Citizen's voices

Bernadette Massaquoi
Sierra Leone

1. What does global citizenship mean to you?

- A person who legally belongs to a country and has the rights and protection of that country.
- An inhabitant of a city or town: one entitled to the rights and privileges of a free man.

I belong to a small community in Sierra Leone with the legalities, rights, privileges and protection of that country. Similarly, I should hold such facilities beyond my country of birth without fear or favour because Sierra Leone belongs to a wider regional, sub-regional and global arrangement, has signed treaties with such countries of which I should be given the privileges to which everybody is entitled globally. This is a fundamental right which I should have, and not a privilege. It could be explained pictorially as such:

2. In what ways are you a global citizen?

I am a citizen of Sierra Leone, and was born in a small community called Blama in the Gallinas Perri Chiefdom in the Pujehun District. Community laws give me the right to be a member of that community, and our Constitution gives me citizenship with all its rights and privileges. Sierra Leone on the other hand is a signatory to the Economic Community of West African States treaties, providing rights. As a sub-regional grouping, they are members of the African Union. This extends protection, privileges and rights to its member states and its citizens.