In November 1998, over 150 civic organizations including trade unions, professional bodies, women and youth groups saw the need to come together and form a movement called “Civil Society Movement-Sierra Leone” (CSM-SL). This all-embracing member-based umbrella organization is non-governmental and non-political. It serves as the voice of the people as a coordinating centre for civic organizations and activities. The Movement operates country-wide with a network of national and international partners. It has existing structures and memberships in the 149 chiefdoms and 16 political districts of Sierra Leone. The Movement seeks to obtain its mandate from a General Assembly every four years.
It is registered with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs as a civil society organization and maintains a registered office at 34 Goderich Street, Freetown.
The Civil Society Movement-Sierra Leone is an umbrella civic organizations (including trade unions, professional organisations, women’s groups, youth groups, NGO’s etc).
The Organization was founded in November 1998. In the wake of the invasion of Freetown by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and their allies, civil society felt the urgent need to come together to address issues and concerns of the war and its impact on the wider society. The civic groups include, among others, the Sierra Leone Labour Congress (SLLC), Sierra Leone Teacher’s Union (SLTU), Civic Development Unit-Sierra Leone (CDU-SL), Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD), National Union of Sierra Leone Students (NUSS), Sierra Leone Professional Drivers Association, Network Movement for Justice and Development, United Indigenous Business Association (Petty Traders), Campaign for Good Governance, Mine Workers’ Union, Sierra Leone Market Women etc. Lots of lessons were learnt and major milestones achieved from this cohesion among civil society groups and the formation of an umbrella organization called the “Civil Society Movement-Sierra Leone”. CSM-SL contributed significantly to the enormous task of bringing back together the pieces of a nation that had been shattered by the decade-long civil war.
The Movement today works relentlessly in the promotion of peace, stability, democratic governance, nation building and sustainable development in Sierra Leone.