The Netherlands

Toermalijn 7 3643 AA MIJDRECHT

Sierra Leone

14, Bojon Street

[T] +31 (0) 84 396 67 76 [F] +31 (0) 84 396 67 76 [T] +232 (0) 33 73 58 20

[E] info@mindtochange.nl [W] www.mindtochange.nl [E] info@.mindtochange.or

MIND TO CHANGE – Sierra Leone
PROJECT OUTLINE | one
SUMMARY A community based construction and training called “Capacity Building and Construction (CBC)’’. The project will focus on building trust, hope and capacity between the community people and ex-child combatants that have had some basic skills training from the National Commission for Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (NCDDR). These ex-child combatants are staying in the various communities, but are finding difficult to reintegrate into the society. The Construction project comprises of a group of ex-child combatants that are in a socio-economic difficult position because of lack of trust in their various communities they are staying. Construction Group (CG) project will provide occupational training, construction skills, as well as basic educational services and leadership development. The project is multifaceted, comprehensive and innovative. It provides aid not only to the ex-combatants that are in need of assistance in various communities, but also to the community people who suffered during the course of war. We anticipate that 25 percent of the program will be set aside for capacity building between the exchild combatants and the community people through providing them with free minor construction services. This will especially involve people that are victims of the war like the amputees, the war wounded, and the war widows. After the disarmament, these ex-child soldiers went through various skill training such as carpentry, masonry, tailoring, gara tying dying, driving plumbing, electrical

wiring. Most of these trainings lasted for only three months, and were followed by handing out tool kits as a start up for the various careers. Based on the limited time for the various trainings they received from NCDDR, most of the ex-combatants ended up selling their tool kits. Yet some are still continuing with the trade, but people do not trust them enough to be giving assignment or contract and this especially counts for the carpentry, masonry, plumbing, and electrical wiring due to lack of proper training and trust. As a result of lack of job, contract and assignment for this category of people from the community where they are staying, Mind to Change (MTC), as a humanitarian organization, sees it as a possible threat to the fragile peace the country is presently enjoying.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES There are two major goals for the "CBC" Project and objectives within each of the goals: Goal 1 - To reduce the degree of marginalization among ex-combatants and child soldiers. Objective 1.1 - To provide community people in eastern Kono and southern Bo province of Sierra Leone with relevant information regarding trust, forgiveness and acceptability for the ex- child soldiers. Objective 1.2 - To assist communities with minor construction services in Kono and Bo, especially the war victims. Objective 1.3 - To teach communities in Kono and Bo how to evaluate changes in the ex-child soldiers of their community. Goal 2 - To effectively train the ex-child soldiers with various construction skills in order to help them solve their socio-economic problems, and gain hope and trust for their reintegration. Objective 2.1 - To recruit a group of ex-child soldiers (30 at provincial level each year) and help them to reintegrate in society and to become independent and trustworthy in their various careers. Objective 2.2 - To provide a one (1) year construction and job training program for the ex-child soldiers. Objective 2.3 - To place the ex-child soldiers in a position in which they are able to help the community they are staying in with minor construction services.

TARGET GROUP The target population for the CBC is the group of most socio-economically, occupationally, and educationally disadvantaged ex-child soldiers in the various communities. The project administrators will utilize the resources of the community, the community people, along with those of experts in construction companies, educational planning, administration, and civil engineers to implement the program. It is essential that the project administrators research, select, and recruit those exchild soldiers in the various communities that are most in need of the resources offered. The following will be utilized by the project planners and administrators to research, select, and recruit project participants:
• • community newspapers and radio stations, using both community service announcements and advertisements; community agencies (such as the Police ghettoes, poyo bars, and Boys and Girls Clubs) to identify ex-child soldiers who are currently in difficult situations or have nothing to do on daily basis; • • • court officers and probation officers who can identify participants who have recently been discharged from youth cities or state prisons; local religious institutions and their affiliated youth groups; local agencies that work with those recovering from alcohol or other substance abuse problems who might be able to utilize the services of the program; • • • community offices of local political leaders, ranging from district leaders, to members of the City Council, State Legislature, or Congress; individuals who refer to themselves or others; The ex-child soldiers themselves as they still know their colleagues that are in difficult position in the community.

