By Abubakarr Harding
Caritas Freetown donated Fifty 50 packages of educational support and skilled support items to survivors of Gender Based Violence on Friday June 16, 2023, geared towards focusing their minds to the pursuit of knowledge during an event that was held at Cole Town in Waterloo, Western Rural District under a project titled: “Strengthening Behavioral Change on SGBV Prevention,” which is aimed at educating and raising awareness among school pupils about SGBV and its negative impact on women and girls. Out of the 50 packages, 25 contained school learning materials and another 25 for skills training.
Grace Jones, the Monitoring & Evaluation Officer of Caritas Freetown, emphasized the critical importance of empowering survivors of SGBV by offering them opportunities for education and personal growth.
Jones highlighted that education is a powerful tool that can help survivors rebuild their lives, regain their confidence, and break the cycle of violence. She continued that their aim is to create a safe and inclusive learning environment for SGBV victims, enabling them to pursue their educational goals and unlock their full potentials.
It must be noted that Caritas Freetown, as an organization, firmly believes in the fundamental right to education and the empowerment of all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds or past experiences. It was highlighted that the organization is committed to supporting survivors of SGBV by providing them with the necessary resources to thrive academically and emotionally.
One of the officials related to the implementation of the project stressed that education is not just about acquiring knowledge but can also be used to fosters resilience, self-esteem, and hope for a better future.
The donated educational support items included textbooks, exercise books, school bags, pens, pencils, and other essential items that will equip beneficiaries with the tools they need to engage in their studies and pursue their educational dreams.
Hawa Lansana, one of the beneficiaries from the Waterloo community, expressed her gratitude to the generous donors who made the initiative possible further acknowledging the commitment and compassion so far exhibited by Caritas Freetown in supporting survivors of SGBV.
She said through their assistance they are not only condemning sexual gender-based violence but also providing survivors with the support and opportunities they need to heal and thrive.
Lansana shared her personal experience, stating that Caritas Freetown has helped remove shame from their eyes as SGBV Survivors. She expressed her relief saying before this time she was apprehensive of mobilizing the necessary resources to buy school materials for her child adding how support by Caritas Freetown is helping greatly to alleviate the burden and provide hope for a brighter future.
One of the officials of Caritas Freetown said by empowering survivors of SGBV through education, they are fostering resilience, instilling self-confidence, and paving the way for a society that supports and uplifts all its members.
Caritas Freetown’s commitment to providing educational assistance to survivors of gender-based violence by not only addressing the immediate needs of the survivors but also contribute to breaking the cycle of violence and fostering long-term empowerment.
It was evident that through efforts made so far they are making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and working towards creating a society that stands against gender-based violence and supports survivors on their journey to recovery and success.