxiety, or fears that is adequately strong enough to obstruct one’s daily activities.

Bipolar disorder

This is characterized by events of attitude swings differing from depressive lows to manic highs.

Dementia

A group of thinking and social symptoms that interferes with daily functioning.

hyperactivity illness

A persistent situation involving attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

Schizophrenia

An ailment that influences a person’s ability to think, feel, and function clearly.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Unreasonable thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions).

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EARLY SIGNS & SYMPTOMS


1. Feeling sad or down
2. confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
3. excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt,
4. extreme mood changes of highs and lows,
5. withdrawal from friends and activities.
6. Significant tiredness, low energy, or problems sleeping.
7. Detachment from reality and trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people.
8. Problems with alcohol or drug use.
9. Excessive anger, hostility or violence, and suicidal thinking.

PC google stock


CAUSES


1. Inherited traits. Mental illness is more common in people whose blood relatives also have a mental illness. Certain genes may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, and your life situation may trigger it.

2. Environmental exposures before birth. Exposure to environmental stressors, inflammatory conditions, toxins, alcohol, or drugs while in the womb can sometimes be linked to mental illness.

3. Brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters are generally existing brain chemicals that transmit clues to other parts of your brain and body.


PREVENTION


There’s no certain path to avoid mental illness. However, if you have a mental illness, taking steps to control stress, to increase your resilience, and to stimulate low self-esteem may help keep your symptoms under control. Follow these steps:
• Pay attention to warning signs
• Get routine medical care
• Get help when you need it.
• Take good care of yourself and your sanity. 

Learn to take time out for yourself, it is very important to treat yourself, even if that means some alone time to reenergize. If you are becoming overwhelmed with things. Take a step back and breathe, go to the beach, take the kids out, and go to the park, walk your dog around if you have any, visit family and friends. Learn ways to calm yourself and relax. Learn to identify your triggers and take the necessary steps to bring yourself to sanity.


This article is for information purposes only. Consult your local medical authority for advice or your mental health services provider(s).

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy your time here. Don’t forget to say hello and follow me on all my social media handles. Dasalonetiti232 on Twitter, dasalone-titi on Instagram, and Facebook.

Sources:https://www.medicalnewstoday.com, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/

©By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as Dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

My Ink Dried Up

PC Google stock photos

I wished to jot something down
So I took my pen and a slab
In my head juxtapose of thoughts,
My unexpressed emotions rallied
As perceptions fought their way through
My ink dried up leaving my pen thirsty, desperate to write more
Ultimately, my pen kissed the pages
With every stroke a lifeline
Handwriting like a sloppy artwork
My mouth yearned to speak
All that my pen wanted to write
Yet, it couldn’t, my lips refused to open
As I struggled to question
What could have gone wrong?


I rubbed my pen to the right
Then to the left
I rubbed it upwards
Then downwards
I rubbed it some more
But nothing stayed

PC Google stock photos


Deception of ink’s reflection
It is still full or that’s what I felt
No visions, no characters
Just like the movies
the director yelled, cut!
I paused, as I looked down
All that I saw were marks
Of what could have been
A fine print for the history makers


But for those who are hungry for more
Glad I got to pen this down
Before my ink expired.

Google stock photos

Love and light from my sides to yours❤💡 and have a pleasant week ahead

©Peom by Rahima Vandy Kargbo also know as Dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

FRAMED

Life’s too cruel to live, yet we refuse to die.
Lips too saddened to curve up in a smile, yet we laugh.
Heart shattered into pieces, no way it can’t be fixed.
We can only hope, as humans there is only one way home.

The turmoil of the mind
Where is it coming from?

The universe aligns and breathes down judgement.
A connection between light and gloom I am always in the middle.
The courtroom is where frenemies abode with a heart as black as their frock.
Life can be either black or white, no time for grey except for the wigs
Evidence in my memory, not document by my defence.
My life is proof, yet they did erase it like writings on a chalkboard
Karma is on a journey that has made me the destination.
On my hands are not blood but the weight of my fingers. I am not guilty is on a replay musical note to the mind.

“I put it to you” an angered voice screamed in my head.
My thoughts aimlessly on handcuffed
Muffled tone from my doppelganger
The scorned voice shouts “you deserve it bitch”
Against my spirit, the gavel lands with screams that jolted my realities.
When the accused becomes the accuser, I am who I am not built for the orange suit.
Prosecutors build their belief on my doubt but I swear to say the truth and nothing but the truth.
My mind drifts to dark thoughts that need cleansing with my acidic tears.
Where are the lords when I am being condemned?
Are they not supposed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt?
But the gavel came down again this time too loud for me to listen.
GUILTY!! the Judge says I am
You are not INNOCENT either my mind said
My head cries out you have been FRAMED

©Peom by Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as Dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Mambo Hills and Waterfalls


Early this morning, sitting on my bed pondering, my thoughts drifted to where I was last weekend. You might be thinking where that was, right?
There is a discovery around the Freetown Peninsula deep in the hills of Mambo, a waterfall that has been attracting a lot of local tourists even amidst the Pandemic. In fact scratch ‘discovery’, this waterfall has always been there. Hidden, untouched, pure, mystical, a secret that was known to only but a few in the Mambo neighbourhood. Even though its voice can be heard from miles away in a slow rush as it falls on black rocks as if it were cleansing them, the irony is this voice is lost on most of its people. Its voice can only be heard by those who dare to listen. Human interventions and deforestations happening around the peninsula has brought this mystery place to the knowledge of Freetownians, it is no longer a secret. In fact, it seems as if all the lands around that territory are now in the hands of private individuals. Stones marked with white paints and tiny aluminium structures depicting ownership are the views along the way. My friend asked me, what if someone comes to claim this waterfall as his/her property? We had a great laugh about it, but deep down we know this is Sierra Leone where anything can happen, especially when it seems all the landmark around it are now privately owned.



I asked myself questions: Who own these lands, the community or the government? Who are selling these lands? Why are people buying these lands? Those who are claiming to own these lands in the Mambo community, how did they come about it? If not for anything but we have seen, how building structures on these hills can be disastrous. Lessons that Sierra Leoneans are refusing to learn. When shall we start to care about our safety and that of others, these are not easy terrain. These lands should be preserved, the whole ecosystem up there had been altered. You can see the damage, as exposed land stand naked in the cold heat of the July evening asking the passersby for a blanket. We are not listening to their pleas and these hills had long stopped to re-echo our cries likewise.



I was not expecting to go to Mambo waterfall that day, but I am pleased I did. After what seemed like broken arrangements with friends. I got a call from one saying let’s do this, “I am leaving now, let’s meet at your junction”. As a lover of adventure, I jumped right in. It was about 5:00 pm in the evening when we left my junction. The road to that place is the worst I have ever experienced in Freetown. Steep hill, sharp rocks, slippery slopes, sharp edges of fallen trees for coal burning, and land clearing that require every bit of your mental and physical energies. The climb is not for the faint-hearted, I can assure you.

The amazing detail is that the trip to the waterfall is unexplainably eventful; this came as a shock to me as I was not expecting the crowd, especially in this pandemic. People moved in groups; community members as well as others who just want to see the great waterfall: those who want to take pictures for social media, couples, friends, pregnant women, teenagers, kids all in anticipation. Some in the deep conversation of what government should do, how countries in the west would have turned this into some money. The usual ‘Salone man’ talk of the knows and the know not, the haves and the have not. How we all have an opinion, yet nothing seems to be working properly in the country.

PC: Ray Gibbs


No! I didn’t see a single person in a mask. The climb did force me to take mine off so I can breathe properly, maybe the same thing happened to others too. I thought it was a national holiday or some other festivities. My people will never disappoint when it comes to having a good time. Musical sets, Bluetooth speakers all through the walk, great ambience, young guys intoxicated from alcohol, and others on some kind of high. Young girls clad in bikinis and short. I turned and looked at my friend we smiled at each other with the understanding that we were definitely not dressed for the occasion. My long turn jeans and Jesus print T-shirt on Sunday was definitely out of place, I guess. Her long black jumper seemed to have no place either. We were like, duh! who made the rules?

PC: Pro I.B
PC Ahmed Gbla


The view from up there is to die for, I can’t even lie. Freshwater which I was made to understand by the locals is from Guma dam waste running through their community. The fall is soothing to the soul as it will take your mind off everything else. Magical spring falling with so much grace at a pace enticing to the eyes. Romancing with the wind and creating a mist in the air just above the water. The birds chirping was music to my worried soul, I was lost on the climb but immediately found myself, only to get lost again in awe of the view.


