June 2, 2016
Written by Plan International USA
This post originally appeared on Plan International’s website. Reposted with permission.
In the district of Moyamba, three hours from the capital Freetown, lives 22-year-old Foday, a member of Plan’s International Sierra Leone’s Youth Advisory Panel. As a young man, he has chosen to take action against the violence that girls and women in Sierra Leone face every day.
“The worst part of the Ebola epidemic is that sexual violence against girls has increased dramatically during this last year,” Foday said. “It torments me to see and hear all the things that happen to girls in this area. It gives me no peace.”
Foday believes that it is easier for him, as a young man, to communicate with other young men and make them change their behavior.
The older generation cannot talk about these questions in a way that my friends would understand. It is about time that young men like me stand up and say ‘no’ to gender-based violence. In order to change attitudes in society, we need to bring the younger boys along.