ANNUAL REPORT FOR IACSL 2010
appreciation and acknowledgement to the parent body of the Inter Africa Committee on Harmful Traditional Practices headquarters; also and to other donors who have made our work most applying to our benefactors. For their moral and financial support they offer us in the year under review 2010 we say we are grateful. Had it not being for their timely intervention in supporting us in most of our projects and introducing our institution to credible donors who stood with us, little or nothing substantial could have being achieved. For this Mrs. Ras work and your team at the headquarters we in the Sierra Leone Chapter of AIC say bravo! And together we can achieve, together we can make FGM a thing of the past in the scene of Africa and the world over. To others out there, like WAAF Japan, FORWORD foundation, Fordham University in the USA who have being strong partners and alliance in the struggle to eradicate FGM and to emancipate the female folks of this society. We say your contributions to the programs of IACSL are likewise. We are grateful to all that you have
We are most humble and privileged to present in this annual report our helped us to achieve within the year under review.
This is a compress annual report for the Inter Africa Committee in Sierra Leone for activities and projects implemented during the year 2010.
The main activities undertaken by IACSL in the year under review include the following:-
- Research work organized by IACSL and undertaken by interns students from Fordham University in the USA and a law student from Queens University in Ireland was effectively and efficiently undertaken and the result were tremendous that currently leading us taking FGM debate to the legislators.
- Zero Tolerance to FGM celebration on 6th February 2010 led others to partners with IACSL.
- School Outreaches / Youths Activities.
- T IC FOR MEDIA, Legislatives and service personal.
- Alternative Employment opportunity for ex-circumcisers who turns to be change agents.
- Both local and international campaigns in the fight to eradicate FGM.
- Partnership summits in Kambia District.
- IACSL conducted a Research work on the bye laws of FGM, women’s and children rights on inheritance within our respective communities. This research was very much successfully and it was primarily conducted by two researcher’s interns from Fordham University in the USA and a law student from Queens University in Ireland. Earlier on, prior the start of the research work the Executive Director Mrs. Laural Bangura who have initiative of the work assigned the interns to this duty as the latter came out the with this challenging result.
- TIC: - IACSL also conducted training workshops for three hundred women in Kambia Districts. These trainees happened to be campaign agents for their respective regions. The coordinator of these workshops was Mr. Alfred Davies who went round the ex-cisers asking them to redeem their generation by dropping down these harmful traditional practices that have negatively affected the health of women folks.
- TIC for media and legislatures and service personal. The main objective of the Program is to empower the media on how to handle and report FGM issues as they are very sensitive to propel the change process, and the legislatures as to how they can use their position to help put this old barbaric practice under control through the use of the law. And to the school going and community youths were empowered with skills to campaign against HTPs as they are and are going to be leaders in their communities.
- Tolerance to FGM Celebration IACSL celebrated February 6, 2010 featuring Zero three days of community sensitization programs, on radio discussions and phone-in Programs on the negative implication of FGM and it effects, on community radio/Debate competition among the students. General sensitization on community centers etc. A rally involving youth, school pupils and excisers was also held.
- School Outreaches /Youths Activities IACSL targeted youths and students in Kambia to spread the information about the hazards of FGM. The main objective of this program is to spread the information for the abandonment of FGM and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Principals and students participated fully and have now become potential focal point persons for the organization. Pupils and students of different training institutes have become peer educators.
Training Workshop for Community and Religious Leaders,
- Training Workshop for Community and Religious Leaders, Women, Men, and initiators on the dangers of F.G.M was done in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone to stop politicians from taken the practice of using FGM for vote gaining during campaign period and for using the blood of innocent virgins for ritual purposes for power gaining. Participants whose total were one hundred attended from targeted communities the workshop with the aims of bringing a change to their people.
- Themes on the radio discussions programs were as follows:
THE HAZARDS OF FGM: This was done in both the local radio stations and the print media. An air time has been provided ones every month to talk about FGM and its implications.
Men are partners in the fight to eradicate FGM: this was done by a station presenter acting as moderator who asked series of questions to members of IACSL and the public phone in as a feed back mechanism.
