SIERRA LEONE: Over 600 girls rescued through program
Girls Shelter GO+ reaches out to young girls to offer safe environment
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Fambul, one of Sierra Leone’s leading child-welfare organizations located in Freetown, offers the Girls Shelter GO+ program to support young girls who have been forced into sex work. Some of the girls are as young as 9 years old. Most of them have faced violence and sexual abuse. They include girls from other countries, villages or the poorest areas of Freetown, who all often are forced to provide financially for themselves and their families.
Don Bosco Fambul has been operating a shelter for young girls who have faced sexual abuse and are in need of shelter, support and education. Recognizing the specific need for girls who had been forced into prostitution, Father Jorge Crisafulli asked a group of girls if they wanted to change their lives.
He was able to create the Girls Shelter GO+ program inside a therapeutic center. Since the program was launched six years ago, it has changed the lives of more than 600 girls, given them the opportunity to start a new life, and provided access to education.
A Salesian said, “The main aim of the Girls Shelter GO+ program is to reach out to underage girls who are involved in prostitution and help them off the streets, offering a safe environment where they can access holistic rehabilitation and physical, psychological, and spiritual healing. The goal is to help them recover their dignity through education and skills training and reintegrate back into their community.”
Don Bosco Fambul has a staff of 120, including Salesian social workers who go out to the streets, slums and marketplaces. They engage with vulnerable youth and encourage them to join Don Bosco Fambul’s programs. The organization has four large buildings, a clinic, accommodations for volunteers and social workers, a house for the Salesian community, and a chapel. It’s the only program of its kind in West Africa that enables girls to live in a safe environment to overcome their traumas and start a new life.
Photo courtesy of Don Bosco Fambul
Salesian Missions – Sierra Leone
UNICEF – Sierra Leone