AdvocAid reaches mental health milestone for female detainees in Kenema

Title: AdvocAid reaches mental health milestone for female detainees in Kenema Year: 2018 Asiata* suffers from epilepsy. In September 2017, she was detained at the Female Correctional Centre in Kenema town for allegedly killing her son as a result of a seizure. She is now awaiting indictment at the High Court. Since her admittance five months ago, the Kenema Correctional Centre has failed to ensure that Asiata receives appropriate care and treatment. She has, therefore, continued to experience seizures; Asiata frequently reports that she suffers severe headaches and she has collapsed several times. AdvocAid’s staff regularly monitor Sierra Leone’s prisons to check on the welfare of female detainees. During her monitoring duties, AdvocAid’s Kenema Programme Officer met and interviewed Asiata about her court case, her condition, and the response of the Correctional Centre. There is little awareness of mental health in Sierra Leone and beliefs that mental health problems are a result of witchcraft are prevalent. At times, mental health conditions can be at the root of actions which lead to women being detained. Fanta* is serving a 36-month sentence at the Kenema Female Correctional Centre for ‘obtaining goods under false pretences’. Fanta has a history of memory loss as a result of emotion stress. She had been a patient at the Kenema Government Hospital until 2016 and was receiving counselling. In June 2017, Fanta was arrested. She had received palm oil worth 5.5 million Leones (approximately US$720) on credit from traders in Kenema; in turn, she sold the palm oil to customers across the border in Guinea. When she returned to Sierra Leone, Fanta’s memory began to deteriorate again and...

AdvocAid is recruiting a new Executive Director

AdvocAid is looking for a dynamic and inspiring woman to lead its vital work providing access to justice and holistic support to women and girls in Sierra Leone. This is a great opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of women and girls. We are seeking a permanent replacement for Ms. Simitie Lavaly, our former Executive Director, who left the organisation in 2017. Please visit the ‘Work with us‘ page of our website, and read the job advert and job description, for more details. Reporting to: AdvocAid Board Members Duration: One-year fixed term contract, with the possibility of extension based on performance and the securing of ongoing funding. Salary: Commensurate with experience Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone (with some travel within the country) Start date: April 2018 (negotiable) Deadline: 18 February 2018 AdvocAid’s paralegals and lawyers provide legal assistance to women and girls in Sierra Leone’s police cells and courts, while its programme staff work to ensure the welfare and rehabilitation of women in prisons. With a staff of 20 across three offices, AdvocAid supports the majority of women and girls in conflict with the law in the country. In addition to our core operations, AdvocAid’s advocacy and campaigning work seeks to support the human rights of women across the justice system. At present, we are campaigning to decriminalize petty offences, protect the human rights of sex workers, and increase police accountability. AdvocAid’s successes have been recognized by Namati, who awarded AdvocAid second place in its global 2015 Justice Prize, and by Clifford Chance, who awarded AdvocAid their prestigious Access to Justice Award in 2016.   ABOUT THE ROLE: The Executive Director will lead and oversee...