Donations to Bo Remand Home
Bo is the second largest city in Sierra Leone, and home to one of only 2 juvenile remand homes in the country. The home has been in terrible condition for the last number of years, lacking in vital resources for the inmates. Mattresses are worn out, beds don’t have mosquito nets or blankets, girls and boys are not in put separate areas. Also, there is no medical unit, the home is overcrowded and the youths have to collect water from the nearby village. These, and other issues violate these juvenile’s human and children’s rights. A recent outbreak of scabies had to be managed and medicine paid for personally by a generous UN worker. Such unhygienic conditions are in contravention of the Mandela Rules for Standard Minimum Treatment of Prisoners. AdvocAid have been pushing for renovations to be made to this home for juveniles in conflict with the law for some time now, while monitoring the home and providing welfare packs to the youths detained there.
Thanks to this pressure from AdvocAid and other organisations, the Ministry of Social Welfare has just begun renovation works on the roof, have fixed the water well, painted the walls and supplied new mattresses. A site has been acquired for the construction of a new remand home in Kenema, in the Eastern province of Sierra Leone, which will help to lessen the strain on resources, and reduce overcrowding. AdvocAid has welcomed these efforts and supplemented them with a donation of educational posters, games, food items and bathing soap to the Bo home. As the inmates hung up their posters on the freshly painted walls, we spoke to some of the children to ask them how these items would benefit them. Anna*, said she is delighted to have the chance to learn again, as she misses going to school, where her favourite subject was Science. She promised to learn all the parts of the brain before AdvocAid’s next visit! Some of the other juveniles had previously told us that they were bored, because of the lack of games, or even a football. This donation has given them a new lease of life. Moe*, is particularly excited, as he was worried he was losing his touch and would not make the local football team when he is released. Now he can practice every day, and wants to organise a small 5-a-side league in the home.
Though our donation was small, everything which can contribute to keeping children active and happy while in a difficult environment, away from their families and friends, is vitally important for these future leaders of Sierra Leone.
While all this signals a very positive step forward, more needs to be done. By donating to this project, you can help us to continue to put pressure on the Ministry and other bodies to ensure that this home reaches a standard where human rights are upheld and youths in detention can await their trial with dignity.
Please spread this news widely, and encourage your contacts to donate generously to this, or one of our other GlobalGiving projects to support our work in providing education, empowerment and access to justice for women and girls in Sierra Leone
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*Names changed to protect the identity of our clients.
Juveniles recieve donations from AdvocAid
New posters and mattresses in Bo!
Decorating the walls with educational posters