The Ministry of Employment, Labour and Social Security (MELSS) took a significant step forward in promoting volunteerism today by facilitating a capacity training program.

Supported by the African Union Directorate of Women, Youths, and Gender (AUDWYG) under the AU’s Country Capacity Strengthening Support Programme, the training aimed to equip stakeholders with the skills necessary to mainstream and effectively manage volunteerism in Sierra Leone.

Representatives from various sectors participated in the program, including Volunteer-Involving Organizations (VIOs) from the public and private spheres, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

Madam Fatmata Mustapha, Permanent Secretary at MELSS, highlighted the crucial role volunteers play in national development. “Their resilience during crises like the Ebola outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic has been truly inspiring,” she stated. “The Government recognizes volunteerism as a strategic tool for sustainable development. This is why we championed the development and validation of the National Volunteering Policy.”

The policy, Ms. Mustapha emphasized, empowers citizens to actively contribute to national progress. “Volunteerism benefits individuals, communities, the government, and the private sector,” she remarked.

Dr. Masheha Shewarega, Coordinator of the African Union Continental Linkage Platform, resonated with Ms. Mustapha’s sentiments. “Together, we can pave the way for a brighter future through the power of volunteerism,” he declared. “The AU is not here to replace your efforts, but to support you in taking them to the next level,” Dr. Shewarega reassured participants.

This training program signifies a commitment from both the Sierra Leonean government and the African Union to fostering a robust and impactful volunteer ecosystem in the country.