Description of the programme in Sierra Leone

In 2003, War Child launched a community-based programme to promote the psychosocial development of children and youth. The programme aims to rebuild peaceful, child-friendly communities by organising (re)creative and cultural activities. Its main goal is to make sure that all those involved in the community acknowledge the roles, rights and needs of children and youth.

Community-based activities
The 2007 programme was part of a four-year plan (2007-2010). In 2007, community-based activities were carried out in 22 rural communities in the Port Loko, Bombali and Bo districts (activities in Bo were phased out at the end of the year). Projects run for two years in each community. Under the supervision of the War Child team a Child and Youth Support Structure, consisting of a group of children and youth from the community who are responsible for monitoring and coordinating the project, was established and trained. War Child supports the process and helps Community Action Groups determine what is needed, develop action plans and carry out activities. These groups organise traditional dance performances, music festivals, creative games, sports tournaments, public debates, etc.

Traditional dance performance

Non-formal education
In addition to its general programme, War Child started a non-formal education project for youth in eight communities. The project consists in life skills training, that, among other things helps the youngsters improve relationships with peers and adults; literacy and numeracy training and livelihood skills training. Local partners supported War Child in implementing these activities.

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17 year old Sorie from Sierra Leone

17 year old Sorie from Sierra Leone was kidnapped by rebels when he was very young. Extreme violence became part of his daily life.

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