As we left the falls trying to brave the walk back to where we were dropped off by the bike riders, I can’t help but felt sick to my stomach. Other questions came running through my mind. What is the Environmental Protection Agency doing to protect that area? I am afraid human activities will cause the water to dry out someday. What is the Ministry of Tourism doing to see how best they can build our local tourism? Can they work with other government Ministries like Lands and Works? Can they make the roads? Bring solar light and set up structures around the waterfall? Imagine if cars could get really close to the waterfall? Eventually, we reached where we were dropped off by the bikes and not a single bike in sight. This was the most painful part of it all because at this point our feet were shaking and aching. Don’t these bikers saw the crowd coming to these hills? Why can’t they see it as an opportunity to make money by doing multiple trips? In my frustration, I forgot it was dark and no one will risk himself or his bike for a thousand five. That’s how we walk from the waterfall to Mambo Junction on our way back.
Lesson Learned “one might never climb down the way you went up, be humble”


Tips For First-Timers:


• Be on flat (Sneakers, Sandals or Slippers)
• Get a backpack
• Pack food and water if you don’t want to drink the water from the fall.
• Pack your Bikinis, one-piece, minis and short or extra clothing
• Best time to climb is Morning or the early evening.
• Prepare your mind, be ready and be fit.


© By Rahima Vandy Kargbo also known as Dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Surrogacy For Women in Sierra Leone

A lot has changed for women in the 21st century, so much so that a lot of women do have a career which they will choose any day over societal stereotypes. Women do have careers and plans that are well thought out. Nowadays, a lot of us strive for financial and economic independence. Sometimes this might pose a challenge to other social needs like having a family and raising kids. Some women, therefore, choose to pursue their dreams first and postpone childbearing to a later age compared to our mother’s generation. Even though fertility issues concern everyone but for the purpose of this article, we are going to concentrate on the women

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Women are increasingly embracing the idea of harvesting and saving their eggs for when they will need it. In this fast-paced life of ours, women can only rely on these procedures to help them have children when and how they choose, and when they are done chasing their dreams. Such procedures, include IVF and surrogacy. IVF and surrogacy have given hope to more women in the world, to not worry about societal and biological pressures. Yet, society has placed so much importance on the idea that pregnancy and childbearing can only be complete when the woman/mother carries the embryo in her womb for nine or ten months and give birth to the baby. The question here is does it always have to be this way?

Enough! preamble already. Now let’s dive into the topic proper. Questions; What is surrogacy? or who is a surrogate mother? If faced with infertility as a Sierra Leonean parents would you try surrogacy? I know we have neither the laws nor the clinics in Sierra Leone. But, I also think it’s about time we have a discourse about this and at least bring the information closer to the people. To let them know they have choices, and that there are so many ways women can be mothers and surrogacy is one of the options.

WHAT IS SURROGACY?

PC Babygest.com


Surrogacy is a procedure of aided reproduction where planned parents work with gestational carriers(GC) or surrogate who will carry and care for their baby(ies) until birth. Intended parents use surrogacy to start or grow their families when they can’t do so on their own. In another word, surrogacy is the process where an individual (woman) will willingly decide to carry a baby(ies) for another through the duration of the pregnancy, sometimes for financial gain but most importantly to help other parents enjoy the fruits of the womb.

Some types of surrogacy enable parents who are incapable of having children fulfil this desire. It’s a procedure that mandates medical and legal knowledge, as well as a healthy support method throughout the journey.

HOW SURROGACY WORKS

Through In Vitro Fertilization(IVF), embryos are created in a lab at a fertility clinic. Sometimes the intended parents use their own egg and sperm material. Other times, an egg or sperm benefactor is employed. At a fertility clinic, one or more embryos are implanted into a womb of the surrogate, who carries the baby(ies) to term.


Who Is a Surrogate Mother?

There are four kinds:

Traditional surrogate: Here a woman gets artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm. What we should understand is, with traditional surrogacy the surrogate also provides her egg to create the embryo, so the surrogate is biologically connected to the offspring and may assert in the court of law to contend the parental rights of the child. This type is certainly not recommended due to the lack of lawful defence for the parents seeking the service. She then carries the baby and delivers it for the parent in question to raise. It can also be a situation where both husband and wife want a baby but the wife’s egg is not viable, they can get a surrogate whose egg would be fertilized by the husband’s sperm. Note also that a donor sperm can be used

PC babygest.com


Gestational Surrogate.  A procedure named “in vitro fertilization” (IVF) now makes it possible to gather eggs and sperm from a donor or the spouse that are requiring the service. Fertilize them, and place the embryo into the uterus of a surrogate mother.

The surrogate then carries the baby until birth. This type is free from most of the legal issues present in the traditional surrogacy. As the surrogate does not have any genetic ties to the child because it wasn’t her egg that was used.

PC babygest.con

Altruistic Surrogacy: In these arrangements, the surrogate doesn’t receive any monetary compensation. Here the intended parents will cover all the medical and legal expenses incurred during the process, including those directly derived from the pregnancy and the wellbeing of the surrogate, such as maternity clothes, special foods, vitamins and antenatal.

Commercial Surrogacy: Here the surrogate earns a financial dividend for the enormous bodily and emotional change she makes, as being pregnant brings a major change in a woman’s life. But the amount is restricted by law in order to deter the commodification of the woman’s body and surrogacy from becoming a business. This amount should not be an encouragement for women living in poverty to become surrogate. It should be a symbolic amount that rewards her solidarity and intention to help others and not for profit.

PC babygest.com


IMPORTANCE OF SURROGACY

1. It helps parents who have struggled with infertility to have a child(ren).
2. Makes it easy for women who are unable to physically carry a baby to have one.
3. It can help parents who have some form of genetic deformity, deficiency or health situation that is hereditary to have healthy babies.
4. It helps people who are in a same-sex marriage that want to have a baby that they are genetically connected with have one.
5. Women who had gone through vasectomy and their wombs were removed.
6. Conditions that make pregnancy impossible or too risky to carry by the wife such as terrible heart ailment.

HOW TO SELECT A SURROGATE?

Right now there aren’t any regulations about who can be a surrogate mother. But experts agree on a few points about how to select. You should choose a surrogate who:
1. Who is at least 21 years old.

2. A woman that gives birth to at least one healthy child, so she knows firsthand the medical threats of pregnancy, childbearing and other sentimental matters related to not bonding with the baby.

3. She must have been approved by psychologists to ensure that there are no underlying mental health issues, especially, issues such as giving up the baby after birth.

4. Signs an agreement about her role and obligations in the pregnancy, such as prenatal care and agreeing to give you the baby after birth.

We don’t have fertility clinics here and so we are not privy to some information on this matter. What we do know is how our societies most time make a woman who is unable to birth her own child(ren) feels less than or not much of a woman. Other countries in West Africa are at the forefront of fertility options, especially with options like IVF, countries like Ghana and Nigeria. There are people who have gone there with infertility problems and were able to have children. I also know that there will be a time in the not too distant future when surrogacy, will be a way of life for most women, irrespective of where they are in the world. Especially, those who can afford it, and are frightened of the birthing process and what pregnancy can sometimes do to the female body.


Some of the questions we should be asking ourselves are;
Are there local forms of surrogacy happening in our societies already, but we don’t have a name for it? If not, the next question should be;
Are we there yet as a nation? Are we ready for surrogacy and all its entanglements?
If we do have fertility clinics here, would you opt for these measures to have a child?
If you have the right information and resources as a woman would you go for surrogacy?
Are our men open and ready to have these conversations? If you are a man with infertility would you be willing to use donor sperm?
Since we don’t have laws that cover this particular problem. How are we going to handle the legal aspects of this process? If you are a woman with fertility issues would you be willing to use a surrogate?
If you are a young fertile woman, would you be inclined to be a surrogate?
If you were to be paid to be a surrogate how much would you accept as a fee?
If you were to pay for these services, how much would you be willing to part with?

Bear in mind that surrogacy is a complex topic and do have some ethical and moral issues surrounding gender, labour, exploitation, and inequality.


As a nation that claims to have an interest in women, these are the issues we should start discussing. I think it’s about time, Sierra Leone starts thinking about the health of the citizens, as infertility affects both genders. In the light of establishing fertility clinics in Sierra Leone that will be providing safe and affordable answers to infertility. This is the time we look at what is important to us and map out ways to achieve them. These are topics we need to discuss as a proactive nation that takes the health of its citizens seriously. Till my next curiosity and write up peace!! and take care of yourself.

This article is for information purpose only. Kindly, seek adequate information on this topic from your health professionals.



Sources;www.webmd.com, http://www.circlessurrogacy.com, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, http://www.babygest.com.



