Assistance to Youth at Risk
Since 1998, Don Bosco Fambul has been working in Freetown/Sierra Leone for street children and young people in need. Between 1991 and 2001, the country experienced one of the most terrible civil wars in recent history. The rebel movement (RUF) and state militias recruited thousands of children, drugged them and made cruel crimes. Today, these young people are traumatized in a country still affected by the aftermath of the war: bitter poverty, hunger, disease and the most serious human rights violations.
The Child Hotline 116 is an around-the-clock counseling hotline staffed by social workers—along with other trained professionals—offering hope and prospects for the future for children suffering from the ravages of war.
Establishing a professional, country-wide, free of cost and at any time accessible counselling service for young people that aims at:
1. Preventive health care, not only in the medical, but also in the psycho-social field;
2. Aid in difficult life situations ensured by:
- low-threshold counselling services
- search for solutions
- helping people to help themselves
- providing adequate contact points
Five concrete target agreements can be summarised as follows:
- Country-wide telephone counselling and aids for children.
- Professionalising the staff.
- Involving local unpaid volunteers and local organisations.
- Improving the technical equipment and setting up a database for telephone counselling.
- Advertising and publications on Child Line 116.
Don Bosco Fambul is a member of the Child Helpline International, an organization whose work is grounded in a firm belief in the rights of children—as explicitly laid out in such internationally recognized and binding documents as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.