"I was happy when I was taken to the city to go to school. I was 14 in Junior Secondary School (Level 3), after taken my entrance exams into senior Secondary school when my parents called me to spend the holiday with them, not knowing their plans, handed me over and now has 2 unwanted kids. Because I come from a poor family, my parents promised that my husband would support my future education and to marry is the final result. Thanks to my involvement in ChildHelp’s program, regaining hope about my life through skills activities that would economically empower me. I am now encouraging others to discontinue such practice, stop bearing many children and gain trade skills." - Anonymous
The youth population in Sierra Leone, aged 15-35, comprises one third of the population of Sierra Leone. 39% of these girls in Sierra Leone are married before their 18th birthday and 13% are married before the age of 15. According to UNICEF, Sierra Leone has the 18th highest prevalence rate of child marriage in the world. Child marriage is most common in Port Loko, Kenema, Kono and Tonkolili in Sierra Leone, West Africa. This is caused by extreme poverty, protection and security. Many of these girls now trapped, has no skills, no jobs, bearing children and suffering violently in the hands of their partners. They don't have the POWER, to regain their rights and to change their communities. Despite efforts to raise awareness about the devastating consequences of child marriage, the practice remains widespread and affecting countless girls, depriving them of their right to childhood and the opportunity to determine their own futures, and exposing them to serious health risks.
Due to assessment made, ChildHelp in collaboration with Girls Not Brides members in rural Sierra Leone, have developed this innovative activity, to address the harmful problem of child marriage, raise awareness and educational talks through inter-village and school meetings, and disseminate crucial information to prevent and end child marriage. Our development research shows that good quality, broad -based and market responsive technical and vocational education, will equip these young girls with the skills and competencies, which can immediately respond to labor market demands and drive growth in post-industrial economies.
Girl/Child mothers married, will be rescued, accommodated, trained and equipped into groups of different trade skills below, that can help them set up livelihoods, earn revenues and gain financial autonomy. Skilled areas were carefully selected and discussed involving victims and stakeholders in collaboration with established groups, companies, hotels, development agencies and other for-profit bodies in need of supply. Girl-children would be grouped into these new areas of investment lacking and shorten in the workforce. Each group will be business oriented with funds, legal documentation, designed, registered and licensed, bank accounts opened, official space and website provided.
Skill areas identified:
1. Computer Specialist (desktop, internet, maintenance)
2. Fashion Designer
3. Web Designer/developer
4. Executive Housekeeper
5. Business and marketing management
6. Catering and hotel management
7. Daycare management
8. Food and Beverage Management
10. Cosmetics and Beautification
11. Health care and social assistance
12. Private investigator
13. Paralegal Studies
15. Small Business Management
16. Travel Agent
17. Airport Operations
18. Contract farming
19. Inland transportation and business services
20. Entertainment services (Filming, etc)
21. Survey engineering
Three days introductory emerging skill trades for economic empowerment workshops (on What Works) for 400 girl-mothers and stakeholders will be organised to selected groups according to their areas of choice and align with the SDGs. During the training exercises, girls will be taught on how to write up simple project writing and management, input request, ideas and insights, making decisions, self-dependency, positive feedback reinforcement, Leadership Skills, group's capabilities, open communication, trust and reliability, self-realization, personal weapons and survival mindset development. When trained and supported, girls will have increase focus on cooperation and networking with local and international organizations; Promotes social justice, participation and ownership; Promotes peer education and community involvement; and Empowers other marginalized groups to take positive control of their own lives.
At the end of the training, their empowerment will built on social, educational, economic and psychological activity, and also be in control of their life, aware of their capabilities, and ready to take on even their biggest dreams.
Productive and Life-Skills training can save and improve young girls and women’s’ lives, ultimately leading to more equitable development, stronger families, better services, and better child health. Benefits gain will include Enhanced economic, improved life and improved health.
Your donation of any amount, can help change the lives of these countless rural young girls, giving them socio-economic POWER to have a Voice and a better future, which can change their entire communities. Your donation can have a real, lasting impact, helping to prevent child marriage and offering girls and young women a brighter future! Together, we can end child marriage
How can you help us?
1. Our first phase:
We need a Donation of $5,000, to repair two buildings, for safe home and training purposes for 40 young girls.
2. The Whole Project:
Whole total budget needed is USD$ 20,000 to renovate full structures, accommodate, train, equip and provide start-up kits and funds for 16 groups (320) girl-mothers to be economically independent, have changed lives that affect the communities.
Optional Support - You can donate any of the below items
1. Solar power supplies for the use of electrical items and computers on daily basis that using generator
2. Provision of a mini-bus for outreaches and field research for students
Any other information
A sustainability and Cost recovery strategies is in place. The initiation of this project is due to a market-scan assessment, determining the financial feasibility and sustainability of the project. Funds raised from the center operations will be used to pay instructors, take care of the trainees, operational costs and frequent maintenance. A Board of Advisors comprised of industry leaders and stakeholders put in place will provide direct input regarding changing market needs, provide external assessments of the training curriculum and operational paradigm. The learning center will be based on counselling, mentorship, industry responsive curriculum and focused internships, with verbal commitments from business and industrial companies.
Throughout generation, girls and women play very important role as the real source of happiness in the family, society and country. The Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs, accepts environmental protection, social and economic development, and believed that, the full participation of both men and women is critical for development.
THE BUILDING FOR PROJECT ACTIVITIES IS SHOWN BELOW!!!
Thank you note:
Thanks to all our fine sponsors - the Anne Frank Fonds, Girls Not Brides, John Nadolski, Grace Brandt, The Webb Family and LeRoy Lyons, etc. for supporting this initiative to end child marriage through this Special School. You are welcome today to be part.
We are all responsible to the communities in which we live and work, and to the world community as well. So be Part to day of this vision.