With a population of around 175,000, Bo is one of the biggest cities in Sierra Leone. It is the capital of the Southern Province and the Bo district.
Bo is an important financial, educational and commercial centre in the country. Agriculture is the primary occupation in Sierra Leone. Major crops include items such as palm oil, coffee, cocoa and rice, which are then transported to other major cities in Sierra Leone.
Since 1983, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families, and advocating for their rights in Bo.
Physical punishment is still legal in Sierra Leone, even though the government has committed to prohibiting it.
Violent discipline at home is the most common form of violence against children. 86% of children reported to have experienced violence by caregivers.This can be especially harmful at a young age, because there is an increased risk of physical injuries and children can’t understand the reasons behind the abuse or adopt coping strategies. Physical and psychological aggression often happen at the same time. The consequences of violent discipline range from immediate effects to long-term damage that affect children through their childhood and into adulthood.
The WHO defines female genital mutilation (FGM) as “the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” It has no health benefits for girls and women. FGM is a harmful practice that violates the rights and negatively impacts the well-being of girls. It can be seen as a direct manifestation of gender inequality.
83% of women and girls in Sierra Leone have undergone female genital mutilation. Even though the number of girls and woman who have been affected has decreased in recent years, many people in Sierra Leone still think FGM is an acceptable practice.