©By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as Dasalonetiti Rahima.



https://www.dasalone-titi.com

HOLDING THE OFFICE OF THE AG ACCOUNTABLE FOR WRONGFUL PROSECUTIONS

Sierraeye

Originally published by SiERRAEYE Magazine and news

HOLDING THE OFFICE OF THE AG ACCOUNTABLE FOR WRONGFUL PROSECUTIONS

BASITA MICHAEL, LLM, BL

BARRISTER-AT-LAW

“Not Guilty.” Two powerful words spoken by the foreman of the jury that brought a sense of relief and feelings of vindication to three accused persons in the recently concluded treason trial. In the case of the first accused, Alfred Palo Conteh, those words were uttered fourteen times. He was found guilty on two counts, viz keeping a greater number of small arms than is specified in a licence and having a loaded small arm in a public place. Although he was sentenced to 24 months in prison, this was a stunning victory for the defence team. In a country where the government rarely lose any cases, the jury’s verdict left many shocked and flabbergasted. The decision made many lawyers who were critical of jury trials rethink their position.

From the onset, it was clear to many that charging Palo Conteh for treason was an overkill. Many felt that partisan political considerations tainted the prosecution. This is by no means new in Sierra Leone. One only needs to read Aminata Forna’s ‘The Devil That Danced on the Water’ to get a firsthand account of how her father, Mohamed Sorie Forna, was framed, tried and executed on trumped up charges of treason. Our history is littered with many highly questionable convictions for treason. Many continue to ask and deliberate upon what needs to be done to prevent a recurrence of this sad, unfortunate and tragic practice.

A question posed to me the other day by a layman was whether the two accused persons,  Saa Anthony Sinah and Prince George Hughes, who were found not guilty on all counts would be compensated. Article 9(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”) provides, “Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.” Article 14(6) of the ICCPR confers a right on victims of wrongful conviction, which is subsequently reversed or pardoned on the discovery of facts establishing conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice, to be compensated according to law. Sierra Leone ratified the ICCPR in August 1996, yet we have failed to provide any domestic legislation for rehabilitation and compensation of victims of wrongful/ malicious prosecution and incarceration. Instead, we still have in force the Law Officers Act 1965 as amended in 1972 deems that the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and all Law Officers are deemed to be acting in good faith unless the contrary is proved.

There are a number of key questions that need to be considered. What principles guide the discretionary powers to prosecute a case? What measures can be put in place to ensure accountability in the use of prosecutorial discretion? Should the exercise of prosecutorial discretion be subject to judicial review to protect it from abuse and political interference? What checks and balances can be put in place to avoid abuse by the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice? It is clear that the Attorney-General and the DPP need to enjoy prosecutorial discretion. It is necessary and important. However, such discretion must be exercised judiciously and not in an arbitrary, fanciful, oppressive, malicious or vexatious manner.

Separation of the office of the Attorney-General from the Minister of Justice

An meaningful way to address the issue regardless of who occupies the office is to ensure that the Attorney-General is insulated from partisan political interference. As the principal legal adviser to the Government, the Attorney-General is expected to be the guardian of the public interest. He does not and should not represent the Presidency or a political party. He should be independent. He must act independently of partisan interest in the exercise of their functions to initiate, continue or terminate prosecutions. In addition, section 66(6) provides that the Director of Public Prosecutions shall, in all matters including his powers under this Constitution or any other law, be subject to the general or special direction of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. The DPP institutes, conducts and supervises criminal prosecutions and related proceedings. S/he must always act with fairness with the objectives of establishing the whole truth and ensuring a fair trial. He prosecutes and not persecute. In other jurisdictions, the DPP is completely independent, but in Sierra Leone, since the office of the DPP is subject to the direction and control of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, this could be a source of political control that interferes with the office’s independence and undermines its impartiality.

To enhance the independence of the office, the Attorney-General’s Office should be separated from that of the Minister of Justice consistent with the recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC). As the TRC notes, ‘the Attorney General should be the Chief Law Officer of the state and should enjoy security of tenure of office.” In its final report, the TRC recommended that ‘the prosecuting authority must exercise its functions without fear, favour or prejudice. The rule of law requires that prosecutions on behalf of the state be conducted fairly and reasonably.  The decision to prosecute or not must not be motivated by improper and political considerations, but by the public interest and the need for justice. The Attorney General acts as the “guardian of the public interest” and has extensive powers with regard to the initiation, prosecution and discontinuance of criminal proceedings. The Attorney General must also provide legal advice on matters of public administration and government to the executive. Clearly, the Attorney General must exercise his or her functions impartially and be free from political influences. While the Office of the Attorney General and that of the Ministry of Justice remains merged, the incumbent can never be expected to act independently.’ Nothing could be more dangerous to our democracy and bring greater disrepute to the administration of criminal justice than to see politics playing a dominant role in the handling of criminal prosecutions. In addition, the appointment of the Attorney-General must also be depoliticized.

Judicial Review

Subjecting prosecutorial discretion and the Attorney-General’s nolle prosequi power to judicial review could also be another reliable safeguard against abuse and even mistakes by the Attorney-General and the DPP. Many ordinary citizens caught up in the criminal justice system, and who become victims of negligent or deliberate decisions by the Prosecution must be protected from abuse and deserve to seek redress in court to hold those responsible for the abuse and arbitrary exercise of their powers if they can prove that it was done in bad faith.

Vesting the courts with such power will serve not just the interests of the individual affected but also the public interest to ensure that cases are appropriately instituted and prosecuted. No one is and must be above the law. The Attorney-General, the DPP and all other Prosecutors are no exception. The continuous lack of accountability for their actions or inactions must end if the office is to regain public trust and confidence in their impartiality. Shielding them from accountability and liability for abuse strikes at the very fundamental principle of equality under the law.

Adoption and Publication of Guidelines

Currently, the prosecutorial function by the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and other Law Officers and the Police is shrouded with secrecy lack of transparency and accountability. We are, however, leaving in an era where secrecy in public affairs is no longer the vogue. Greater transparency and accountability are the order of the day. The adoption and publication of the rules and regulations that guide discretion will be a valuable step to render the exercise of prosecutorial discretion open transparent and accountable. The UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors provides that In countries where prosecutors are vested with discretionary functions, the law or published rules or regulations shall provide guidelines to enhance fairness and consistency in taking decisions, including institution or waiver of prosecution.’ The current code of conduct for law officers must also be reviewed and brought in line with the UN Guidelines.

Conclusion

As the principal legal adviser to the Government, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice plays a critical role in ensuring impartiality and fairness of the administration of criminal justice. The UN Guidelines urges them to “perform their duties fairly, consistently and expeditiously, and respect and protect human dignity and uphold human rights, thus contributing to ensuring due process and the smooth functioning of the criminal justice system.” It is high time that the State stopped disregarding the plight of such victims of wrongful prosecution. An important legal maxim is ‘Ubi jus, ibi remedium’ – where there is a right, there is a remedy. In other words, there is no wrong without a remedy. The State must provide compensation and rehabilitative measures for victims of wrongful or malicious prosecution. Although the new Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has his work cut out for him, he should institute the constitutional, legal and institutional reforms needed to make this happen. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum (Let justice be done though the heavens fall.)

©By SiERRAEYE Magazine and News

DS Health Corner-Out Of The Womb Pregnancies- All you need to know.

Women of Sierra Leone lets us have our first health talk today on this platform. Women’s health education is such a huge and daunting task, and in a country like ours, where societal/ cultural ideals do not favour women this has made it even difficult to access some of the information we need. Women are left at the mercies of quacks and quick fixes which usually result in so many irreversible consequences. Sexual and reproductive health for women needs more attention in this country. Women go through a lot of issues, and most times we don’t have absolutely any idea of what our symptoms are. Even though its incidence ratio is lower when compared with the early decades. It is still the main reasons for maternal morbidity and mortality in the first trimester of pregnancy, especially in developing countries. These are some of the reason why we should not be in awe when there are discussions about high maternal morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone. There is little or no access to information that will help women of this country make informed decisions and seek proper help from the experts.



Today, we will be looking at ectopic pregnancy. Have you heard of ectopic pregnancy before now? Has your gynaecologist ever mentioned the word ectopic to you before? Have you experienced it? If you have, what were your signs and symptoms? How was it diagnosed and treated? Did you confide in anyone about your condition? By the way, I am not a health practitioner and I am just here to share some of my experience, research and curiosity with you.



WHAT IS ECTOPIC PREGNANCY?

PC Verywell Family


Otherwise known as extrauterine pregnancy or tubal pregnancy is when a fertilized egg grows somewhere outside the uterus, precisely, the egg attached itself on the fallopian tube. Because the egg is not inferred to develop outside the womb if left to grow, can damage nearby organs and cause life-threatening conditions. For the understanding of the layman, an ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that happens out of the womb. It is a condition wherein the fertilized egg attached itself on the fallopian tubes, where it will start to grow and develop instead of the womb which is the safest place for it to develop. This condition is life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated immediately. We don’t have the statistics here in Sierra Leone but according to other sources, 1 out of every 50 pregnancy is ectopic.