All recruitment efforts are to be conducted without consideration of a participant's race, ethnicity, sex, disability, or sexual orientation, and a statement to this effect will accompany all public service announcements, advertisements, and locallyplaced flyers or posters. As part of the effort to recruit and retain participants with dependent children, it will be necessary for the program planners to study the feasibility of providing child care services for those hours during which program participants are on job sites and in the classroom. CBC participants will be selected according to the following criteria:

Participants must be between the ages of 16-30;

They must be ex-child soldiers that at least have gone through basic skill training in the following areas: carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electricity painting, or be in serious risk of dropping out of high school. 75% of the program participants must have gone through the past NCDDR program.

They must be very disadvantaged or have no hope of making a living in the community they are staying in. They should express an interest in learning about the construction trades and in completing at least one of the above skill training options.

Twenty-five participants will be selected on the basis of recommendations of local community people, agencies and leaders, and on the basis of an interview discussion with the project administrators. Participants should be counselled prior to their acceptance into the program regarding its length (1 year) and the daily time commitment (9am-6pm, Monday to Friday) involved.

TARGETS AND PROJECT ACTIVITIES | two
REASONABLE COSTS The planning process has taken into account all reasonable and legitimate expenses related to the implementation of the CBC project. MTC and Instructors have had extensive experience in managing, implementing and administering training and counselling programs and this knowledge will be put to use to devise both the project and the budget. Cost estimates have been based on a detailed project design which takes into account all of the criteria, and other aspects of the project, which include staffing, wages, stipends, educational costs, workshops, travelling cost, communication cost, implementation cost, and uniforms, tools and equipment. Other costs that will be incurred will include counselling and support services, leadership development and job placement. The project is based on a year long schedule which takes into account the difficulty, hazard and liability that training young people for the construction trades entail. Safety will be emphasized and all progress through the project will be based on capability, ability, attentiveness, and responsibility. The instruction for each of the trades that is covered (carpentry, electrical, plumbing, electrical wiring, and masonry) will be conducted by trainers who have

practiced the trade that they will teach for a long time. In this way the participants will learn a great deal more than just how to perform the tasks that each of the trades requires. They will also be involved in the actual practice of construction as labourers on the site, and will acquire necessary understanding of the actual process of construction that governs behaviour at construction sites. Each of the participants will be paid a small stipend for any completed construction work. We have figured this stipend on the basis of the 10 months that the participant will be in the actual group of the project. The remaining period will be spent in job placement activities. Each of the trainees will likewise be provided appropriate safety equipment, tools and clothing such as work boots, work gloves, hammers, etc. Classroom supplies will also be provided in whatever manner is deemed advisable by the instructors. We have estimated this cost as follows: Selection activities will be extensive and the pool of applicants will be large. Those not selected will be placed on a waiting list for other selection activities. Educational and job training services will require one fulltime supervisor/counsellor, 4 part-time classroom instructors and 4 fulltime trade instructors. The cost of staffing will be € 10.080 per annum. Supplies and materials for each of the trainees, which will enable them to pursue instant outside employment once the program is over will be € 22.950 per trainee. All other costs of the program are reasonable and customary and are illustrated in the budget worksheets.

