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Domestic Violence Is A Global Problem
Georgia based NGO, All For One Foundation Supports Victims of Domestic Violence in Sierra Leone
When Peter and Mohamed arrived at the All For One Child Prosperity Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone, they were frightened and unsure. AFO Case Manager, Saidu Sesay, was notified by local police that two young boys were brought to the station and abandoned by their mother, stating that she could no longer care for them.
According to AFO CPC, Director Katie Milazzo, "One of the most important aspects of our process of child protection is ensuring we protect each child's right to remain with family, when safe and possible. Part of this process is getting the whole story. What appeared to be a mother giving up her children, was in-fact a woman protecting her children".
Peter and Mohamed's home was one of severe domestic violence. Unaware of other options, their mother decided to give the children up to protect them. Without the financial support of her husband, their mother felt she could not leave him and provide for them on her own. Desperate for a better life for her children, she decided to surrender them to authorities.
Case Manager Sesay reached the mother and learned of her strong desire to not only give them a good life, but to remain in their lives. AFO's case management team is counseling the mother, showing her a path for her to protect not only her children, but also herself and remaining together as a family. AFO believes a mother should never feel that she has to choose between protecting her children and raising them. Per Director Milazzo, "A child should never grow up separated from parents due to circumstances that can be changed with support".
While Peter and Mohamed reside at the Child Prosperity Center, AFO Case Managers are working with their mother to separate her from her abuser, and provide her with a sustainable foundation for herself and her children. Director Milazzo states, "This is the core of what we do – work to ensure that children are protected by protecting and equipping the entire family". The boys and their mother will soon be placed in temporary shelter, while working with her on establishing her own income, a savings plan, and ensuring each of them understand their basic human rights.
Jeff Levitan, Founder, http://AllForOne.org, said "Heart-breaking cases like Peter and Mohamed are far too common and parents often don't have any other choice but to leave the care of their children to others".
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