CAUSES OF ECTOPIC PREGNANCY


Ectopic Pregnancy more often than not is caused by damage to the fallopian tubes. A fertilized embryo may have a problem passing through a distress tube resulting in the egg attaching and thriving in the tube. Some may happen without any perceived cause. Ectopic Pregnancy can cause your fallopian tube to rupture which can lead to drastic inside bleeding that if not treated with quickness might lead to death. The causes are not clear but here are some;
• Smoking- women who smoke or use to have higher chances of getting ectopic pregnancy.
• Women older than 35
• Hormones
• Genetic irregularities
• A previous Ectopic pregnancy
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)- such as some form of chlamydia, and gonorrhoea as they can create scar tissues in the fallopian tubes.
• If you have an Endometriosis history.
• Fertility drugs and In vitro fertilization.
• Pelvic Surgery.
• Tubal Ligation and Reverse Tubal Ligation as it causes damaging.


SIGNS OF ECTOPIC PREGNANCY


• Not too heavy vaginal bleeding
• Sharp abdominal pain
• Severe one-sided abdominal pain
• Throwing up
• Dizziness
• Weakness
• Shoulder and neck pain
• Passing out
• Pelvic pain
• Rectal pressure
• Severe cramps

PC Medicine Net



DIAGNOSIS FOR ECTOPIC PREGNANCY


This can be done by a gynaecologist or specialist through tests such as pregnancy test, pelvic examination, a transvaginal ultrasound, ultrasound of the uterus and fallopian tubes. After an Ectopic pregnancy has been diagnosed, below are the two ways it could be rectified;



MEDICATION


If your Fallopian tubes are fine and the pregnancy isn’t up to twelve-weeks, the specialists can give you methotrexate (trexall). This shot can stop the cells(embryo) from enlarging and your body will eventually absorb them.


SURGERY AND TYPES


There are two types of Ectopic surgery known as Laparoscopy and Laparotomy. Laparoscopy is further divided into two; Salpingostomy A small opening will be made in your lower abdomen and a flexible and thin tube will be used to extract the embryo when it ruptures and the tube is left to heal on it own. On the other hand, Salpingectomy is where the embryo and the tube are both removed. The procedure you will have will depend on the amount of bleeding and damage and whether the tubes are ruptured. The second factor is whether your other tube is normal or show signs of prior damage.

Laparotomy– Here the doctor might perform emergency surgery, and a much larger opening will be made to remove both the embryo and the fallopian tube. If there is heavy bleeding, This can be done laparoscopically or through an abdominal tear. In some circumstances, the fallopian tube can be preserved. Typically, however, a ruptured tube must be removed.

But if the fallopian tube is damaged.
Prompt treatment lessens the danger of developing difficulties from an ectopic pregnancy. Its also improves your likelihood for future successful pregnancies and lessens prospective health complications.


POST ECTOPIC PREGNANCY


After ectopic medication or surgery, consider talking to your gynaecologist or fertility specialist, if you want to have a child or have more children especially if your tube(s) was removed.
Try to also know how long to wait before you try again though, some expert has suggested at least twelve weeks, as this will allow your body to heal adequately.
The important thing also at this stage is to know that one ectopic pregnancy can increase the risk of another. Therefore, one should be mindful of how your body changes until you can get your doctor’s confirmation the pregnancy is in its natural rightful place.



PREVENTION


Deterrence is not possible in most cases. You can reduce your risk through good sexual and reproductive health education and maintenance. Use protection during sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases/infections that may inflame or scar your fallopian tubes. A regular visit to your gynaecologist for examination and screening. If you are a smoker quit smoking and take care of your personal health.

If you are a woman in Sierra Leone who had suffered quietly from miscarriage(s) due to ectopic, feeling alone and not having the correct information my heart goes out to you. Look for a professional, a trusted family or friend you can confide in. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Stay strong and I hope this helps.

PC Complete Women Care

Sources: https://ectopic.org.uk, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.org, https://emedicine.medscape.com



©By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as Dasalonetiti Rahima


https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Liebster Award Nomination

I am so thrilled right now guys. Guess what?! Your girl got nominated for the Liebster Award, and Yes!! I consider this big so I can’t keep calm. 😂 This is my first nomination ever.

On a more formal note, I was very stunned when I received the notification. Super thanks to you, Lauren I. Mugabi, for nominating me, you can check her out here. She is an amazing writer. Her perspective to things are eye-opening and there is just something about the way she tells her stories. I say to you, get to know her and you can’t help but love her. The Liebster Award is an online honour given to bloggers by other bloggers. It acknowledges emerging bloggers and even those who are well established. It is a strategy for bloggers to be able to connect, support, and promote other bloggers within the writing community.

RULES

• Thank the Blogger who nominated you

• Answer the 11 questions given to you

• Nominate 11 Bloggers

Notify your nominees once you have uploaded your post

What is your favourite book and why

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Why? “Is it your real hair?” strangers would ask, and then reach out to touch it reverently. Others would say “Are you from Jamaica?” as though only foreign blood could explain such bounteous hair that did not thin at the temples.” For me, the African hair, in her book became a symbol of the complexities, struggles and dynamics for black people in America. It highlights the battles Africans go through to fit into this new world. Consequently, even after spending so much time in the Americas and Europe, those who chose to return are never prepared for the shock and the struggle to fit right back into a place they had always called home. It’s a scuffle between two worlds.

What songs do I currently have on repeat

Freetown by Natasha Swadu Beckley, known as Tasha baby -well, I can’t miss a chance to represent my city now, can I?

Which season [ Autumn, Spring, Summer or Winter ] best describes you

Being a Piscean. I am a very extreme person, some may argue I am an introvert, others will definitely use an extrovert to describe me. I can best describe myself as a bit of all the seasons. I can be as cold as winter and hot like the sun in summer. I can be in-between like spring and Autumn. But my mood or reactions depend mostly on the attitude of next person. Give me a good vibe you get a better vibe in return.

In the event of an emergency home evacuation, what is the first item you grab

Hmmm!🤔 I will get all of my daughter’s baby pictures. I lost all my baby pictures during the war, every bit of it. I still yarn to take a trip to who I was then, but could not and it hurts real bad. I would not want her to go through the same experience.

Which historical figures would you like to meet and why

I would like to meet Ella Koblo Gulama. My opinion is she was way ahead of her time. The way she unconsciously fought for women’s right and leadership before the Internet and the hashtags. She championed women’s causes so much so, that women who came after her can find it just a little bit better than women in her time. Especially, in a man’s country like Sierra Leone. She was a genuine trailblazer for other women.

What makes a good blog

How a blogger is able to capture the attention of her readers and followers, for those few minutes. How inviting and welcoming the blog is can do it for me, as well. As it is known, people don’t like reading nowadays. Therefore, how a blogger is able to consistently grab the reader’s attention over time, can be paramount. Let us don’t forget, there are many other things that can make a good blog.

Back to the past or forward to the future

The future! certainly the future for me. I love mysteries and I definitely would not want to relive my past😂. The past should just stay where it belongs. There is just something about the future; the fear of the unknown that is frightening and exciting at the same time.

Your dream Vacation

Seychelles and Mauritius. For now, I’ll keep dreaming maybe one day I will wake up to the reality of it all.

The greatest movie of all time

The Shawshank Redemption by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.

Wealth or Health

Can I have both? Why can’t I have both? Okay, health then, if I have to choose one.

Your proudest moment

When I gave birth, as a first-time mom. Fam!! labour really did scare me. Couldn’t watch movies with a labour scene or even news, I did not listen to conversations about labour. I was fearful, period. Then when it was time, I became the strongest woman I know. There!! She was after three big push crying and throwing fists. I felt so much pride and better afterwards.

Time for nominees

@liebsteraward, @AfroBloggers,@ everythinglyoaandmore,@alma’s special,@tiana’s lens,@vicky t-babe, @cbholganza, @africanglam, @zas,@hannah’s wardrobe

Thank you for reading!

Love ❤️ & light💡

@By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Sweet Potato, Fish and Cabbage Cutlet- Salone Snack

Are you thinking of switching or spicing up your evening snack? Are you tired of eating rice three times a day? Let me introduce you to something I bumped into earlier today for a snack. You can actually use any of our staples in Sierra Leone such as cassava, sweet potato, yam and plantain as a base. By the way, I am neither a chef nor a cook. I just love trying things out when I have time😊.

