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CODWA-SL ends HIV/AIDS seminar

CODWA-SL ends HIV/AIDS seminar

As part of its HIV/AIDS prevention and control sensitization campaigns around the Freetown Peninsula, community leaders, students, housewives and fishmongers have participated in a day’s seminar for young people organized by the local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Concern with Development of  Women Affected by the War (CODWA-SL).  (Photo: Judith Younger, Coordinator-CODWA-SL)

The seminar, funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was held at the Goderich-Tombo Community Centre, Bush Water via Adonkia Road, Goderich.

Giving an overview of the seminar, Coordinator of CODWA-SL, Judith Younger outlined the dangers of contacting HIV/AIDS and urged young people, the most vulnerable, to utilize the ABC approach to overcome the epidemic.

She added that in the spirit of partnership, the contributions of all to reverse the prevalence rate of the disease counts as HIV/AIDS does not discriminate regardless of age, complexion, religious or social status.


Participants at the seminar


Chairing the seminar, Peter M. Shyllon, a community leader, dilated on the need for young people to become peer educators in publicizing the use of condoms as a safe and preventive approach to minimize the accompanying disadvantages of indiscriminate sex.

“We men must recognize the right of women in deciding when and how to have sex. HIV/AIDS is real therefore, let us break the barrier of silence and practice safe sex for the good of all,” he underscored.

The community chief, Pa Alimamy Sesay-Cole acknowledged the good work of CODWA-SL in championing the campaign against HIV/AIDS in the community and frowned against polygamy, one of the easiest ways to spread the disease.

He added that at the community level, it is sometimes misconstrued that distributing condom means promoting or indulging in immoral practices that is totally at variance with the realities of today and implored parents to sensitize their children about the dangers of the disease.

Mrs. Fatmata Turay, Women’s Leader in the community, appealed to stakeholders to continue facilitating such seminars aimed at curbing HIV/AIDS in the country, especially at the community level with a high percentage of vulnerable groups and admonished, “let us all brace up to reduce the pandemic to a suitable level for the wellbeing of the population .” 

With headquarters at 8 Howe Street, Freetown, CODWA-SL, in partnership with women’s organizations and other groups in the Freetown Peninsula, was established in 2003 as an NGO to advocate, cater and promote the welfare of women and children.

The empowerment  of women, through agriculture, livelihood skills training such as tailoring, hair dressing, catering and gara tie-dying; training of TBAs, peer educators, community leaders and the establishment of condom outlets within its operational areas to ensure its availability and accessibility, are some of the past activities undertaken by CODWA-SL.

By Oumar Swarray

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