Training Sierra Leone's Young People to Support their Communities
By Juliana - Country Director, Sierra Leone
The 2014-2016 Ebola crisis had a devastating impact in Sierra Leone, with over 14,000 cases causing nearly 4,000 deaths, and a massive psychological and social effect on the survivors, their families and their communities. Barely a year after the end of the Ebola outbreak, in August 2017, Freetown in Sierra Leone was hit by devastating flooding and mudslides caused by heavy rainfall. 6,000 people were affected, with over 1,100 reported either dead or missing. The worst affected were some of Sierra Leone’s most vulnerable and impoverished communities, who had been greatly affected by both the Ebola outbreak and frequent flooding.
In the coming months, IsraAID – together with partners Restless Development and the Sierra Leone Office of National Security – will select a group of 25 young leaders, aged 18-28, to be trained in how to reduce the risk of future disasters and provide psychological first aid and support. This will enable trainees to lead their communities’ responses to potential future emergencies.
The program will focus on the communities of Kamayama and Kaningo in Freetown. Community leaders will support the process, helping to empower the young trainees. The 25 trainees will then train a further 50 young people, ensuring greater, sustainable spread of the key skills, knowledge and ways of thinking they have acquired in their communities. By utilizing psychosocial support techniques, the trainees will be able to help their communities recover and grow.
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