Monday, October 15, 2007

Sierra Leone Military and Police join the Fight against Poverty

UNDP Press Release

As part of the 20th anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP), a colourful football encounter between the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) and the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) will take place at Wusum Grounds in Makeni on Thursday, 18 October. This unique event has been organised on the heels of a successful elections in which the military and police have been commended for the key roles each played in ensuring peace and order. Other football encounters include the Bo Rangers and Leopard Stars who will face each other in Bo town on Saturday, 20 October. In Kenema, the Kamboi Eagles and Bambara Warriors will play on Monday, 22 October. Other activities marking IDEP 2007 include a Nationwide Essay Competition for students of Senior Secondary Schools with a prize of $3,000, to be written on the causes and possible solutions of extreme poverty in Sierra Leone. The prize money will go to fund a mini-project identified by the winning school, which will help in the fight against poverty. In addition, a National Quiz Competition for students of Junior Secondary Schools is being organized on 17 October across Freetown and the regional capitals, fetching the winner an attractive prize. The theme of this year’s commemoration is ‘people living in poverty as agents of change’. IDEP presents an opportunity to acknowledge the struggle of people living in poverty around the world. It offers the chance for the poor to voice their concerns, and recognizes them as the first people to fight against poverty. It also serves as an occasion to raise public awareness, and mobilize the commitment of various actors in the eradication of poverty and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Participation of the poor themselves is central to the commemoration of IDEP, as it reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to its eradication. In order to show global solidarity in the fight against poverty, it is proposed that all actors including civil society organizations, trade unions, community-based organizations and so on, organize a Stand-Up and Speak-Out event in their various locations. The Stand-Up and Speak-Out campaign is the growing movement of people who are no longer prepared to stay silent or seated in the face of poverty, and to publicly demonstrate global support from world leaders to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The activities to commemorate IDEP and Stand-Up and Speak-Out are organized by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone and civil society.