Aspiring journalist Augustine Conteh, aka “Big Chief”, reports from Freetown, Sierra Leone

Day of the African Child, part 2

MercyHome Freetown celebrates Day of the African Child

The Day of the African Child 2018 was commemorated for the first time at MercyHome on June 16. Leading up to the big day, [home manager] Pastor Obi had given us invitation cards to distribute among the community and asked us to invite 15 children, one friend for each of the kids of MercyHome.

Exceptionally, we were allowed to miss church one Saturday because there was so much work to be done, especially the cleaning of the compound and dormitories. Everybody participated to make sure that the day would be a success. We were all assigned tasks: Nancy and I were responsible for decorations, Momoh (our resident DJ and compère) and Saffie for the music and sound system, Ishiatu and N’Mah for the food, and on the day of the celebrations Haja and Fatmata were responsible for ushering the invitees and guests.

The programme started at 2pm and all the invited guests were present: a few local VIPs, a young man from social welfare, the community headman, youth leaders, teachers from our schools, and members of the Seventh-day Adventist church. The kids of MercyHome organised activities such as plays, miming and dancing competitions, and other kids from the community took part. This showed us the importance of celebrating June 16 and why Africans commemorate this day.

The theme for this year was “Leave no child behind” and this is especially true for Sierra Leone’s development; every child is important and has a role to play. All of us have the potential to become lawyers, doctors, ministers, journalists and politicians, as long as we have the support we need in our education and development. We rely so much on society and our community, and also on people like you, the supporters and sponsors of MercyHome Freetown, and for that we are truly grateful.

I faithfully submit these words.

Augustine Conteh (Big Chief)