Daru, in the easternmost Kailahun District in Sierra Leone, is home to some of the most disenfranchised children in the world. Many were orphaned during the 11-year civil war, and treated as little more than indentured servants by their foster families. Our program will provide vocational training workshops in batik fabric-dyeing, and t-shirt and sign stencil printing for 50 orphaned youth in Daru. These workshops will provide the children with the materials and skills they need to survive
Daru is arguably the township that was most impacted by the brutal, 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone. The children we serve were orphaned during the war or abandoned by parents unable to care for them. Many were forced into combat as child soldiers or into sexual slavery as "bush wives," and nearly all are treated as little more than indentured servants by the foster families they live with.
Our arts training program will provide 50 orphaned youth with 3 critical opportunities they desperately need: 1) the opportunity to be educated 2) a connection with mentor teachers 3) a path to career advancement and economic sustainability. We focus on skills training in artistic vocational disciplines with high profit margins, focusing on products that are indispensable to the communities we serve including batik fabric (used for dress, infant-carrying, and furnishing) and stencil printing.
Our workshops create jobs, foster new industry, and create opportunity in the communities we serve. We hope to break the cycle of generational poverty and fight the stigma and desperation faced by orphaned and abandoned children in Daru. Furthermore, we hope that this program, like other programs we have initiated in Sierra Leone, will empower orphaned youth to become leaders and mentors for the next generation of orphaned and abandoned children in their communities.