Safer Future Youth Development Project implemented a “Mobile Life Skills Training Unit” with the support of the local government of Vorarlberg (Austria) in 2002/03.
The aim is to develop rural communities by extending life skills training programmes to areas which have no opportunity to obtain any technical or vocational education.
This programme is very successful as it contributed in the re-integration and training of war affected youth and other disadvantaged young people.
Reaching remote communities is a tedious task due to the bad roads, long distances and cost involved. This leaves a larger share of the country to suffer from high levels of illiteracy and unemployment.
With the help of the local project staff, over 120 rural people have benefited directly from the mobile life skills programme, enable them to improve upon their day to day lives through new knowledge and skills.
A total of 6 rural communities in Sierra Leone significantly affected by the civil war took part in the programme. The goal was to establish education activities in poor rural areas and create new opportunities and facilities for learning.
Workshops on different topics were offered, such as community formation, financial management, family life education, HIV/AIDS education and conflict management. To further empower these communities, training in Gara Tye dye and Soap production was done creating an income opportunity for the villagers who are traditionally farmers.
The programme was divided into five units and after completion of the training, a tool kit for soap production was given to each working group to guarantee an immediate start up.
“Development groups” were formed within the community to manage the soap business and to insure proper administration and evaluation of activities.
Funds raised from the sale of soap and Gara material produced help communities to meet different financial burdens such as school fees, medical treatment, and maintenance of farmland.