By State House Communication Unit…..
President Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday 25th August 2017 hosted at State House the Sierra Leone Association of Little People where they discussed the marginalization and discrimination that little people across the country are facing.
The objectives of the organization are to increase the capacities of little people through training, workshops, seminars and community development programmes among others.
Sierra Leone Association of Little People founder and chairperson, Sheriff Abass Koroma said little people needed to be supported to enable them start their own businesses and projects, saying that it is difficult growing up in an environment of continuous discrimination and marginalization. Their visit to State House, he said, was to introduce their executive as well as engage government on issues affecting little people in Sierra Leone.
Sheriff Abass Koroma said after meeting the president, “When I was told that President Koroma wanted to see us, I almost went crazy. We left State House with a huge sense of belonging as the President made us feel very tall.”
According to Abass Koroma, the immediate needs of their association are the following: (1) office space which will serve as learning centre for little people nationwide, (2) registration of association, (3) launching of association, and (4) funding of project proposal.
President Koroma as father of the nation welcomed the association to State House and noted that they are entitled to freedom of association and movement like any other citizen of Sierra Leone. “It’s unfortunate that you have to go through such experiences of mockery and marginalization but my government will always remain not only open and inclusive but will defend the rights of little people and other vulnerable groups,” he said.
The Fountain of Honour assured that he would be holding regular meetings with the association and encouraged them to contact the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs for matters relating to their welfare.