By: David Yusuf Kabia, Public Relations Assistant, ACC
Beneficiaries of the Social Safety Net (SSN) project in Kamasondo Village, Buya Chiefdom in Karene District on 18th May, 2023, were sensitized on the background and the role of beneficiaries in the Social Safety Net (SSN) project by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) led by Al-Hassan Sesay, Head of the Outreach Unit.
Speaking on the overview of the SSN project, Al-Hassan Sesay said, the SSN project is being rolled out by the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank in order to help alleviate poverty among the poorest of the poor communities in Sierra Leone. He furthered that the SSN project is completely different from previous projects in this country which unscrupulous people falsely handled.
He underscored that, the ACC prioritizes the happiness of citizens by ensuring that projects meant for them indeed benefit them. He disclosed to the beneficiaries that the SSN project is designed in phases and that everyone is not going to benefit, once you meet the criteria.
Al-Hassan pointed out that the ACC is at the heart of this project to handle the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM), through which the Commission sensitizes beneficiaries and further elicits vital information and complaints of corruption in the project either during the registration, verification or transfer of cash phase. He stated that the selection process of beneficiaries has carefully been structured in order to only get those who are extremely poor as beneficiaries.
On the reason why most of the beneficiaries are women, Al-Hassan said women and wives in homes are tasked with the management of the home. This burden, he said is usually not the province of the men and husbands who in some cases only seek to make minimal provisions amidst huge responsibilities at home. He called on the women beneficiaries to continue focusing on helping their husbands to build their homes and guide the growth of their children. He appealed to all to use the SSN funds judiciously, to engage in small businesses and improve the economic livelihood of the homes.
Explaining the role of beneficiaries, ACC’s Public Relations Assistant, David Yusuf Kabia pleaded with them to use the said funds only on activities that would improve their economic conditions and not on anything that will further escalate their sufferings. David pointed out to them to use the funds properly, which their families will always rely on should there be any eventuality.
He assured them of the commitment of the Government and its Partners to always find ways to alleviate their sufferings but without their effort same may likely be unachievable. He further made clear that no beneficiary should for once think that because they are the direct recipients of the cash, means the rest of other members of their households do not have a right to the money. He admonished the male beneficiaries against using the funds to satisfy their personal needs and not that of the households..
Edward Kargbo, ACC’s Karene District Coordinator, highlighted the multiple channels of reporting corruption to the ACC, whether in the SSN or any other suspected acts of corruption. He told them that these complaints can be made ether through the District Monitors, the District ACC Office, or in writing or better still use the toll free line which is Africell, 077-985985 or 077-986. He concluded by assuring the beneficiaries that complainants of all sorts will be adequately protected.
Earlier, on behalf of the Section Chief, Pa Alimamy Bakarr Kamara, Councillor Abu Bakarr Kargbo and Pa Santigie Sembu Kamara expressed delight for the engagement and registered commitment to working with the Commission at all times in the fight against corruption.
The meeting was climaxed by concerns, questions and the distribution of Information Education and Communication materials.