Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Employment, Labour, and Social Security (MELSS) has formalized its partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).

This significant agreement is geared toward laying the groundwork for a comprehensive Volunteerism Policy that will offer essential directives for volunteer activities within the nation.

VSO, is a highly regarded international non-profit development organization, it operates across more than 20 countries in Africa and Asia, including Sierra Leone, where it has been a catalyst for positive change for several decades. VSO is renowned for its distinctive volunteer model, which encompasses international, national, and community service, VSO has consistently championed the transformative potential of individuals.

According of Minister Mohamed Rahman Swaray, representing the Ministry of Employment, Labour, and Social Security, the signing of this MoU marks a pivotal moment in the formalization and structuring of volunteerism in Sierra Leone, a nation where volunteer efforts have historically driven social progress but have lacked a cohesive policy framework.

Madam Isha Bangura, VSO’s Programme Manager, underscored the timeliness of this initiative, highlighting the absence of proper support structures for volunteerism in the past. She emphasized that the forthcoming policy would not only legitimize volunteer contributions but also extend legal support to the National Youth Service, a program overseen by the Ministry of Youth Affairs.

Madam Bangura expressed enthusiasm for the future of volunteerism in Sierra Leone and committed VSO’s unwavering support to ensure the policy’s successful implementation.

Minister Mohamed Rahman Swaray, lauded VSO’s collaboration in addressing Sierra Leone’s volunteerism challenge. He recognized the deep-rooted history of volunteerism in the country, which has made the development of a policy framework a long-anticipated necessity.

Minister Swaray further emphasized that this policy would not only enhance the nation’s Human Capital Development but also align with the President’s ambitious vision of creating 500,000 jobs for Sierra Leoneans by 2028. He urged all stakeholders involved in crafting the policy to commit their utmost efforts to its realization, underlining that the true work is just beginning.

With the MoU now officially in place, Sierra Leone is poised to chart a new trajectory for volunteerism, acknowledging its pivotal role in national development and societal transformation. The forthcoming Volunteerism Policy is poised to be a cornerstone for a brighter future, where the potential of volunteering is effectively harnessed for the benefit of all.