Caritas Freetown Trains School Advocacy Groups on Issues Related to SGBV

In Waterloo…


By Abubakarr Harding

Caritas Freetown held a one-day training session on Gender-Based Violence for School Advocacy Forum Group Members on Friday, March 24th, at the Kandeh Turay Hall at Waterloo. The event attracted 20 targeted Schools and 2 Focal Teachers from each school.

The purpose of the training was to train Young Ambassadors for Change in order for its members to have an understanding of Gender-Based Violence and school-related Gender-Based Violence, to know the difference between Sex and Gender, and identify harmful gender practices in schools and communities to raise awareness, to know the referral pathways (Trusted Adults), to report gender-based violence issues and become familiar with the gender-based violence laws, and for them to know the unique roles they should perform in their various Schools to ensure Gender-Based Violence is mitigated.

The training sessions were facilitated by Christian Davies Carter and  Aruna Conteh. The facilitation sessions were carried out in a participatory and interactive manner as the pupils were organized into six groups and presentations were done by them to ensure that they fully grasp the concepts being taught.

The session on gender laws was new for the pupils, the long sentence period for perpetrators of sexual penetration and rape served as deterrence for them to abstain from committing such acts of gender-based violence.

The instant impact of the training was easily measured based on the comments, questions, and contributions made by the Pupils during the training. It was clear that there was knowledge gained at the end of each session.

The Young Ambassadors for Change and Focal Teachers willingly expressed their commitment to ensuring that they carry out awareness sensitization on sexual gender-based violence in their respective schools.

The satisfactory and knowledge gain survey questionnaire was immediately administered at the end of the training.

Kumba Gando, the Project Team Lead from Caritas Freetown stated in an interview that the training session was organized for school-going pupils from the twenty communities they have been engaging on SGBV issues.

She pointed out that Sexual Gender-Based Violence issues are always arising, despite the fact that other organizations have been doing a lot of sensitization on SGBV.

“There are still people who need to be aware of SGBV and its policies. Caritas Freetown’s aim is to complement the efforts of the Government and push forward the policies on SGBV,” she maintained.

One of the beneficiaries of the training session, Aminata Kamara, from Fawe Girls Senior Secondary School Waterloo expressed her gratitude for being part of the program.

She said while they had heard about SGBV before the training provided them with a different perspective on the issue. She acknowledged the importance of understanding SGBV and the laws surrounding it in order to prevent it from happening in their community.

According to her, with the knowledge gained from the training session, she is now in a position to implement the new perspective and strategies to prevent SGBV in her community.

Aminata’s commitment to spreading awareness and implementing what she has learned is an excellent example of how training sessions like these can inspire individuals to take action and make a positive change in their communities.


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