METHOD | three
PROJECT PLANNING The CBC project described comprises of workshops for the community people, research, selection, recruitment, training, education, professional and peer counselling, leadership development, and job placement for ex-child soldiers who have had basic knowledge in the above various skill trainings, but are not finished, because of the short training they had from the NCDDR program, and have very limited training, educational, or job placement resources available to them. This project will include feasibility studies on recruiting participants into the project; utilizing and supporting existing community counselling, child care, health care, and job counselling services and developing new services where these do not already exist; retaining participant in the program once they have begun their on-site training and educational activities; providing basic English as a Second Language

training and instruction toward successful completion of construction training under the supervision of MTC until they start to work in their various communities. Wherever possible, community resources will be put to effective use through CBC in their operation for the benefit of the community as a whole. In all instances, we will work with educational consultants to develop the comprehensive educational component of the project. The participants will be involved into the planning of the various skill trainings of their choice and program development in order to implement the project successfully. Careful planning at the early stage of the project will enable the participants to address the diverse problems they are facing.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS The planning process will be focused on the research, selection, and recruitment of the participants in to the CBC project. The planners will need to study the available knowledge and tools for recruiting participants: community people, community newspapers, local popular radio stations, community centres, police community, local Boys and Girls Clubs, the Society, and religious institutions and their related youth groups, alcohol and drug centres, such as ghettos and poyo bars, and guidance counsellors (to identify participants (ex-combatants/child soldiers) at risk in the communities who may be appropriate participants), community service agencies that work with young people, and individual referrals will be useful sources for locating potential project’s participants. The program planners and administrators need to make connections with these sources and establish working relationships with them in order to complement existing community problems, while providing a unique skill training, educational and job training opportunity for the target population. Specifically, the planning process will be targeted at working closely with the community to establish the project as a viable community project. During the implementation stage, it will be necessary to work closely with participants before they begin their on-site construction training or classroom education. We want to provide intensive and extensive pre-program counselling that will help participants to understand the scope of the project; the education, counselling, and training opportunities it provides; the importance of personal commitment to changing earlier patterns of attendance, punctuality, and responsibility in a job or school setting; and the potential to use the training to make significant changes in the life of participants. All ex-child soldiers who wish to take advantage of the project will be allowed to do so because of the need to care for their dependents. As part of the effort to recruit and retain these program participants, project planners will study the feasibility of providing child care for those hours during which program participants are on the job as well as the time when they are in class. It will be necessary to consider issues

such as on-site day care for their children in their homes. In addition, it is critical that project planners take into account the licensing, and the health care, and educational requirements of all participants. All of these issues need to be studied and specific provisions for child care will have to be formulated.

STAFF TRAINING Staff members recruited for the CBC project will be required to work effectively as a team. Many will work with participants in more than one content area and all will be expected to assume counselling and leadership-building tasks with the group as well as a traditional classroom teaching roles. All staff members will need to spend considerable individual time developing lessons and curricular materials outside of required class time. In order to facilitate the team-building process, all the project staff members will participate in a three days retreat after every two months, comprised of workshops and discussions focused on the community, the construction trades, the program's population, and the mission and goals of the project. The three days retreat will be held at the project site and will consist of the following activities: Monday Morning: Team- Building Workshop (outside consultant), role-playing, discussions, and exercises to help staff members develop a closer acquaintance with each other's individual expertise. Monday Afternoon: The project goals and objectives presentations by program administrators and a discussion. Tuesday Morning: Introduction to Construction I field trip to a construction site that will help staff members to become more familiar with the environment in which the project participants will be spending an important part of their working day. Tuesday Afternoon: Introduction to Construction II lectures by representatives of the construction trades to help staff members understand basic terminology and work processes on the job. Friday Morning: Discussion of community and the project resources to assist participants with problems related to health, child care, and family or legal emergencies. Friday Afternoon: Counselling II workshop on recognition and assistance with learning disabilities; drug, alcohol, or other substance abuse; physical abuse in a family or relationship; or personal psychological difficulties.

