During this time it has been developed several new programs.
Peace-building Program: The need for young people to be actively engaged in sustaining peace and tranquility in Liberia is very essential to national growth and development of the nation. The Peace-building program is aimed actively engaging FCS, WAFF and WAY to serve as agents of peace and change in their communities.
Gender and Development: The Gender and Development program is aimed at increasing young people’s sensitivity towards gender as well as decrease gender-based violence.
Health and Hygiene: The goal of the Health and Hygiene program is to help Vulnerable young people positively contribute to a healthy Liberian nation.
‘‘Voice of the Vulnerable’’ is an educative, interactive and entertaining radio program designed by the Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS) through its Public Relations Department.
The immense population of Ghetto dwellers, known as vulnerable people, in postwar Liberia is a major challenge to community peace and security because most of these vulnerable people are youth who are engaged in violent crimes like armed robbery, rape, and drugs abuse.
The stunning fact that is hard to resist is that most of these vulnerable persons are former child soldiers who are being stigmatized by the community and also by their families. Today, communities are being threatened by the violent acts perpetrated by these vulnerable people.
This is a terrible situation and problem that need to be solved. To help solve these problems, IDEFOCS have designed ‘Voice of the Vulnerable’’ to help find a possible solution to reduce the growing number of vulnerable people in the society.
Moreover, mob violence initiated by the community dwellers as a remedy to reduce the threat caused by these vulnerable people can never help to solve this problem, but rather initiate more lawlessness that can create a situation that threatens community peace and security.
We keep on teaching former child soldiers crucial life skills for their future. This intake is learning cassava farming.
We are planning to buy a mill to make cassava flour, so our kids could learn that too. 95 students are at the moment in our Botanical Reintegration Village, we had some newcomers and 19 students left us to start their working life.
Decision for Forum Syd application was not made yet, so we are still counting on your support. The more funds we have avalible the more traumatized by war kids we can help.
It has not been the easiest months for the project. There has been riots in three ghettos we are working in and one of our young men was killed last week. But we won't give up, and keep our hopes hight that one day former child soldiers won't be discriminated and be a source of the conflict in the communities. One day we will live together in peace, and these days would be forgotten as a bad dream.
Currently we have almost a hundren kids under our programm and they are learning new skills to be able to get normal jobs. They are fast learners! During the last two months we had 32 happy graduates - all got a job with our support.
BBC World is coming to see our Botanical Reintagration village next month, it is very exciting for us all. We hope they can help us to spread the word about the success of our project and it could be a great example and inspiration for other places.
Grant application for Forum Syd is still under review. Hopefully it will be succesfull.
What does IDEFOCS do?
Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS) is a grass-root civil society organization dedicated to the prevention of the use of children in war and the re-recruitment of former child soldiers (FCS) in conflicts around Africa. Through the means of rehabilitation and trauma counseling, together with a focus on services that provide employment opportunities, IDEFOCS aims to reintegrate former child soldiers into the society and the labor market. As an example, we have set up the FCS Botanical Reintegration Village, an agriculture program that has been designed for counseling, training and empowerment of former child soldiers.
A natural next milestone for the project was our application for a more substantial fundung and scale BRV's impact.(*see bellow)
Here is what we envision for the future of this and all our projects:
Vision and mission:
A world without extreme poverty.
We are represented and hosted by offices and / or organizations in each programme country.
Action 10 provides expertise, tools and resources to enable people facing extreme poverty to find a way out. That could be by starting a business, gaining skills or learning new ways to improve what they are already doing. We can help them build for the future.
We let people come to us with their ideas. Our process is simple. When we are in a country we make ourselves visible and encourage people talk to us about their ideas. The important point is that we don’t come to them with a proposal. When people visit – we listen. After all, local people are the experts in their local situation. We listen carefully to the challenges that people or groups who come to us face and if we can address them – we will. This process is often time consuming but we are patient because it lays the foundation for long-term poverty reduction.
We ask people who come to us and ask three simple questions; What do they want to achieve or what is their dream? How do they hope to achieve it? Why didn’t they do it before if they knew what they wanted? This way we can really identify what are the actions we can take to help them – is it education, advice, tools, awareness raising, a network, investment capital, travel?
Our approach benefits from partnerships built on trust and shared values; Target partners are best equipped to make change because: They live there and can identify needs. They know how to address the challenges and therefore know which programmes will have the potential to be successful in practice. They know which products and services people request. They know how to make new initiatives sustainable from knowing how to communicate in that environment and how they can bring others with them.
*Attached bellow, you may find the first half of our Grant Application, as it was submitted.
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