Beneficiaries of SOS Village Complain of Maltreatment

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By Foday Moriba Conteh

Beneficiaries of SOS Village have been complaining about abuse and corruption by individuals entrusted with the responsibility of running the affairs of the facility.

They attributed the decline in support and care to the SOS children and youth in the country as factors responsible for the dwindling the once viable entity to one that is currently rocked by many constraints  militating against those who must be accorded proper, befitting treatments as it used to be in the past.

Indeed, according investigation mounted, there have been immense changes in the Management of SOS Children’s Villages   Sierra Leone in the past three (3) years. Lamentably, during these transition processes, a lot of poor choices were made in the administration of SOS Children’s Villages Sierra Leone, thus, causing an unimaginable poor outcome in the transition process.

These range from staff breaching the codes of conduct and the anti-fraud-corruption guideline with impunity. From 2016 to 2018, Management at the helm of affairs has blatantly violated them. Perpetrators were even treated with humility, leaving the beneficiaries deprived, who now see themselves as the “new slaves” given by the way they are treated.

“As a child care organisation and as individuals, we have the chance to ensure that all children have equal opportunities to grow with dignity, security and respect in a caring environment as every child deserves,” Norbert Meder, Chief Executive Officer of SOS Children’s Villages International.

However, an organisation that claims to provide a loving home for every child, forcefully integrating children and young people into the society, poorly resettling them and without the knowledge of its superiors- In the International Office it was not until the matter was reported, before insufficient actions were taken by the Regional and International office.

Talking to this medium, most of the beneficiaries expressed disappointment over the regional office, especially in Mr. Bada for making amends to them on behalf of the organisation at the regional and international offices, after eradicating some perpetrators, assuring them in meetings that they ( beneficiaries) would experience improvement in the standard of living and care in SOS CV Sierra Leone.

Notwithstanding, the beneficiaries still complain of new policies that threaten their poor existing support. “We are faced with problems that call for the need of a swift and positive intervention for a genuine change,” they bemoaned.

They stated that hospitality for trust is fast becoming elusive calling for whatever policy imposed to be in their best interests and aim at improving the wellbeing of children and youths over there as a means of achieving the sustainable development goals.

It was categorically stated by them, that the current administration is unstable, with a whole lot of complaints that need redress in order not to create a toxic environment for them.

They catalogued the following challenges they  are faced with:

NO. ABUSE/CHALLENGE CATEGORY RECOMMENDATION
1 SUBSTANDARD

CARE-GIVING

CHILDREN& YOUTHS (YF1&YF2) Improve in the Care-giving of Children and Youths.

·         Feeding allowance for children (to prevent the occurrence of malnutrition)

·         Poor Clothing

·         Poor monthly allowance for youths

·         Improve in the support of adequate study materials.

·         Accommodation for youths looked into.

·         Poor Medical facility

·         Improper transition (into society) for children and youths

2 NEGLECT CHILDREN& YOUTHS (YFI &YF2) ·         The imposition of new rigid policies; eradicating youths from all support at 23yrs.

·         Poor relationship between staffs and beneficiaries.

·         Youths currently in the system not pursuing anything academic are not encouraged to do anything, but are only been reminded of the age limit to support.

·         Limited activities to promote early childhood livelihood; recreation, excursions etc.

·         Improve ethical self-confidence in children and youths by introducing more innovative and creative programs.

3 INTIMIDATION CHILDREN& YOUTHS (YFI &YF2) ·         Staffs galvanize against beneficiaries.

·         Promiscuous agenda to frustrate the wellbeing of beneficiaries

4 DISCRIMINATION/LIMITATIONS CHILDREN& YOUTHS (YFI, YF2, AND FORMER YOUTHS) ·         S.O.S Children’s Villages International has a unique policy impacting the well-being of its beneficiaries but limiting beneficiaries in SOS CV Sierra Leone from supports that are meant to be universal.

·         We are supported less compared to other SOS Children’s Villages globally. In term of support, Children and youths of SOS CV Sierra Leone are treated inferior to their colleagues in other countries; in the same region, and worldwide. This is termed as RACIAL DISCRIMINATION.

·         In S.O.S CV Sierra Leone, beneficiaries are deprived of their right to a choice of their own. Even in terms of opportunities, there is a huge limitation based on geographic location.

5 SABOTTAGE EMPLOYEES STAFFS ·         Employees who have shown to be honest in their dealings and forthcomings with SOS beneficiaries are/were witch-hunted by corrupt senior management staffs.

 

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