Kroo Bay, the largest slum in Sierra Leone, is home to some of the most disenfranchised children in the world. Built on a giant landfill, children scour through heaps of garbage searching for scraps of metal or plastic to sell. Our program will provide vocational training workshops in batik fabric-dyeing, t-shirt and sign stencil printing, crochet, and embroidery for 50 orphaned youth in Kroo Bay. These workshops will provide the children with the materials and skills they need to survive.
If you visit Kroo Bay, Sierra Leone, you might easily initially mistake it for a common landfill. The thousands of small shanty houses are nearly camouflaged by the seemingly endless heaps of garbage. There are thousands of children here, many of whom are living on their own, scouring the heaps of trash for plastic bags they can sell on the street, abandoned by drug-addicted parents or orphaned by the devastating civil war. They cannot afford school fees and have no opportunity for education.
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 Kroo Bay. 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.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
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