Crispy Cutlet
Dinner is served. Enjoy! I don’t know what the leaf is doing on top but I will eat the cutlet and leave the leaf on the plate😂

Boneless fish or chicken

Recipe:

Few sweet potatoes

Four eggs

One cabbage

Two Onions

One tablespoon of Cayenne pepper

Or any other vegetable pepper

One tablespoon of knor season

A teaspoon of black pepper

A teaspoon of thyme

A cube of Onga Maggie

Three garlic cloves

Spring onions

A sprinkle of salt

Breadcrumbs of your choice

First, you season your fish or chicken and steam over low heat. Allow it to cool and mashed after.

Mashed Fish

Next, boil your sweet potato and leave it to cool off. After cooling you can blend, pound or grate, whatever you prefer to get it to a mashed state.

Mash sweet potato

Then, you pour a few drops of olive oil or whatever vegetable oil you have in your kitchen into a frying pan. Set your frying pan or pot over low heat. Pour the cabbage and onion into the heated oil and stir add garlic and the rest of the seasons and keep stirring. You don’t need to use my exact seasons, you can use any seasons of your choice. Leave to simmer for five minutes and add your mashed fish or chicken and your potato, stir until completely blended. Remove from the fire and dish in a bowl. Set it aside as it cools down.

Whisk your egg and pour your crumbs in an open bowl. Use your clean hands to flatten or ball your potato fish cabbage into your desire size. Dip into the whisked egg and finally into your crumbs and fry as desire.

Whisked eggs
Crumbs
Mashed cabbage, fish and potato

This episode is dedicated to Mariama Bassama my muse when it comes to food. Hope this will motivate you to write your first food blog post. I know you can do it and I am proud of you.😊

Golden brown

If you did try this at home, kindly tag me on any of my social media platforms on Twitter @dasalonetiti232, Facebook @dasalone-titi, Instagram @dasalone-titi

©By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as dasalone titi Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Rape and Rape Culture In Sierra Leone.

To grow up in Sierra Leone as a girl child through adulthood without being molested, abused, sexually harassed or raped is a privilege, a big flex actually. It seems as if women are meer sheep among wolves and this sick notion is only getting worse, even after the presidential proclamation about rape. My heart weeps for myself, my heart weeps for Khadija Madinatu Saccoh, and for all the Khadijas who died through this inhumane act without anyone knowing. For those who lived to tell their stories, yet no one believed them. For those who told their stories but were gaslighted and blamed for being raped.


I see no justification for this sick act of rape, none at all. It is just selfishness and cowardice in the first degree by those who commit rape. But, then the most distasteful part is the hypocrisy of some of our leaders. They will come out and shout with the people, meanwhile, not making the necessary decisions that will help us see a downward spiral of these cases. They know the longest these shouting will last for is a week. After that, life will go back to normal and Sierra Leoneans will forget or pretend this never happened. They feign to be oblivious to how much of a problem RAPE is in a small nation like ours. Rape culture is deeply embedded in our society, and most times perpetrated by people the victims know. Most times these are people with power or people that are associated with power; traditionally, socially, religiously and politically. Rape is prevalent in Sierra Leone and mostly committed by family members, family friends and neighbours, but this does not mean strangers don’t commit these crimes.

We grew up hearing stories of fathers raping their daughters and people manufacturing phrases like “udat cook soup na ein first de taste am.” Interpreted as the cook is the first to taste his sauce. Instead of bringing them to book, these stories are humourized by our communities. We grew up in a society where men see a day-old girl child as a potential wife. We grew up in a society where men think it is normal to touch the woman’s body inappropriately in offices and other public spaces. A society wherein male bosses use sexual advances as a tool to intimidate female employees. A society where women are seen first as an object before anything else. A society where neighbours observe these happenings but turn a blind eye, in the guise of minding their businesses. A society where people would birth a child and think it’s the responsibilities of others to train them. A society where parents think it is the responsibility of the children to fend for them. A society filled with rapists and paedophiles preying on vulnerable young girls. They are known in these communities yet community members chose to ignore them, why? A society where children are giving out to family members, acquaintances, friends to train (referred to in Sierra Leone as “menh Pekin”). These children suffer the brunt of this barbaric act.

The late Khadija’s Autopsy Report


We all have failed ourselves, we have failed this generation, our leaders have failed us, those in decision making positions have failed us, especially, the rape apologists who by their actions or inactions are normalizing rape and the rape culture. Now let look at what rape is and the other things that can be classified as such;

With her alleged rapist


RAPE– is a form of sexual aggression involving violent penetration without personal consent.


SEXUAL ASSAULT is a form of rape– it is when a man knowingly touches a girl/woman in a sexually motivated manner without the girl/woman consent. This can include intimidation or causing the woman to engage in sexual activity when she will rather not.


SEXUAL HARASSMENT is a form of rape– it is making undesirable and improper sexual comments or advances in any situation.
We all have seen the recurring topic here is CONSENT. Now, what is consent? For every literate woman or man reading this;


CONSENT here means actively agreeing or accepting to be sexual with a man. But bear in mind, consent cannot be given by a child, a minor, a girl below eighteen years. Consent cannot be given by an individual who has an intellectual disability. Consent cannot be given by a girl/woman who is challenged or intoxicated. Consent cannot be given by a girl/woman who is unconscious.

She had a whole life ahead of her


So sleeping with a woman who is drunk is rape. Sleeping with a girl below eighteen is rape. Touching a girl/woman’s vagina while she is asleep is rape. Compelling a girl/woman after she has said no, is rape.


Even though this happens less often than with girls and women. The Boychild can be raped as well, by a fellow man or woman. Someone who is married can be raped, A person in a relationship can be rape by the partner. No man has the right to force a woman to have sex without her consent.


Meanwhile, there are some actions that are not rape but are still forms of sexual abuse and add to promoting the rape culture, such as;

1. Rape Apologist: A rape apologist can be of any gender that endorses the acts of rape, usually by arguing that rape is not a significant crime or that people do not need to give approval before sex. Any individual who indicates that women may be able to take precautions to reduce their chances of being raped, such as carrying a hidden weapon for self-protection or avoiding places where a rape crime is likely while alone at night.


2. Victim Shaming/Blaming
3. Jokes about rape
4. Catcalling Women
5. Nonconsensual removal of condoms
6. Revenge Porn


There is a lot of advocacy and social work on rape and other gender-based violence in Sierra Leone. What I have not seen is engaging the men in our communities of their actions and to create awareness, education, and engagement targeted at them on the grassroots level.

What I have not seen is mothers/ women paying more attention to their daughters and learning to listen to them, they should try to investigate their every concern. Teaching them to know about their bodies, having the sex talk with them, teach them to be comfortable with their Vaginas, train them on how to look for the signs of rape or abuse, such as what’s appropriate and inappropriate touches by the opposite sex is our best bet.

What I have not seen is the creation of programs directed at teaching parents, the village elders and community members about rape, its effect on the victims and it’s implications on the society as a whole. The criminality of the act and the punitive measures for those who commit these offences and those that may try to sweep it under the carpet.

What I have not seen is teaching girls that rape is not normal, and to speak up and speak out to someone, when they are faced with such situations. Girls mostly, cannot defend themselves against these perpetrators who are likely to be physically stronger than them.

What I have not seen is the forming of women groups and training them on how to detect the signs of rape and abuse and how to look out for these signs among girls within their communities. They could be young women who have taken a leadership position in our communities. They may also act as a medium with whom these victims may feel safe to report or open up to about these incidents. If they are afraid or frightened to talk to anyone else at home. These women will then forward these cases to the appropriate law institutions.

What I have not seen is Providing community health workers with the training on how to diagnose and treat rape cases, provide rape kits for community health centres. The government or NGOs should try to establish more Rainbow centres all around the country. Whose job will not only be to treat rape victims, but also to engage in awareness and educational activities in these communities. Develop laws, reform outdated laws, empowering law institutions and law officers especially, on rape cases. Develop proper punitive measures, charged rape cases to court, monitor and make sure that the courts treat rape cases with the required urgency they need. Set examples with guilty perpetrators and see the actual result.

Are we not tired of merely giving lip service to rape issues in the country? Are we not tired of not getting the answers we need? Are we not tired of protesting with no much result? Are we not tired of seeing culprits walking freely after a short period of time? We need actual results, we need answers and we need it now.


#ripkhadija
#jucticeforkhadija
#jucticeforallthekhadijasinsierraleone
#weareallkhadija



@By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as dasalonetiti Rahima


Reference Sources; Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster dictionary, Brittanica.
https://www.dasalone-titi.com

See her, know her, support her and watch her space- All you need to know about Adama Koroma- housemate 17 Big Sister Sierra Leone Season2.

She is housemate 17

Her name is Adama Koroma. She lives at Yams Farm, Waterloo Highway. She attended Wesleyan Primary Sch Grassfield and The Annie Walsh Memorial School(class of 2008), for her primary and secondary school education respectively.
She graduated from Njala University with a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Public Health in 2015, and she was crowned Miss Njala Bo Campus in 2012. She is also into modelling for clothing brands.

