WFAD-members Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development (FDID-SL) interacted with street kids at Water Street in Freetown

FDID-SL is a child and youth serving organization with a vision to see a drug free Sierra Leone with an empowered children and youthful population. On the 4th of April FDID-SL engaged street kids at the Bus Station Community with their usual drug prevention and demand reduction education message.

Addressing about sixty street kids, the Director of FDID-SL Mr. Hindowa E. Saidu encouraged the children to live a healthy life style away from drug and violence. He said drug and violence have the potential of destroying their health and rob them of a better future. He admonished the children to stay off drugs and violence, he also implored on them to visit the FDID-SL head quarters to see if they can help them to get in contact with other organizations that can assist them with their welfare.

The programme Officer for FDID-SL Mr. Habib T. Kamara pleaded with the children to stop risky practices as it might land them into prison or deteriorate their health. Speaking on the hazards and disadvantages of drug, Mr. Kamara informed the children that a recent survey undertaking by FDID-SL has shown that their age mates in other ghettoes across the city were losing their lives carelessly as a result of drugs. He furthered that the future of this country squarely rest on their shoulders, so they should do everything possible to protect their own lives.

Although Sierra Leone has been identified by the international community as a transit point for most hard drugs and narcotics such as cocaine to the west, the country has also endured the cultivation of illegal crops such as marijuana. In recent times, the cultivation of marijuana in Sierra Leone has seen unprecedented records with untold social and economic consequences. According to an independent survey in 2006, almost every village in especially the border regions has a huge bed of marijuana farms. In most of the cases efforts by authorities to curb this illegal activity have proved useless. Supposedly, because of the lack of proper control policies and prosecution together with connivance on the part of authorities, this stigma seem unabated and with impurity. Marijuana is trafficked across the borders of Sierra Leone to especially neighboring Guinea and Liberia on almost a daily bases. Astonishingly also because of illiteracy and poverty, the seriousness of these clandestine criminal activities is unnoticed as the locals consider it as just one form of obtaining livelihood. As a result, marijuana use is common and every day teenagers are recruited into addiction and are in fact used as sales agents in youth hideout and even schools.

"CATCH THEM WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG" is a new project lunched by FDID-SL to target the children of school going ages as well as those who drop out of school with the community drug prevention and education messages. This project will be replicated into different communities, especially poor neighborhood across the country.

4323423

A cross section of Street Kids at Bus Station Community and FDID-SL Staff

NOTE: This report was compiled by Mr. Edward N. Blake who is the Communication and Outreach Officer for FDID-SL. He can be reached on +232-78-670-222/76-804-066 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development