RECIPROCITY/ PAY BACK

The site of both the construction program and the training activities will be conducted simultaneously. The work will take place in concert with the training activities. The participants will be actively engaged in learning the relevant construction trades on the site. The construction items identified in the program’s funds will be used to construct public infrastructures such as community centres, market schools that were damaged or completely destroyed during the course of the war in the form of harmonizing the relationship between the community members and the ex-child soldiers. The participants of CBC (ex-child soldiers) will provide free minor construction service for the community people in the form of capacity building to harmonize their reintegration. For example, if there is any damage done to the existing structure of any community member, especially the war victims, the project will mobilize its participants to repair the structure. In addition, if any community member wants to reconstruct his or her structure that was destroyed during the course of war, upon hiring the project participants will have price reduction in labour fees in the form of community solidarity to fully welcome the ex-child soldiers in their various communities. The costs for private construction will purely be the responsibility of the person hiring the project participants, but the rehabilitation of any public structure will be the responsibility of the community members and the participants of the project in the form of pay back.

IMPLEMENTATION | four
a. The CBC project will be ongoing relationships with the community members at various levels, other social service agencies, and construction companies in their area of operation. It is anticipated that several of those completing the program will continue their skill at one of the towns, cities or any community they found themselves. MTC will run the project in the target area for one year and choose other areas in the future. The expectation is that more community members would be ready to accept the ex-child soldiers and obtain services from them the CBC project after one year in the construction project. MTC itself will offer assistance to the community in paying school fees for ex-child soldiers that are staying with some of the community people. All participating in the project would, of course, be able to use those services. Currently, MTC has on its staff a social worker who provides or refers ex-child soldiers to the project. b. In the past MTC has served as an organization to give scholarship to ex-child soldiers in the form of a reintegration program. The staff of that program is currently employed to MTC and has extensive contacts with those in the program as well as the various categories of ex-combatants. These contacts and skills will be further

developed and provided to the staff of the project both in the planning and implementing phase, as well as during the training period of the program. c. During the planning phase of the project, all of the Joint Boards as well as the exchild soldiers, and the construction industry will be contacted for exact information concerning their contribution for the programs. MTC's contacts with the various stake holders as well as the community members, personal contacts with the educational directors, instructors of the project should provide program with the contacts necessary to facilitate the transition between the incoming and the outgoing participants in the construction industry.

COUNSELLING, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, AND SOCIAL SERVICES Although the Counselling and Leadership Development class component is integral to MTC and the project’s success, it is also the case that every class, group activity, and on-the-job experience presents an opportunity for leadership development. Staff members will be trained in essential team building skills not only to form a cohesive cooperative learning group but also to work closely with the project participants to facilitate and encourage the development of both individual and group skills. Speaking in large and small groups; presenting an argument; negotiating; and mediating among conflicting points of view will all be developed through solving real problems presented to the group; role playing; and simulation games. Participants may come to MTC with personal and social problems for which they may need advice and counselling. The program plans a feasibility study of child care as part of the grant or funding process; participants who require counselling for substance abuse, marital, legal, or other family problems will be referred to MTC. EDUCATIONAL AND JOB TRAINING SERVICES Activities: The schedule below indicates the various educational and job training activities of the project. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10am Construction Skills and On-the-Job Training 11am Construction Skills and On-the-Job Training 12pm -------- LUNCH ------1pm

2pm Construction Skills and On-the-Job Training 3pm Construction Skills and On-the-Job Training 4pm Analytical Thinking, Math, , Leadership Counselling.