She is a beauty with brain. Choose her, choose wisely

In 2014 she started volunteering with the Ebola Response Team at Portloko District Ebola Response Center as an ambulance nurse. She excelled in that position and was later recommended to Partners in Health where she started working as the Psychosocial Coordinator under the Community Health Workers program in 2015 and was promoted six months after to the position of Acting Program Officer. In 2016 she received a scholarship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health at Southeast University, Nanjing, China. She graduated in 2018 and came back to Sierra Leone. She is very vocal and never skips the opportunity to express herself. Her Mandarin-speaking can be rated as fair.

Beauty, brain and brawn she got it all
For creativity, drama, spiciness, and originality she is that housemate

Adama is Unique in so many ways. The way she is able to switch characters is amazing. It is no brainer she can be the good girl with a bookworm attitude one minute and can be a social butterfly the next. She can hold her own in any discourse and contribute meaningfully. Adama is what is missing in Sierra Leone’s reality TV show. She will bring the extra to your ordinary television screens; she is unscripted with a great sense of humour. She is very relatable; her story is in most of us. A simple girl from a humble background that is thriving to change her situation through hard work.

In June of 2019, she established her own business (GlamDivaBeauty) at Hastings Junction and recruited five Sierra Leoneans as full-time staff. She also runs an online Health Education program on Facebook (WalkieTalkie). All of these have shaped her life to be someone viewers will relate to. Running her own business over the years have helped her to develop her human relationship skills and has taught her that trust is the glue in any human relationship. She will be the housemate that other housemates will easily confide in, as she is down to earth and very easy to talk to. Don’t expect anything less from her, she is purposeful and intentional. She does not fake it to make it, but rather, She works it to make it. She promised to be the spiciest character and she will bring the necessary drama to the show this season.

Adama Koroma has so many dreams and aspirations for herself and Sierra Leone, she grew up feeling the need to create a healthy environment for everyone. Health should be a priority for every nation, she stated. At the moment, she’s planning on starting a Dental Health Campaign as this aspect of health has long been sidelined. She is with the philosophy of showing the woman how to fish rather than giving her fish every day. That’s why she is using her Facebook live, to bring her health talk program called Walkie- Talkie, to young people as they are the active users of social media. Imagine what this young woman will do if she is given such a huge platform like big sister Sierra Leone.

Big Sister Salone Season two reality television series had shortlisted Adama as housemate seventeen. This will give her the platform she needs to reach more people and touch so many lives in her health journey and talk show. More importantly, this will give her the wings she needs to take flights and explore other things that she is passionate about. she will need your vote to stay in the house come October and to be there till the finale. She will need all of us to bring her aspirations to life. Be part of this young woman’s dream and journey, be part of her success story. Adama is no superhuman, expect her to lose it sometimes, expect her to snap sometimes, expect her to be tired sometimes, expect her to not want to mingle sometimes, expect her not to say the right things sometimes, or rub viewers the wrong way sometimes, expect her to fail or fall sometimes, but then expect her to rise up like she never stumbles before, don’t ever expect her to not be herself, lastly, don‘t ever underestimate what she can bring to the show.

As this year’s season will commence soon, she is soliciting your support in any way possible; financially or otherwise, but more so to vote for her. She urges Sierra Leoneans to follow her journey to the end. Keep her in your mind, remember her name, remember her struggle and remember to support her. She is Adama Koroma because you all are.

#teamtawaforbetteh

#adruno⚓⚓⚓

@By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as dasalonetiti Rahima

http://www.dasalone-titi.com

Makara Tie-Dye Wears- A contemporary Gara Brand in Sierra Leone

Our featured entrepreneur this weekend is the founder and owner of a gara clothing brand in Freetown. Her name is Salmata Nimata Onikehpoh Alghali. The third child to her parents. She has two older siblings and a younger one. Her family is her happy place and her constant motivation, she said. She is in her final year studying Business Administration and Entrepreneurship at the Institute of Public Administration and Management, University of Sierra Leone. Currently rounding up with her dissertation.

Ms Salmata Nimata Onikehpoh Alghali
She is the Young lady behind Makara Tie-Dye Wears


Nimata had always loved business since her early school days, she has always been independent and this had triggered her sense of responsibility. She is shy and dislikes to be in the position to ask for things she needed. She knew then she needs to find alternative ways to supplement whatever she is getting from her parents. She loves to be fashionable and has a high taste for fashion. She is into wearing t-shirts, especially the white ones. At some point, she became tired with the plain white t-shirts.

ZaraLiz Kaftan CEO in her Makara top
Satisfied Client in biker short and matching bomber jacket



It was in April and she was looking forward to something that has our national colours. She was not going to get the stencilled green white and blue t-shirt, she was tired of using those as well. Then the idea of getting a plain white t-shirt and dyeing it came to her mind. She loves colours, so she thought of the idea of tie-dyeing something that could bring her taste to life and at the same time something that says Sierra Leonean without saying a word. In 2019, a few weeks before our country’s independence she bought three t-shirts, which she dyed into our national colours with the help of a friend. Even though the t-shirts were lovely, The end product did not come out as perfect as she was expecting. She did not allow that small hurdle to deter her optimism.

King Moi in Makara biker short and matching t-shirt
Be free in this Makara Maxi gown


She wore it and took some pictures, strangely, she got a lot of request from friends who were interested and were asking if she can make some and sell to them. That’s how the whole idea of doing this professionally started for her. Financially, she was not in the place to actually start a business and this made her procrastinate the viability of what she was getting herself into, and some of the risk involved in starting a business. She confided in her mother who had encouraged her to do it and to always be optimistic. So that’s how her clothing line started.

Makara Model
Makara Model


“I am very spiritual and sensitive; I overthink things and sometimes they end up in my subconscious and will dream about them when I sleep,” she said. After the talk with her mother, she took everything seriously and kept thinking about what she might need to start small. One night she had a dream, where she was already doing this professionally, and a lady came to buy from her. In the dream, the lady asked her how much she was selling her Makara wear? She usually forgets her dreams, but with this one, she remembered every detail of it. That’s how the name MAKARA wear came about. She held on to the name and the rest they say is history.

Be yourself in Makara tie-dye wears
Makara Model



Her main challenge has been the capital to finance her business. She lacks the required funds to acquire some of the raw materials needed to effectively start her kind of business. Getting and maintaining clientele has been an issue as well, as few constantly try to negotiate the price of her products to the point that eventually diminishes her profit margins. Lastly, a lot of people prefer clothes from overseas because of the idea that these products are better made than that of our local contents.

Makara vibrant t-shirt


Consistency in doing what she does and saving her little profit has been her key to success. Making sure her products meet all the quality standards of her clientele. She tries to efficiently produce her products, so she can be able to price them in a way that could be affordable to the average Sierra Leonean. She wore her heart on her sleeve as she persistently strives to meet her goals business-wise. Because of her spirituality, she prays a lot about everything in her life and speaks positively to herself and into her business. Even though she is not where she wants to be, she knows she has started a promising path that will eventually lead to her business blossoming and flourishing in the near future.

Happy customer
Models in Makara, Don’t you love the colors?


“The compliment I got from clients and people around me has been my highlight, especially, when they realized I made them with my sweat and tears,” Nimata said proudly with a beaming smile. “The fact that Makara wear has attracted a lot of people who use to not love the gara tie-dye to wear my gara tie-dye products and they keep coming to patronize me is enough highlights for me” she continued.

Satisfied Client



She wants to see Makara Tie Dye Wears grow as a well-known brand in Sierra Leone, West Africa and the world at large. ” I want Makara Wear to be known like other well known international brands, such as Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana etc. A girl is allowed to dream. It’s never too young or old to dream and to dream big”, she said. She believes if she continues to work hard there’s nothing she can’t achieve in this world.

Satisfied clients posing in Makara Tie-Dye Wear


Her advice to others is for them to have goals and focus on them. They should try to take advantage of every opportunity given to them. As young people, they should not overthink their dreams as everyone’s dream is valid. Young people should be optimistic about life and build a positive mindset. They should be the change they want to see in the world. It is better to do something and fail; learn from the process than not doing anything at all.

Makara Bomber Jacket with hood


Her life philosophy is “link with the right people, move with the right crowd, people who will teach you so many things by just been closer to them. People who may notice your mistakes and correct you” she said.
“This is the kind of energy we need as young people, for us to achieve positive things in our lives. We should not feel terrible when we are criticised or corrected, rather we should learn from it and make the necessary change to better our lives” Nimata continued.

Choose Makara Wear Today!


