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Trip Start Nov 28, 2003
1
10
Trip End Feb 27, 2004


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Flag of Sierra Leone  ,
Thursday, February 12, 2004

This whole business gets worse...

Ive spent the last few days trying to find someone who is in a position to help the kids still stuck in the Remand School but none of the organisations set up to deal with this shit are doing anything practical.

I spoke to the Department responsible, they basicaly told me that the kids had no right to make any request for temporary accomodation and that was the perogative of the Department... then hung up on me.

UNICEF, the lady in charge was away so I spoke to another woman, basically they are going to be waiting for a report from the Department before they do anything.

The UNAMSIL Child Protection Worker had some important guests coming and then was heading up country and the death of a kid in custody was not big enough to delay the trip. But he did tell me that it was not lawful for kids under 10 to be detained so UNICEF were going to investigate Foday(8) and Sotu(6) and why they are in there.

I went and visited 2 of the other kids who are in hospital after the beating and they look pretty fucked up. They have broken wrists, ankles, ribs and fractured skulls but they are still waiting for X-ray results 5 days later, so none of those injuries are in plaster or anything. They just have shitloads of stiches in their heads. And the depatment has just come to visit but not given them any money for food or medicines (which all cost extra in SL hospitals). The kids parents havent even been notified yet so thats my job for tomorrow... These kids were literally at my feet telling me how grateful they are that I came to see them and hear their stories...

And to top it of the organisation Im working with is supposed to be supporting the development of young people but my bosses are telling me that its none of our business and not our responsability to do anything about. I am finding it hard to actually go to the office when I am faced with such an indifferent attitude to such a grose violation of human rights particularly by a youth organisation.

At this point I have just about lost all faith in humanity, when no-one is prepared to do anything. This business has made me see the world completely differently, there is no point trying to save it cos its just too broken!

And to top it all off I had another kid in another school died this week too...
Apparently she went to fetch water and fell over in the street and died 4 days later. The teacher told me she died of 'the pain.'
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