· ALTERNATIVE EMPLOYMENT: Alternative Employment was provided for ex-circumcisers at Brayama in the Kambia District northern Sierra Leone. It included training for ex-circumcisers and religious leaders. This was a preparatory ground for community by-laws which will be used to monitor and evaluate work in targeted communities and also as a protective means for advocacy. This will also be prepared as a tool to lobby government for legislation.
· MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES: IACSL sent representatives to participate in the following programs conducted by IAC HEADQUATERS this year:
o Media personnel workshop in Kilimanjaro- Tanzania. Our media expert Mr. Abdul Dimoh Kposowa attended this historic media workshop.
COLLABORATION AND LINKAGES: - The following institutions have collaborated with IACSL to fight against FGM and other women’s issues that have affected their general development:-
- The Sierra Leone Police force
- Principals of schools and other Training Institutions
- Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs Kambia District.
- Ministry of Youths and Sports.
- National Aid Secretariat
- Center for democracy and human right
- Lawyers Centre for Legal Assistance (LAWCLA)
- Amnesty International
- Radio and Print Media Houses
- The Sierra Leone Bar Association
- CRS Sierra Leone
As former chief initiator, she is now a recruited campaign agent by IACSL , who had now drop her trade. Though the campaign is been hampered due to lack of funds, she recently conducted a campaign in nearby villages were they were conducting a funeral ceremony for one of their colleague who passed away, she use this ceremony as platform to sensitized her colleagues, according to reports from focal point person, at end of the deliberation, they ended up with several declarations among them were as follows.
1. They said they will not initiate for the next two years ,
2. They said they shall never initiate any girls under the age of 18 years.
3. In the not too distance future they will say zero tolerance to FGM if they get more education on the issue and the necessary project support.
Sequel to this event also in the Bremaya chiefdom- Kambia District IACSL is further making some success stories in the area, a staff Alfred Davies who usually is doing the follow ups trips on an intervention by IAC to the rescue some children who were under age from under going FGM, Alfred Davies IACSL followed up the matter along with the social welfare, the police and other network partners.
The out comes of the matter were as follows:
The initiator was suspended for two years and had her license was with drawn by local administration.
Children rescued from initiation by IACSL
Furthermore IACSL in collaboration with GAMS Belgium successfully defend a lady by the name of Theresa who fled for FGM initiation from Sierra Leone to Belgium. She was refused to be give an asylum in Belgium, later GAMS contacted IACSL , we went to the village were Therese hailed from , were we succeeded taking away her two daughters who are presently in Freetown in an undisclosed location for safety reasons. IACSL in collaboration with GAMS Belgium supplied all the necessary information that led to Theresa been freed from detention, and her documentation is now in progress for her to be granted an asylum In. Belgium.
- All participants in the three districts had the capacity to make personal decision against FGM and to be agents of change in their communities.
- All trainers/ participants assured IACSL that they will continue to spread the message to all communities that never take part in any community activities that promotes harmful traditional practices.
- Youths and students becoming possible peer educators and focal point persons
- Head Sowies Mammy Binty in Kambia District helps in disseminating information and training of other women in their communities.
- The week- long observation of Zero Tolerance on FGM made community members more aware of the consequences of FGM.
- Lack of mobility and communication for community focal point leaders.
- Technical Support for Staff and focal point persons
- Lack of fund for timely implementation of projects
- Logistical help for victims
- IACSL funding has helped involvement of the women in communities which practiced Harmful Traditional Practices, to raise the awareness of the hazards in other communities.
- It has help to eradicate crude traditional and cultural practices, domestic, violence and other forms of discrimination against women and girls.
- It has helped improved crude traditional and cultural practices to those who cannot stay away from what they may describe as legacy.
- Although previously FGM was a taboo to speak about, training has actively increase awareness of the practice.
- Women are now willing to participate and speak publicly about their own experience with FGM e.g. fistula problems etc
- Testimonies will mobilize support for eradication in a manner unprecedented in previous years.