CONSTRUCTION SKILLS AND ON-THE-JOB TRAINING This component of the participants' training will be developed with the advice of an expert in apprenticeship training from one or more of the construction companies. The consultant will be employed mainly to provide assistance in developing specific program modules to teach specific job-related skills. The project participants will work on construction and rehabilitation projects in their communities.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS Construction Skills: this course consists of closely-supervised on-the-job work experience at a local construction site. Participants will become familiar with construction terminology; common work procedures in different construction trades; the importance of teamwork; and safety procedures. Supervisors will be men and women who have achieved journeyman status in their respective trades, and the ratio of participants to supervisors will be no more than 7:1. English as a Second Language I: this course will provide English language instruction to those of the project participants who require rudimentary instruction in English. It will meet at the same time and will share the same cultural events such as field trips and guest speakers. Topics to be studied include basic grammar; simple sentence structure; speaking; reading comprehension; and writing. English speaking training is a critical component of the project, as many participants will not have sufficient proficiency in English to allow them to compete successfully in the job market, perform complex tasks on a construction site, or earn their State General Education Diploma. The twenty-five students in the program will be grouped according to their English proficiency, with class size ranging from 10 to 15 students. The program will employ two English instructors, each on a part-time basis. They will work together to coordinate classroom instruction. Reading, writing, and speech will also be taught by the English instructors in order to maintain a focus on language learning. Examples of culture-focused lectures and trips that can form the basis of classroom assignments in English, Reading, and Writing. (what do you mean by this last sentence? Examples? What are the examples? I don’t get it..) The instructors who teach English, Reading, and Writing should make every effort to coordinate as much as possible into language and basic skill teaching.

READING AND WRITING Reading: this course provides practice in reading comprehension, fluency, and speed. Materials used in the course range from instructions for operating construction equipment to advertisements, stories, newspaper articles, construction education booklets, and compositions written by students. The course will also include practice in reading aloud. Writing: Students in this course will improve their writing fluency, skill, and speed. Subject matter can range from job experiences and personal entries in a journal to current events. As described above, these courses are closely connected to the teaching of English as a Second Language. They should also be focused on teaching the skills necessary to work successfully in construction. During the last quarter of the one-year program, instructors will develop and use test-taking exercises to help students become familiar with taking standardized tests. Two hours each week will be dedicated to instruction in Reading and another two in Writing. Points of grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and the formulation of a logical argument will all receive attention in these sessions that will dovetail with the participants' study of English language and structure in their classes.

SPEECH This course will provide practice in a variety of forms of oral communication; reading a prepared text, conversation, group discussion, argumentation, and extemporaneous speaking. Participants will be encouraged to share their own written work with colleagues as they improve their fluency and diction. The project’s participants will receive one hour each week in Speech instruction. This will consist of prepared and improvised conversations, reading aloud, extemporaneous discussions of topics important to the participants, job interviewing practice, and informal group discussions. The Speech component of the curriculum is closely tied to the Reading, Writing, and Leadership Counselling components in that it seeks to improve the participants' self-image and self-confidence as well as specific cognitive skills.

MATHEMATICS Participants will become familiar with basic arithmetic, mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, number placement, and basic algebra. They will also become familiar with basic geometry. Learning materials introduce mathematical skills required in construction as well as everyday activities such as shopping or reading a chart or graph in a newspaper.

Practical mathematics in occupational and consumer settings will form an important component of the Mathematics curriculum. However, it will be necessary to insure that participants had a solid grounding in basic mathematical concepts. The following topics will be among those covered in the Mathematics curriculum: Basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division; Number placement, reading simple and complex numbers; Reading simple charts and graphs; Fractions; Decimals; Percents; Measurement; Geometry; Introduction to Statistics.

LEADERSHIP COUNSELLING This aspect of the project will transcend its Leadership Counselling by being a classroom and job site experience. Participants will work together to solve problems, negotiate solutions, and present divergent points of view. They will discuss issues of personal development, of their experiences in the project, and encourage each other to seek solutions for such problems as substance abuse, marital difficulties, or legal problems. Leadership Counselling offers the project’s participants an opportunity to learn how to find the resources to address personal, family, and community problems. During the course of the year, participants will discuss their progress on the job site and in the classroom. The program counsellor will integrate class activities, including teaching and job experiences, into the weekly discussions. Participants will also become familiar with job interviewing techniques and strategies through informational films, discussions, role-playing of interview situations. The Leadership Counselling component of the program will also serve as a job referral service with connection to those local communities that lent their support in recruiting participants for the project.

