Jo Shannon came to the New Forest Inn and joined us for a meal and a chat. She spoke about the work of Tools For Self Reliance and answered questions. Of partcular interest was her recent visit to Sierra Leone where support for a new project was finalised. A/President Tim presented her with a cheque raised at one of our Quizzes. Mike Clarke also presented a personal cheque to her fund, representing some work ex-Rotarian Nick Darbey had done on an antique item of Mike's and had declined payment.
Later Mike received a letter of thanks from Jo explaining that the funds would go to the Sierra Leone project.
Carpentry and Tailoring
Training Project -
This 12 month project will train 20 people in Sierra Leone in carpentry or tailoring, alongside providing business and life skills training. Trainees will also receive good quality tool kits enabling them to set up their own businesses and become self reliant. The proposed start date for this project is June 2019.
About Tools for Self Reliance
Tools for Self Reliance is a UK basedAll of the tools we send are donated to us used, and then carefully refurbished by our dedicated team of skilled volunteers.
This project will be delivered by our partner Educational Centre for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ECBVI) who is a small community based organisation. They piloted their first project with us in 2016 and 100% of graduates are now using their skills to earn an income. Their vocational training centre is located in a war and a polio camp, which were set up to support polio victims and amputees following the civil war.
The project will primarily support young people (aged 15-35), including those affected by polio and people who are amputees. It will take place in Grafton, which lies approximately 20 miles from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, which makes it more isolated from services and employment opportunities.
Life as a young person in Sierra Leone is tough. Young people make up one third of the population. The country is still recovering from the brutal civil war, which ended in 2002 and the Ebola outbreak, which disrupted people’s education.
Youth unemployment is a major issue and approximately 70% of young people are underemployed or unemployed and an estimated 800,000 are actively searching for employment. The formal employment sector only provides 9% of the jobs and most young people lack employability skills or business experience. Government vocational training schemes are inaccessible to many, because they don’t have the funding or minimum entry requirements. This leaves them no choice but to do street trading or risky low paid jobs.
In addition to these complexities some of the trainees or their families will have polio or will be amputees. People with disabilities and conditions like polio are more likely to live in poverty, experience exclusion and struggle to find employment. Although the war camp and polio camp were set up to support people, it has also segregated them from society. This project will train people with and without disabilities, in order to integrate them and be inclusive. ECBVI are experienced in training people with disabilities and they will make sure trainees are given the support and necessary equipment to fully participate.
This 12 month project will be delivered at ECBVI’s vocational training centre and they will recruit 20 trainees. Vocational training will be delivered five days a week. Half of the trainees will specialise in tailoring and half in carpentry. Training will be practical and tailoring trainees for example will learn how to how to use and maintain sewing machines, cut out designs and make outfits and clothes.
There will be weekly sessions for trainees with lower levels of literacy and numeracy to better equip them to carryout essential activities such as taking measurements, ordering stock and keeping customer records. They will have regular business skills training focusing on things like creating business plans, profit and loss, marketing, finance and basic accounting. Life skills sessions will cover topics like health education and hygiene, which is really important given the recent Ebola outbreak. Counselling sessions will be offered, because some trainees will have been through traumatic experiences.
Towards the end of the project trainees will form small enterprises and each enterprise will receive tool kits. Quality tools are really expensive in Sierra Leone and most people can’t afford them. These tools mean graduates will be able to start working immediately after the project has ended.
The difference this project will make
Your support will transform the lives of 20 people and we anticipate the following outcomes will be achieved.
How will we ensure we are achieving this?
Baseline data will be collected at the start of the project to measure trainees’ education, income, diet, employment status and housing conditions. This will be tracked throughout the project. Post project questionnaires will capture changes in attitudes, self esteem and confidence. ECBVI will report back on the project’s outputs at baseline, midline and at the end of the project. We will visit ECBVI six to twelve months post project and speak to graduates to asses how their lives have changed.
you for supporting this project.
Rebecca O’Neill “Perpetuating a Vicious Cycle: The Causes and Effects of Poorly
Educated Children in Sierra Leone.” Global Majority E-Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1
 UNDP, About Sierra Leone, available here:http://www.sl.undp.org/content/sierraleone/en/home/countryinfo.html)
The World Bank. 2004. “Escaping Stigma and Neglect. People with Disabilities in Sierra Leone. “
Based on a comparison of trainees monthly incomes in Uganda and Zambia before and at least six months after completing their training in 2015 and 2017. Results showed their average monthly incomes were three times higher in Uganda and six times higher in Zambia.
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