The world watched as Liberian children as young as ten years old were exploited as armed combatants. We have built a residential facility in Little Bassa, Liberia where we want to provide former child soldiers a three-month program to help them recover from their trauma and obtain the skills necessary for social reintegration, taking care of a family and employment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily affected people's lives since is started one and a half years ago. This also made it more difficult to operate projects and businesses in a normal way. Going foward, we will make our best efforts to continue with our current and new initiatives to help reintegrate former child soldiers. This involves education (for example computer schools), councelling, medical care, and supporting workers (such as fishermen) becoming an integrated part of society. All of our efforts are done to move one step in the right direction to our long-term goal which is removing personal and social barriers to integration and providing a more stable future for Liberia.
In the last project report, we highlighted that we reached our initial funding goal of USD 10,000 in February 2021. We then decided to raise the target to be able to support more villagers to become self-sustaining entrepreneurs. We are now putting in efforts to maintain a positive development in the remaining parts of 2021 and going into 2022.
To enable good monitoring and support for the villagers, we conduct impact assessment surveys. The impact assessments are prepared together with the full coaching team for the project to make it as accurate as possible. These include questions to enhance the understanding of overall performance, income generation, strengths and weaknesses, and what efforts that have been made to solve potential issues. This information can then be used by the coaching team and the entrepreneurs to support in the journey towards becoming self-sustaining businesses.
Now when 20 students have graduated their education to be prepared to run and work in the RISE Hair Salons, preparations are being made for this. Each salon will be managed by a group of five alumni students, each with a capable leader. The saloons/business will get coaching from the HR&S RISE Centre Uganda Accounting coach about bookkeeping and best practices in business management. In addition, the business will be supported by the Evaluation Planning coach to ensure that programme objectives are followed and the desired outcome is realized in a reasonable time. The Branding and Public relations coach will also support as well as the Survey management coach.
Investment capital to support the process
The investment capital will be used to support this process of starting up the salons. The goal is to make sure that the businesses become sustainable and self-sufficient in the future. The loan takers will sign a loan takers agreement and agree to repay back the loan after two years with 5% interest.