COSTS AND BENEFIT | five
The bulk of the CBC grant, funds will be used for the buying of tools to be used by the ex-child soldiers, MTC as an organization identified to use during any construction assignment that would be giving to them, and the total amount needed to implement this project € 45.140. Also MTC will use the fund to pay teachers to teach them with basic education for them to able do estimate and sign contract with any future client. Mind to Change will use the fund to conduct workshops in the communities they are staying in, in the form of capacity building, for the communities to see them as people to be recon with for them to start giving them construction assignment that will remedy their socio-economic position. (I think you should rewrite these sentences, I don’t get what you mean exactly) MTC will use the fund to facilitate the minor construction services for the war victims in the project

operational areas. We estimate that 30 ex-combatants/child soldiers will be served in the beginning face of the year long program. The program's Administrative cost will be about 15 percent of the grant/funding budget.

The CBC grant/fund cost breakdown is as follows:
• • •

Buying of tools (€ 22.950); Administrative costs (€ 2.450) ; The project will benefit both the community people and ex-child soldiers. The community people will benefit minor construction services especially the war victims, and the ex-child soldiers will benefit effective training to be able to properly reintegrate and to solve their socio-economic situation.

The outputs of the project (?) are: capacity building between the community and the ex-child soldiers. This means that at the end of the project the community members and the ex-child soldiers will be able to understand each other, that there will be proper reintegration of the ex-child soldiers, that at the end of this project the community members will accept the ex-child soldiers, there will be socio-economic independency. This means that after the project, the ex-child soldiers will be able take care of their social and economic situations.

• •

Average total cost per beneficiary is € 250. For this project, the value of benefits and costs of inputs are in the form of vice versa.

The CBC costs include salaries, staff, workshops, transportation, communication, medication, recruitment, and tools and materials for training and education and construction work. Administrative costs include all of the appropriate financial and program reporting requirements, accounting and auditing costs, payroll and secretarial work and other standard administrative costs. The CBC costs will be funded through other sources including but not limited to International Construction Companies’ Fund, State Fund for youth activities,

conventional lending, public and private matching funds, and International Organizations.

MONITORING | six
MONITORING SHOULD BE DONE BY:
• • the affected community, represented by the local committee; MTC organization (through the Operational Manager); and

The various donors such as: International Construction Companies, Private Sectors, International organizations, to name but few that are going to fund this project.

MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION OF THE PROJECT Achievements will be measured through questionnaires. Achievement will be verified by the project administrators. Monitoring and follow-up have to be part of the project activities. Part should be continuous self evaluation by MTC as an implementing agency. The monitoring and reports from the project will be available on three months bases, starting from the day the project will come to an effect. The monthly report will be available from the starting of the project.

PROJECT RESULTS | seven
Job Placement and Completion Follow-Up The one-year project will offer participants a basic cognitive, developmental, and experiential foundation for future life and work. However, training and education require substantive follow-up in the form of job placement and continuing counselling services for program graduates. During the last month of the project, participants will focus on interviewing and oral and written skills (development of a resume) in their area of trade they will become familiar with. Those who wish to explore the possibility of attending poly-tech will be referred to Higher Vocational Institute at the community Vocational Institutes.

Measurable objectives will be achieved by the number of ex-child soldiers who are trained and who will successfully complete the Capacity Building and Construction project. In addition for each class and the job training sessions, attendance will be taken, and attendance will be used to measure the degree of program success. No participants will be permitted to graduate without attending 90% of the sessions/job training in each of their area of trade. Job and Leadership Development will be recorded with follow-up during one year of the program of the individual participants. Follow-Up counselling will be made available by (MTC).

