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Male Engagement Against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence In Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a serious and urgent concern. An estimated 62 percent of women aged 15–49 report having experienced physical or sexual violence, according to the 2019 SLDHS. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was feared that the rates of GBV, which were already unacceptably high in Sierra Leone, would be exacerbated. Sixty-one percent of ever-married women age 15-49 have experienced spousal violence whether physical, sexual, or emotional by their husband or partner.

Girl Mentorship against Harmful traditional practices to enhance sustainable development

Harmful traditional practices (HTPs) reduce women and girls’ ability to participate in economic, political, or social life. A form of gender-based violence, HTPs are practicing, sustained by tradition in a variety of societies, that are harmful and destructive for the wellbeing of women and girls subjected to them and negatively impact development progress of their communities, countries, and regions. Although significant work has been done to understand the prevalence of and factors that perpetuate HTPs, related policies and interventions have often focused on rural communities. Victims of HTPs (Adolescent Girls) need effective engagement with modern education to enhance with requisite skills to reject the imposed HTPs. CASD-SL is in engagement with 1000 girls from two districts ( Bo and Kenema) in the southeast parts of Sierra Leone. The project focuses on the mobilization of vulnerable rural adolescent girls, training them about the danger of Harmful Traditional Practices, and also trying to address this gap by informing young girls about:

  • child, early, and forced marriages (CEFM)
  • female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) - the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or another injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons  female infanticide and feticide - the deliberate killing of an infant or the abortion of a fetus because they are female.

Good Parenting

Good parenting is more important than a good school to the academic success of a child. Youngsters do their best when they are helped by their parents in their homework, they can even emphasize the essentiality of education and thus attend school events. In a nutshell, parents are the best teachers of every child. Kids learn moral values, manners, disciplines everything from their home. It’s their good upbringing that helps them succeed in the future. In some cases, children may attend poor-quality schools but support from the

Parents are a positive tool that enhances the growth and development of the child. As an organization, CASD-SL  is in full engagement with numbers of parents in the rural communities  with numbers  capacity building to ensure that, parents take full responsibility for giving  their kids the skills  and moral values

They actually perform best when their parents take a high interest in their education. The key fact is that social mobility can’t be achieved just by fixing the school system. Some initiatives are also required which aimed to improve the involvement of parents.

The academic performance of a child depends on the quality of parental involvement in its life, which is called family social capital; however, the quality of the school is also needed, which is called school social capital.

Parents are considered for being passing on higher levels of social capital if they checked their kids’ homework daily, talk about school with their kids and also attend the parent-teacher meetings and other events. These all are considered to be the ways parents actually pass on the values and knowledge to their children. In the meantime, schools with high social capital also make sure the favorable classroom ambiance helps them learn more and makes them eager to learn new lessons every day. Alongside the home, school is another place where children learn how to behave properly.

Schools offer many extra-curriculum activities and try to contact parents regularly. Our project will mainly focus on building the capacity of parents on how to deal with their children in childhood and the right drives to the age of maturity.

Promoting Adolescent Health and Rights in Schools

Adolescents in Sierra Leone form more than 20 percent of the country's population and represent even greater proportion of the human potential. However, this age group often faces neglect and even marginalization. Adolescents in Sierra Leone are burdened with considerable challenges and lack of proper information on age-specific issues. This is aggravated by the quality of their education which does not provide them with the necessary skills and seldom provides opportunities for participation.

Adolescent girls in Sierra Leone especially in the rural areas are even experiencing lower quality of life than boys. According to a poll of gender experts in 2015, Sierra Leone was considered the worst country for women's rights in the Africa Region. The study found that sexual harassment, high rates of female genital mutilation and claimed increasing conservative trends and practices to be the contributing factors to this low ranking. Girls are far more likely to have never enrolled or to have dropped out of school. They have limited mobility which leads to social isolation, fewer friends and fewer opportunities to fully participate in a meaningful role in the society and national development. Girls are more likely to be married off early, usually too much older husbands, to work in poorly paid jobs and to face greater risks in nutrition, health and overall wellbeing. Early marriage is the direct cause and outcome of female dropout from schools. The Demographic and Health Survey of Sierra Leone (DHS 2013) indicates that teenage childbearing occurred in 11 percent of girls aged 15 to 19 and that early marriage is still prevailing among 13 percent of adolescent girls.

Studies clearly show that quality education for girls based on skills building leads to a whole range of social benefits including increased family incomes, later marriages, reduced fertility rates and better reproductive outcome. Girls who are educated and empowered are able to take their rightful place in society as equal partners. It has also been proved that devoting resources to quality education for girls is among the best investment any society can make. There is a great need for new and innovative approaches to empowering girls by providing them with their needs for information and building their life skills. The Community Action for Sustainable Development Sierra Leone (CASD-SL) has been conducting a school-based general and reproductive health education project in 8 community Schools since 2018.

Fostering Gender Equalities In Rural Communities

The main objective of this project is to foster gender equality in the rural areas of Kenema District, for sustainable development by empowering women and girls through sensitization, the creation of networks among women and youth groups within the community as well as training of trainers as ambassadors to their various groups and communities.

"Building the Future": Enabling Girl Orphans to Become Advocates For Change

There are between orphans in Sierra Leone of which 75% are due to HIV/AIDS. Most lack access to basic education, healthcare, and psychosocial support including the guidance and mentoring of an adult role model best provided by family and community; only 18% of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) receive any form of external support. The problem is more pronounced in urban areas but nationwide an estimated 25% girls growing up as orphans have never gone to school.  Despite the Government of Sierra Leone’s commitment to improving access to education, severe resource constraints have resulted in a considerable gap between its policy commitments and what it is able to deliver. Further, the limited support that is provided does not address the wider social factors that are crucial to meeting the complex needs of girl OVC and which most often act as barriers to education and learning. 

 Widespread of poverty, HIV and gender disparities in our target areas of Bo, Kailahun, and Kenema  underpin a host of obstacles confronting girls (47% do not complete basic education because of pressure of early marriage, pregnancy, menstruation, caring responsibilities and cultural norms). Without positive adult role models and peers, women face a future with little hope and limited life chances to change their future and future generations.

By Items

17-1_image
40 $
Health
For a girl to get one hygiene kit for one year
26
150 $
Scholarship
For a girl to get primary education for one year
4-4
250 $
Scholarship
For a girl to go to high school for one year
35_image
450 $
Scholarship
To get access to tertiary education for one year

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Empowering Communities in Sierra Leone

Other

We Strive to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Community Action For Sustainable Development – Sierra Leone – With the kind contribution of Causedirect

CASD-SL