The Monrovia Alternative Care facility of SOS Children’s Villages Liberia has received 19 more children, recommended by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
In September, 2017, SOS Liberia together with the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection reunified children that were living in the Monrovia Children’s Village with their biological parents, following an assessment which proved that the children were ready to be reunified and reunited with their respective biological families.
This action created space in the Monrovia Children’s Village and since then, SOS Liberia set out to work with the Ministry and all other relevant stakeholders, including community persons to replace the children that have left the Monrovia Village. An independent verification team embarked on a very elaborate and thorough exercise to ensure that only children that qualify for alternative care get admitted into the homes. This is in line with social protection policy of the Republic of Liberia, as well as the United Nations guidelines on Alternative Care, both of which state that Alternative Care should be a matter of last resort.
Presenting the 19 children to the SOS Children’s Village on behalf of Deputy Minister, Madam Lydia Mai Sherman, the Director of the Social Assistance Division, Mrs. Alfreda Jacobs said, the Ministry of Gender is pleased with the partnership with SOS Liberia.
Speaking recently in Monrovia at the presentation ceremony, Madam Jacobs noted that protection of Liberian children is important for the progress of the country, adding that the children were taken mainly from the VOA Community in Brewerville, a community that was highly affected by the Ebola crisis, with several deaths reported.
She noted that SOS has shouldered the responsibility for several of the kids whose parents lost their lives during the deadly Ebola crisis of 2014. “Today, I am honored to present nineteen children from the VOA Community to SOS Liberia, Madam Jacobs said. She then pledged her Ministry’s commitment to continue to work with SOS Liberia for the care and protection of vulnerable children, particularly those who have lost parental care or are at the risk of losing parental care.
Receiving the children on behalf of SOS Children’s Villages Liberia, National Director, Mr. Augustine A. Allieu said that the day was a very important one in the lives of the children.
Mr. Allieu explained, “UNICEF reports that there are about 220 million children without parental care or at risk of losing it who live in extremely disadvantaged circumstances worldwide. Also related to that is the fact that 1 in 10 children live without parental care worldwide. Here in Liberia, according to LDHS, only 49% of children under 15 live with both parents”.
He stresses that it is therefore quite imperative that, in line with the social protection provisions of the Republic of Liberia, organizations such as SOS Liberia comes in to support these category of vulnerable children in order to ensure that they can experience the joys and fulfilments of a loving home, while realizing their full potentials in life – like any other child.
SOS Chlddren’s Villages Liberia currently operates out of two main locations –Monrovia (Montserrado County) and Juah Town (Grand Bassa County). The organization supports mainly children that have lost parental care or are at the risk of losing parental care.
-Editing by Jonathan Browne