When asked for her last words, Nimata replied “As an owner of a small business, one thing l have learned so far is to always control my attitude when faced with difficult customers as there will always be that one person that will trigger you to react unprofessionally, but maintaining your composure is the key in such situations. Bear in mind that most times these are the people if treated right, will bring the most clients to your business. As entrepreneurs we are our brands, therefore, we should always be on our guard to be the best version of ourselves as CEO, bosses or founders. Finally, when you fall, make sure you get up, dust yourself and continue the journey. The road is not easy but very satisfying and fulfilling when one reaches at the end”. Ending her statement with a smile.

Makara in shirt and mini dress for your casual outing.



For more information on Makara Wear and how to put in orders. You can reach her on her business page on
Facebook@ Makara Tie-Dye Wears
On the following numbers:
Mobile line……..+23276993821
WhatsApp line- +23230252390

Model in Makara




©By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as Dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

Amena’s Haute Couture- And The Young Woman Behind It.

“Perseverance and resilience are key. One should also try to remain true to the vision. The idea is to create go-to pieces for a woman’s wardrobe and her life—beautifully crafted pieces that a woman will love today, in two months, in two years, in five years—and to do that for as many women as possible.” —Narciso Rodriguez

Mariama Ena Kanneh (Kamara) Owner of Amena’s Haute Couture

This quote right here depicts all that this young woman is about. Readers, please, meet Mariama Ena Kanneh (nee Kamara). A fashion entrepreneur and the proud owner of Amena’s Haute Couture, which she runs alongside her uncle. She takes her inspiration from the colourful and vibrant African fabrics, prints and turns them into beautiful ready to wear pieces for the everyday woman. Hope you will enjoy reading this interview and be inspired by her story to start something no matter how small.

You can never go wrong with Amena’s Haute Couture

DS: Give readers a brief background about yourself


MK:
I graduated from IPAM with an honours degree in Financial Services. I later pursued a Masters degree in Business Administration at Anglia Ruskin University, where I majored in International Business. After returning in 2016, I started working for a reputable Bank whilst looking out for a business idea. I am very passionate about fashion and had a keen sense of fashion since I was a kid. So it was easy for me to partner with my uncle, who had the expertise but lack the funds to establish a viable business. Starting this business has helped me to learn, change, adapt, get tough and as I continue to improve every other day.

Be simple, yet, trendy with Amena’s Couture



DS: What motivates you as a Fashion Entrepreneur and why Fashion Entrepreneurship?

MK:
Most people think, that entrepreneurs are primarily motivated by making money. For me, I derive my business power from knowing that I am helping people gain employment to cater for their families. There is a strong demand for fashion clothing in Sierra Leone and we have the right staff with creative minds to change the narrative.

Be bold, be unique in tops by Amena’s Haute Couture



DS: Who are your target audience?

MK:
Our target audience is composed of men and women, within the ages of 18-35 years, with mid-range income. Amena’s Haute Couture customers are mostly based in Freetown and therefore, are able to keep up with the latest fashion trends.

Suit up with Amena’s Couture



DS: Fashion changes so fast how do you stay up to date with the trends?

MK:
With fashion trends constantly changing; I try to stay ahead by watching fashion shows, visiting fashion websites, blogs and always keep an eye out for celebrity styles.

A shirt for Men by Amena’s Couture



DS: What is the most rewarding part of being a Fashion Entrepreneur?

MK:
The best part of being an entrepreneur is contributing to something larger than yourself. Solving problems by bringing a product that people need, giving livelihood to others and crafting the world you want to see, as this is way more fulfilling and the most rewarding for me.

Top by Amena’s Haute Couture



DS: What is the most difficult part of being a fashion entrepreneur and how are you managing it?

MK:
The availability of Fabrics- It is very difficult to get hold of a fabric that is affordable, high quality and unique. This is why you see most fashion houses using the same fabrics. It’s not lack of imagination, it’s because that’s all they can find.
I mostly try to source fabrics from neighbouring countries in order to get unique prints.

Vibrant colours and unique Africana materials



DS: Where do you see yourself in the near future?

MK:
Our plans are in God’s hands, we shall take one day at a time, for now, I am just trying to build a brand and get my business name out there.

Jumpsuit by Amena’s Haute Couture



DS: What is your pet peeve?

MK:
I cannot stand it when people wear overly tight clothes; wear something that is your size, that would eventually look fabulous on you.

Dress for both day and night look by Amena’s couture



DS: Who are your favourite designers locally and Internationally?

MK:
Madam Wokie has a very good taste in fashion. Frederica(J&F) is also great. Internationally, I love Lisa Folawiyo (Jewels by Lisa), Folake Folarin-Coker (Tiffany Amber and Mai Atafo.

Be stylish and modest with Amena’s Couture



DS: How and where can people locate you in case they need your service?

MK:
Our store is located at 27 Bailey Street, Brookfields. On Instagram as Amena Haute Couture. You can also call us on the following numbers; 078242851/075004009.

Spice up your look with this Jacket by Amena’s Haute Couture

©By Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as Dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

The Queen-Natasha Swadu Beckley- (Tasha Baby) is Dominating the Airwaves.

Natasha Beckley

From pageantry, fashion, poetry, to politics and now music. The one thing, you will have to agree with me on, is that Natasha Swadu Beckley is a piece of art, in short, she is an art itself. That is why we believe she is going to dominate the music industry soon. Our girl is super talented, a hard worker, a go-getter, with a brave heart. A philanthropist; founder of the Natasha Beckley Foundation. She has been providing scholarships to young girls in schools within Freetown, building and renovating primary schools in Port Loko through her charity projects. She is also the founder of an all-female organization known as the Sisters Supporting Sisters; which is a vehicle she uses to promote sanitation and mentorship to under privilege girls in Sierra Leone. One thing we know for sure is she is not afraid to walk on uncharted waters.

Natasha Swadu Beckley

Natasha is a Sierra Leonean, based in the United States. She left for the States when she was ten and she never lost herself or the thoughts, to one day return and help rebuild her country. She first came into the limelight when she became the first runner-up at the Miss Africa USA in 2009 held in Maryland, an international platform. She had not slowed down ever since. She went ahead and won Miss Sierra Leone title in 2011. Subsequently, she went on to represent Sierra Leone at this Miss World stage in London that same year. She became a strong advocate for women and girls in Sierra Leone and has never looked back. She is the owner of International Ambassadors of Sierra Leone (IAMSL) Pageant. The IAMSL Pageant is a body that has the Franchise to the Sierra Leone Miss Universe; Mr World, Miss International and other pageantry platforms, that promote the youths, and help them to discover themselves and become ambassadors for Sierra Leone. They train and chaperone young people who are aspiring to enter into the pageantry world with the skills and confidence needed to excel.

She is also a renown poet with over two hundred poems to her name. Amongst which, is the popular Mama Salone at 56 poem; a spoken word poetry which she did and recited in commemoration of Sierra Leone’s fifty-sixth year independence anniversary.

She went into politics in 2017/2018 and became a councilwoman for ward 234 in the Port Loko district council with 69% of the votes, as she hails from that part of the country. She is devoted and committed to bringing change and hope for the people of her constituent and eventually, for the people of Sierra Leone. She had bagged a lot of recognition and awards for her contributions to the development of Sierra Leone.


Tasha Baby

Furthermore, she has hosted several shows and concerts in Freetown and the diaspora. She is still honing her skills as MC, presenter and host. Tasha is currently in the studio working with popular international stars in Nigeria. She has been dropping singles and freestyles on her Instagram and YouTube accounts; like Dreams and Nightmares, Korlay, Tasha 2wam for Salone and Issa Fact. Recently, Tasha has been trending for all the right reasons, since she drops her single “Freetown”. The Freetown challenge has gained momentum and a lot of other artists and none artist alike had come out with their version or cover of the song. Her fans can’t wait to get the album and hear what she has to offer. But there is no doubt that Tasha baby is here and she is here to stay. We believe she is gonna give the music industry a run for their money. Once a queen always a queen they say, and this queen is going to reign for a long stretch of time.

©Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as Dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

The Absence of (I Can’t Breathe)

Black is the absence of colour
Yet, when they see us, they see colour
Why is something that is not, can be so much?
Why is there so much hate, when love is never enough?
Why does everyone hate black, a few times, even blacks?
More so, they say, it is the absence of.

He was the absence of; when he begged please, I can’t breathe.
He was the absence of; when so defenceless and cuffed.
He was the absence of; on bloody tarmac from his nostril, flat on his face helpless in broad daylight.
He was the absence of; when he called out, I need water, please or something.
He was the absence of; when he cried out for his mama.
He was the absence of; when two knees squeezed hard and sucked the life out of him.

