By Theresa Vamboi
One of the vibrant Non-Governmental Organizations that is currently operating in the country, the Advocacy Movement Network (AMNet) with support from Save the Children on the 10th October 2019 commenced a two-day workshop to map out Government’s policies, priorities, opportunities and risks regarding Teenage Pregnancy in Sierra Leone.
Speaking to teenage mothers, 40 Civil Society Organizations and Representatives from Government Ministries, AMNet’s Program Officer, Brima Conteh, revealed how they are putting ideas together in order to present a Position Paper as a key player to Government.
Mr. Conteh pointed out that AMNet received support from Save the Children through the Danish Government to organize the aforementioned workshop, bringing all 40 CSOs together to develop a policy framework which Government will use as a tool for implementation.
Addressing CSOs and Line Ministries, Chief Executive Officer of AMNet, Madam Hawa Samai, explained the devastating consequences of teenage pregnancy on the lives of young girls, calling on colleague CSOs and line Ministries to find a solution to this societal problem affecting girls in society.
She added that Teenage Pregnancy is as a result of poor parenting, urging mothers to always teach their girls good morals and inform them about the dangers involved in early child birth.
She commended Save the Children for their support towards the two day training which, she believes, will leave a blueprint for policy makers.
CEO Samai ended by assuring AMNet’s continued commitment to building alliance in combating Teenage Pregnancy.
Speaking to teenage mothers and Civil Society Organizations present, representative from the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs, Madam Lamrana Koroma, commended AMnet and its partners for such a wonderful idea in bringing together these young people for orientation with regards the combating of teenage pregnancy and its effects on Sierra Leone.
“Our Ministry always engages with CSOs and Local and International Organizations in finding solutions to this burning issue in our society; and our Ministry is the hub for such complaints,” she added.
Victor G Karimu is the Communications Officer National Secretariat for the Reduction of Teenage Pregnancy. He expressed his delight to be part of the two-day workshop organized by AMNet.
He said their office is always open to work with partners by putting ideas together to fight Teenage Pregnancy, noting that they are working under the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
The first day ended with a Round Table Discussion and presentations of group work by CSOs. Day two ended at AMnet’s Conference Room on Spur Loop in Freetown.