Forum of Sierra Leonean Youth Network Engages School Pupils on Hand Washing
Forum of Sierra Leonean Youth Network (FoSLYN) through support from the leading mobile network, Africell has engaged pupils from various schools from Waterloo and Freetown on the importance of practicing the culture of hand washing in and out of school to prevent themselves from contracting diseases like Diarrhea, Cholera, Ebola among others.
The forum which was held at the Scripture Union Conference Room on Pa Demba Road attracted parents, teachers and pupils from schools in Waterloo and Freetown including the Saint Joseph Secondary School, Freetown Secondary school for Girls, Methodist Girls High School, Saint Edwards Secondary School, Albert Academy Secondary School, Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School, Prince of Wales Secondary Schools, Sierra Leone Grammar School, Peninsular Senior Secondary School Waterloo, Barrack Obama Senior Secondary School Waterloo among others.
Speaking at the ceremony, Administrative Officer, FoSLYN, Fatmata Kanu said the training was important because it would help school children to promote hygiene among themselves and encouraged pupils to focus on their education so that they can use the opportunity to learn at early age. She called on parents to take care of children at home while appealing to teachers who were also present to be watchful over them.
The Executive Director of FoSLYN, Thomas Babbadie said his organization focuses on Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) education, democracy; human right and the rule of law adding that Africell has given them money to buy WASH stations such as tables, veronica buckets, toiletries and soap.
He encouraged Government to support or provide hand washing facilities in schools and appealed to heads of schools to ensure WASH facilities are available in their various schools to prevent school pupils from contracting communicable diseases because they are the future leaders. “It is sad to say that Sierra Leoneans who have suffered from Ebola due to lack of good hygiene practices neglect hand washing”, said the Executive Director. He concluded by calling on the Freetown City Council to ensure proper sanitary system is put in place.
Head of Event and Sponsorship, Africell Mobile Network, Abdul Aziz Kamara stated that they supported FoSLYN as a result of the impact the training will create for participants and the general populace and recalled that, hand washing technique was used to get rid of Ebola in Sierra Leone and the sub region.
He emphasized on the country’s weak health system and described the event as an opportunity to remind ourselves on how we should promote the culture of hand washing. “We are proud and honored to sponsor the program”, said Kamara and he called on other sponsors to help disseminate the idea and culture of hand washing. The Head of Event and Sponsorship encouraged FoSLYN to continue holding such meetings with school children.
Director, Hope for the Hopeless Sierra Leone Chapter, Mariama Senessie sensitized that Diarrhea, cholera and common cold can be transfer through our hands and stressed on the important to wash hands before and after eating and using the toilet and emphasized that children would not inculcate the culture of hand washing if the needed or necessary equipment’s are not available in their various schools and reminded all not to underestimate the power of hand washing.
Speaking on behalf of WASH-Net Sierra Leone, Musa Ansumana Soko stressed that the weak health system is imposing so many challenges to the citizenry of this country and he therefore calling on Sierra Leoneans to practice health seeking behavior. He described hand as an intermediary for all human activities “it is good to wash hands regularly” he said and thanked Africell for supporting the event and FoSLYN for creating such an important forum.
WASH Program Manager, Save the Children, Edward Sheka said they established in Sierra Leone since 1991 and they are working on health and WASH education, child protection, child right governance, disaster risk management and advocacy at higher level. He said they promote effort of Government by providing affordable water and discussed that prevention cannot take place without good water facility. He told listeners that Global Hand Washing Day is celebrated annually on October 15th to raise awareness on the important of hand washing.
Other speakers including the Program Manager of Water Aid Liberia and Sierra Leone, Christian J. Kekura also made meaningful contributions.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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