This Poem was inspired by his story. May his soul rest in peace 🙏



When the full four, couldn’t resist the full force on the full floor.
When the protector becomes the murderer.
When the law becomes the perpetrator

He was the absence of; when injustice breeds resentment, frustration, and revolt.
He was the absence of; when the wolf of slavery is wrapped in sheep fur, under the guise of freedom.

Four big white bears went straight home, a sigh of achievement for a day’s work; when a good job is done badly.
The absence of one is still progress for the agenda
Heads on their pillows, they smiled
God must have loved us more; so, he made us white, he caused this divide, not us.
Black is the absence of colour, but they see colour when they see us, we are not colourless.
We will get rid of them a day at a time, all lives matter, except black.
Turn off the light and it becomes the absence of; Yet, when they see us they see colour and now I can’t breathe because he can’t breathe.

©Rahima Vandy Kargbo known as dasalonetiti Rahima

https://www.dasalone-titi.com

TV Host’s Appeal Raises $38,000 (SLL380m) To Help Hospitals Without Medical Supplies Fight COVID-19 In Sierra Leone

  • US $38,000 (SLL 380M) RAISED TO HELP FRONTLINE HEALTH WORKERS PROVIDE ESSENTIAL PATIENT CARE IN 3 WEEKS
  • 284 COVID-19 BEDS IN 7 HOSPITALS HAVE BENEFITED FROM VITAL EQUIPMENT, MEDICATION, AND HYGIENE SUPPLIES DELIVERED TO ISOLATION UNITS AND TREATMENT CENTERS RUN BY THE GOVERNMENT.
  • SIERRA LEONE’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM REMAINS WEAK. IT HAS A SHORTAGE OF APPROXIMATELY 32,000 DOCTORS, NURSES, AND MIDWIVES, WITH JUST 1.4 PER 10,000 POPULATION COMPARED TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL THRESHOLD OF 44.5. LIFE EXPECTANCY IS 51.3 YEARS AND UNDER 5 MORTALITY IS BETWEEN 120 AND 156 PER 1000 LIVE BIRTHS. IT ALSO HAS THE HIGHEST MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE IN THE WORLD.*

Freetown, Sierra Leone –  An initiative set up just three weeks ago to support Sierra Leone’s frontline health workers in the fight against COVID-19 has delivered more than SLL185m worth of vital equipment, medication and hygiene supplies to hospitals and treatment centers. 

The C19 Dignity Project, a 100% volunteer, and citizen-led community mobilization COVID-19 relief effort was set up by TV host and journalist Vickie Remoe in response to a Facebook post by doctors seeking urgent help for the isolation unit in Connaught Hospital. 

Since then, she and her team have raised in excess of USD$38,000 and provided supplies to support 284 beds in COVID-19 Isolation Units and Treatment Centers at Connaught, Jui, 34 Military, and Lungi hospitals, Community Treatment Center at Fourah Bay College (FBC), for mild and moderate cases, and the Treatment Center at the Correctional Facility. 

Prior to receiving medical supplies, these centers lacked the basics – machines to monitor blood oxygen levels, glucose, and blood pressure. 

A lack of cleaning supplies for sanitization at a facility housing 150 patients increased tensions between frontline health workers and patients.

“You have really saved us,” said Major Patricia Briama, coordinator of the Government’s community treatment center at FBC. “We had not been able to clean the bathrooms for several days because we ran out of supplies.” She added that the long wait for supplies put female nurses on duty at risk. “There have been incidents of verbal and physical assault from irate patients frustrated with conditions at the center.” 

This week, Remoe and the C19 team aim to deliver urgent equipment and medication supplies to treatment centers in the South and Eastern Provinces of Sierra Leone.

“All Sierra Leoneans deserve to be treated in facilities that are clean, and well equipped. And all of our front liners need to be able to work with the peace of mind that comes with

knowing they have all the tools and medication they need to save lives,” said Remoe. “Right now, they don’t have that.”

Lungi Government Hospital in Port Loko, which has a 20-bed COVID treatment center, received medication, hygiene supplies, medical equipment, and funds to repair the generator from the project. 

Dr. Yillah, Medical Superintendent and Lungi Treatment Center Lead, said: “Our treatment center has received a lot of support from C19, including helping us restore electricity supply to the entire hospital. It has greatly reduced the burden on staff, helped us improve patient care and, along with the supply of essential drugs, will lead to better patient outcomes.” 

Donor funded

Entirely financed by private and business donations, both online and in cash in Sierra Leone, the project provides isolation units and treatment centers with vital equipment, medication and hygiene supplies, much of which is not even available in other hospital wards. 

All goods have so far been sourced locally from traders at reasonable prices, including pulse oximeters, digital thermometers, and glucose machines, and everything supplied is in direct response to urgent frontline needs, including medication. 

“If a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient has an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension and they can’t provide their own medication, doctors cannot treat them. By giving doctors access to a stock of common medications, we enable them to do everything they can to treat those who are most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19,” Remoe continued. 

Accountability

One of the main principles behind the fundraiser was to provide full accountability. “We want to make sure everyone who has donated their hard-earned cash to the C19 Project knows exactly where it has gone,” said Remoe.

As a result, despite only operating for three weeks, the C19 Dignity Project has already published three statements of accounts detailing funds received, funds spent and what it was spent on, and the accumulative value of supplies delivered to hospitals and when. 

In addition, the lead doctor at each isolation unit or treatment center is asked to check and sign for deliveries. Signed delivery notes are then sent to the Case Management Pillar leads within Sierra Leone’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to ensure efforts are not duplicated. 

How to donate

Remoe initially set up the fundraiser expecting to bridge the gap until the EOC was up to full speed. But as COVID-19 spreads, the project has continued to receive requests for urgent support from doctors across the country who are still struggling to access supplies to treat confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients. 

Citizens and businesses can help meet this need and support Sierra Leone’s dedicated doctors, nurses, porters, and cleaners on the frontline by donating directly to the C19 Dignity Project

To donate visit vickieremoe.com/mission to view online donation options or send Orange money to +232 79 16 46 41.

– Ends –

About the C19 Dignity Project

The C19 Dignity Project is a 100% volunteer and citizen-led relief effort mobilizing emergency medical supplies for frontline healthcare workers at COVID-19 treatment centers and isolation units. We fundraise to purchase medicine, medical tools, cleaning supplies, and food requested by doctors at facilities providing care to COVID patients. C19 Dignity Project Statement of Accounts 24 May 2020

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© 2020 IMPACT

20 Boyle Lane, Freetown

+232 (0)79 164 641info@vickieremoe.com

INFO

C19 Dignity Project
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©®vickieremoe’blog

Disclaimer

All the contents of this article are the intellectual property of Vickieremoe’s blog. Dasalone-titi Rahima is just using her platform to help spread the message.

Sierra Leoneans, we only got ourselves at a time like this. By sponsoring a bed you are helping a brother, a sister, a family. Donate now to the C19 Dignity Project and help restore dignity in the lives of those in treatment centres. No amount is too small to help.

Sierra Leone, Eid Mubarak, and Eid Fashion

Another year and our Muslim brothers and sisters are celebrating Eid Mubarak after observing the month of Ramadan. One might think the COVID19 pandemonium will dampen their spirits to show up on our timelines. But no, the Sierra Leone in them won’t let COVID19 overshadowed their celebration, resilient people, right? They showed up and showed out in terms of Fashion. As per dasalonetiti tradition, we won’t let all these fashion statements slide by and go to waste. We decided to document them and bless your timelines with what we called the Eid Fashion Show Out. Bear in mind that modesty is the key for our Muslim boujee fashion statement makers. This year, we are served with a lot of Abayas and the few Kaftans. Enjoy, eat, drink and be merry in the comfort of your home and stay safe as you do so. Don’t forget to wash your hands, use your masks, maintain some distance, and stay home #asalamualaikum#covid19ishere#covidisreal#

Bella of BellaCouture
Zara of ZaraLiz Kaftan
Haja Tilda
Eng. Mrs Yassin Bangura
Mrs Kadiatu Jalloh
Diva Isatu Kamara
Mrs Hawanatu Sankoh
Lady Kadiatu Kallon
The delectable Ena
The beautiful Mrs Adama Timbo
Hassanatu Maju Barrie and Friend
The beautiful Hannah and her Mini-me Dija
Mik siblings Mariam (002) in Nyapui Threads
Mik siblings Mbalu(003) in Nyapui Threads
Mr Mohamed Bomba Fofanah
The Mamie na Power
The Fashion Czar Abdel Kareem MuMini
The forever gorgeous hijabi Mariama Bassama
The beautiful Isatu Bah
Our very own Salmata
The beautiful elegant Hassanatu
The Sankoh sisters
Our favourite Hijabi Cutie Hawa(Hanty)
Engineer is here again😊
Beautiful Hawanatu