SIERRA LEONE: Khadarlis to Empower Women and Children

Monday, May 30, 2011
Western Africa
Sierra Leone
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

Khadarlis for Sierra Leone is a non-governmental and non-profit making organization determined to improve on the living conditions of vulnerable Sierra Leoneans, who are always faced with numerous challenges in the areas of education, health and sanitation, housing and water facilities, among others, the organisation has said.

The organization comprises of likeminded Sierra Leoneans resident in the United States and other partners across the world with the aim of empowering women and children at grassroots communities in Sierra Leone for the socio-economic and political development of the country.

In an exclusive interview with Concord Times at her Sanda Street office in central Freetown, the founder and director of Khadarlis, Madam Aisha Khadar Desice said it was significant for humanitarian organizations to assist local communities, noting that they have identified water and sanitation, inadequate housing facility, quality education and women's empowerment as key challenges facing local communities in the eastern, southern and northern parts of the country.

Madam Desice disclosed that the organisation has targeted two communities in the southern region by providing housing and water facilities, a gesture she said has greatly improved the living condition of people in that part of the country.

"We have rebuilt communities and provided good water facility for them because it is always a serious problem for women and children who have to travel long distance to fetch water for their respective homes. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation causes 80% of diseases and kills more people every year, which is the reason for our intervention," she told this reporter.

"Also the problem of housing is another challenge, therefore we have constructed 15 mud houses in Jimmi and two in Senehun - all in the Bo district - as a pilot project but more importantly, we are strongly working in the educational sector to provide quality education for children at local communities."

President of Khadarlis, Madam Darlis Johnson also emphasized on agricultural development in local communities, noting that the organisation has been giving support to local farmers in order to improve on their farming activities.

"We have introduced a solar system for rural electrification for agricultural development and this project is paramount to the organization because it gives more opportunity to people especially women and children," she said, adding that the organization was not a profit making outfit and therefore called on humanitarian organizations both in and out of the country for support.