Government of Sierra Leone*
Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA)
*PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE MSWGCA ABOUT THE DISCHARGE OF MAMIE SAM ON FRIDAY 16TH DECEMBER 2016.*
The public is hereby informed that 13 years old teenage girl Mamie Sam, who had enlarged breasts, has finally discharged today from the Holy Spirit Hospital. Administrators of the hospital directly handed Mamie Sam over to Senior Social Services Officers of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs who in turn, as mandated by the Child’s Rights Act of 2007, have handed over the child to her biological mother Satta Ansu.
This office has also taken note of an audio clip Satire that is currently being shared on social media about the handing over of the minor to operatives of a radio station. Against that backdrop, the public is hereby informed that a team of persons led by a male journalist Sulaiman Storm Koroma (aka DADDY WAKABOT) of FM98.1, tried to put up a challenge this morning at the hospital; with the position that they are going to forcibly seize MAMIE SAM away from her biological mother upon the child being discharged. Sulaiman Storm Koroma said they planned to take the child to Freetown since they were the ones who took her to Makeni.
The MSWGCA team in Bombali, strongly refused that as it is against the laws of Sierra Leone especially the Child’s Rights Act of 2007.
The hospital saw good reason to obey the law so they handed the child over to her biological mother through MSWGCA whilst Sulaiman Storm Koroma (aka DADDY WAKABOT) and the team from FM98.1 were sent back to Freetown. Mamie Sam is currently in Makeni where MSWGCA professionals have engaged in psychosocial counselling of both the loving mother and her daughter. We have also secured temporary accommodation for Mamie Sam and her mother, here in Makeni during the period the hospital wants her to be reporting to them for post-discharge care. The child is right now doing very fine and she is currently well relaxed & very happy at the parlour of their temporary residence in Makeni. She is smilingly watching a video movie film with her mother.
The MSWGCA will like to assure the public that the Ministry under the leadership of our Honourable Minister Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, remains very focused and committed to work on the best interest of the child and the mother as directed of us by the Child Rights Act of 2007, the Principles of Child Protection and all international conventions on children that Sierra Leone has signed up to.
Two of the photos accompanying this update are of MSWGCA officials assisting first the mother of Mamie Sam to thumb print the discharge documents and then assisting the non-relative Esther to also thumbprint the document relinquishing her illegitimate custody of Mamie Sam.
Finally, the mother of Mamie Sam has given us permission to release the following photographs of her with her child taken a few minutes ago here in Makeni. As you can see, the child is very happy to be back with the biological mother. It is worthwhile to note that as confirmed by our social workers in Kailahun, the child has many clothes up in Kailahun; all bought by her dear mother but the child was taken to Makeni with only one dress that is believed to be the only garment she had at the time she was collected at 5am from Kailahun by the persons who took her from Kailahun without the Consent or knowledge of any of her biological parents or guardians. Immediately the child was discharged this afternoon, the mother went to the market to embark on providing the child with more clothes, underwear and other basic necessities. It has been confirmed by all concerned in Kailahun that the child’s previous educational and clothes needs used to be undertaken by her loving mother. This is a woman who loves all her children and is deeply attached to her firstborn child Mamie Sam. She was full of gratitude today and asserts that though she is a poor, illiterate woman, the Government has shown that the rights of all is upheld no matter if you are illiterate or poor woman. She is very pleased with the efforts of the Government of Sierra Leone. Meanwhile, MSWGCA officers are also now assessing the current educational needs of the child so as to determine the best way forward.
*Friday 16th December 2016.*
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