The project aims to provide vocational training for 100 teenage mothers in eastern Freetown slums in Sierra Leone. They have no sources of livelihoods due to illiteracy, stigma, poverty, the decades-long war, and lack of opportunities. The project will provide them training in various marketable vocational skills, childcare, and business support to help them become self-employed. As a result they will become economically empowered and able to support their children and relatives.
Girls in Freetown slums face significant barriers to vocational education and in the transition from education to employment. These include poverty and illiteracy; stereotypical views of the roles of women; different forms of gender-based violence; sexually exploitative relationships; early pregnancy; domestic and street labour expectations of girls, and sex work. 50% of the urban population lives in slums and 48% of girls are illiterate. Teenage mothers end up hawking to feed their children.
The project will provide training in marketable skills for 100 teenage mothers (school dropouts) in eastern Freetown slums, give them post-training support, help them with childcare, and provide business support to help them transition to self-employment. It will also sensitise and train Community Based Organisations (CBOs), leaders and girls in advocacy and lobbying in order to change attitudes and practices towards girls' vocational education and participation in the community.
The project will create employment for 100 teenage mothers, earning at least the national minimum wage. As a result there will be an improvement in their livelihoods and those of 300 more slum dwellers benefiting indirectly. There will also be improved social empowerment for the 100 girls trained and a further 500 girls as a result of the advocacy efforts to change attitudes towards girls. There will be positive changes towards girls and an increase in their participation in decision-making.