BUDGET | eight
PROJECT BUDGET (30 TRAINEES) Project Costs Component Materials/Tools Specification Carpentry Masonry Electrical Wiring Plumbing Reciprocity/Pay back Traine es 10 6 4 Amoun t 475 € 335 220 235 4.75 0 3.350 1.320 940 765 Amount € 13.325

10 €

Printing of Learning materials Uniform Teaching and Learning Materials Workshops Specification Community based capacity building Region 1: Koidu Town, Kono Region 2: Bo Town Region 3: MTC Specification Mont hs Full time on the job training supervisor/counsellor (1) Part time classroom Instructor (4)
(€ 35 per instructor per month)

Participan ts 50 € 50 50 Salary p.m. € 140 € 140 560 € -

500 1.000 700 € 1.510

Days 3 3 2

550 550 410

Training

€ 10.330 1.680 1.680 6.720 150 100 € 25.16 5

12 12 12

Full time trade instructor (4)
(€ 140 per instructor per month)

Travel & Lodging Food budget Project totals

Transport is needed for the project instructors to be able to travel to the implementation site, because the two places are not close to each other. If the project instructors are travelling to these places they will need money for food and lodging, and the estimated budget is for twelve months.

IMPLEMENTATION COST MATERIALS Transportation MTC Project coordinator Lodging MTC Project coordinator Communication MTC Project coordinator Printing office Total AMOUNT 800 800 550 300 2.450

€ €

Transport is needed for the project coordinator to be able to travel to the implementation site, because the two places are not close to each other. If the project coordinator is travelling to these places he will need money for food and lodging, and the estimated budget is for twelve months.

PROJECT TOTALS Project totals (direct & indirect costs) Project costs Implementation costs Total AMOUNT 25.165 2.450 27.615

€ €

Transport is needed for the project coordinator to be able to travel to the implementation site, because the two places are not close to each other. If the project coordinator is travelling to these places he will need money for food and lodging, and estimated budget is for twelve months.

THE ORGANIZATION’S PROFILE | nine
GOAL Our main goal is to bring members of vulnerable groups back to mainstream society and to actively involve them in their communities, raise their awareness of their rights and duties as citizens of the community and the necessity of their contribution to society, and finally, to enable them to take responsibility over their own lives. OBJECTIVES Mind to Change will focus its projects and programs on empowering and capacitating individual members of vulnerable groups to enable them to develop their own lives in the post-war society through education, capacity building, and skills training. Mind to Change will: • Stimulate durable peace, •
• •

Protect and promote the rights of members of vulnerable groups, Stimulate societal reintegration and (re)building of the post-war society, Educate donor countries about the effects and challenges of war and living in a post-war society, as well as educate donor countries about life in a developing country.

Through; • the implementation of programs and projects in post-war societies

educational campaigns in post-war societies and donor countries to raise awareness scientific research for the development of effective programs and the general good Participation and involvement in the political debate and policy making.


BACKGROUND/JUSTIFICATION | ten
The CBC, is a project that comprises of a group of ex-combatants and child soldiers that are in socio-economic difficult position because of lack of trust in the various communities they are staying in. The Construction and Training (CT) project will provide occupational training, construction skills, as well as basic educational services and leadership development. Mind to Change is a non profit organization working with ex- combatants and child soldiers who have lost hope and trust in the various communities they are staying for their role in the past war. The Capacity Building and Construction Training Project is designed by MTC and the ex-combatants and child soldiers in order to build hope and trust between the ex-combatants/child soldiers and the community through construction group. Because of lack of hope and trust from the community for the ex-combatants/child soldiers, it is difficult for them to properly reintegrate especially for those that went through a skill training program with the National Commission for Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (NCDDR) program. After the disarmament, these people (ex-combatants/child soldiers) went through various skill training such as carpentry, masonry, tailoring, gara tying dying, driving plumbing, electrical wiring, to name but few for three months, which followed by tool kits as start up for their various career. Based on the limited time for the various training they received from NCDDR, most of them ended up selling their tool kits, and some are still continuing with the trade, but people do not trust them enough to be giving assignment or contract, especially the carpentry, masonry, plumbing, and electrical wiring due to lack of proper training and trust. As a result of lack of job, contract and assignment for this category of people from the community where they are staying, MTC as a humanitarian organization sees it as a possible threat to the fragile peace the country is presently enjoying. This proposal requests attention from the various National and International Construction Companies, Donor Communities, Institutions as well as private sectors for their help in order for MTC to be able to change the negative image of this category of people in post war Sierra Leone, by forming groups of them in where they can start to exploit the training they have acquired.

