BY Henry Tejan Kargbo
Working in compliance with “Access to Justice and Child Rights”, the African Nation’s theme for this year’s June 16th commemoration, the Dee-Sogie Thomas (DST) Foundation, has on Tuesday 16th June, 2020 donated food and non-food items to the Sierra Leone Juvenile Centre (Dems) at Kingtom, Freetown.
The items donated ranged from bundles of sachet pure water, used clothings, facemasks, toiletries, juice, slippers, books to pens.
Speaking on behalf of DST, Marian Swarray, a member, said the Dee-Sogie-Thomas Foundation is a non-political organization driven by the need to serve humanity.
“Since we believe in the cause to help, we decided to hang heads with the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation and reached the decision that June 16th will be a great day to support needy however little. This is what led to this donation. We are therefore here to romance with the juveniles at the Dems Juvenile Centre and also to caution these first-time offenders that they should not stop believing as there is life after Dems,” she added.
On making the effort inclusive, Madam Swarray appealed to other humanitarian organizations to emulate the good example of DST, emphasizing that it’s fulfilling to serve humanity.
“I want to reach out to the government, the society out there and other humanitarian organizations that these children need us. Some of them have been here without making any court appearance; they need social welfare, lawyers and other people that can help them. I spoke with a few that disclosed that since they brought them here, they have not been able to set eyes on their families. We as a human being are interconnected in one way or the other and we all need each other,” she appealed.
One of the inmates thanked DST Foundation profusely for such gesture, expressing delights for the donation during a trying time like this and assuring the DST that the gifts will be used for their intended purposes.
He ended by calling on Sierra Leoneans and charitable organizations to do same as life is not easy for them social workers. “We need your help and support so that we will be future leaders”, he said.
On June 16th 1976, the Soweto uprising in South Africa, a series of demonstrations and protests began and it is estimated that 20,000 students took part in the protests. They were met with fierce police brutality that took away an estimated 700 lives. In remembrance of these events, 16th June is now a public holiday in South Africa and also commemorated in almost every part of Africa.