We anticipate that whatever support, assistance, funds or grant giving to MTC, will be an essential and primary part of our program and will help MTC to provide them with occupational training, construction skills, as well as basic educational services and leadership development, counselling to community people, in conjunction with the rehabilitation of some of the public and private structures that was damaged or completely destroyed by the ex-combatants and child soldiers during the course of the war. The project MTC has proposed is multifaceted, comprehensive and innovative. The CBCTG will provide aid not only to the ex-combatants and child soldiers that are in dying need of assistance in the various communities but also to the community people who suffered during the course of the war. We anticipate that 25 percent of the program will be set aside for capacity building between the ex-combatants and the community people through providing them with free minor construction service especially people that are victims of the war like the amputees, the war wounded, and the war widows. The ex-combatants and child soldiers are particularly vulnerable and dependent on the community people for job/employment opportunities for both economic and social reasons. Economically, the ex-combatants, and child soldiers’ population is far more lack behind, because in this country the extended families can play a basic role if they are staying together to sustain themselves in difficult times. Furthermore the ex-combatants population and child soldiers are confined in a particular area and are unable to search for opportunities elsewhere. If you go to the cities and towns in Sierra Leone, you can find the ex-combatants and child soldiers in slum areas, and remote parts of the towns. They are always grouped together, and sometimes they engage in illegal activities for their living. Demographically, the population of the ex-combatant/child soldiers is usually youthful. More than one third of the population is under 28 years of age with the majority under 21. The poverty rate is overwhelming. The population of ex-combatants and child soldiers has the highest poverty rates in all of The Cities and Towns in Sierra Leone. Over one third of their population is below the poverty line. Over 50% of them is still staying in strange places instead of its places of origin, and has great difficulties in terms of coping with its economic situation. The unemployment rate is over 25% among the ex-combatants and child soldiers according to our findings in working with them. And this does not account for the hidden unemployment and underemployment that is pervasive in the local areas in Sierra Leone. From the figures available at the present time the future looks no better, and that will serve as a possible threat to the fragile peace in the country. Below half of the ex-combatants and child soldiers’ population is in the labour force. Much of this can be traced to the lack of available employable skills, lack of trust, or a mismatch between the skills of the ex-combatants and those required by local or regional industries or companies. Most of the members of the local community who are

employed work in informal sector such as farming, mining diamond petty trading, clerical support, service work, sales and general labour. With the emerging young population entering the work force, the ex-combatants are drastically in need for a Program that will provide occupational training, construction skills, as well as basic educational services and leadership development, counselling for them to gain new and better employment possibilities. The ex-combatants and child soldiers are facing an inevitable crisis involving the continuing marginalization from the communities they are staying in. Without a significant change in the current trends of the younger people, whose majority is excombatant and child soldier, will be forced to leave elsewhere to find employment they have had the training for, such as armed robbery. They will be going to other areas where there is conflict in order to support their families, since most of them are married and are having children. One of the ex-combatants told us that at any time he is in difficult financial problems, he thinks of robbing someone to get money, because he has had basic training but cannot make any money out of it. One of the potential areas of economic growth in the next decade is likely to be infrastructure, because most of the structures were damaged, and some were completely destroyed during war. The infrastructure is a major problem in most parts of the country, since the end of war six years ago. In these circumstances training for the construction trades has the potential to have a major impact on the local labour force especially among the ex-combatants/child soldiers. The likelihood of both union and non-union employment in construction for building both housing and the resulting infrastructure improvements is likely to be a growth industry in the near future.