PROJECTS UNDERTAKEN BY YACAN AND THEIR OUTCOME
EMMERGENCY SUPPORT IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
REDUCE EBOLA TRANSMISSION PROJECT: RETP 2014 to 2015
YACAN join the Ebola fight through an emergency project supported by DFID/ UK AID through Plan Sierra Leone to distribute food and Mobilized youth in hot spot communities in the height of the Ebola outbreak in November 2014 to September 2015 with the aim to reduce the chain of Ebola transmission and for people to stay in quarantine homes during the 21 days quarantine period.
The Project is implemented by Plan Sierra Leone in the Western Area district in Sierra Leone. YACAN was assigned to distribute food and non food items to quarantine homes as directed by the country National Ebola Response Center through their Western Area Emergency Response center (WAERC). YACAN throughout the project enrolled 25 volunteers including staff in the head office to join in the uphill task to ensure people in quarantine have at least three supplies of Food and Non Food Items so they can stay in quarantine.
YACAN was able to mobilize 30 Information Focal Person (IFPs) in 20 hot spot communities in the Western Area in order to support their communities and other national stretchers to disseminate information relating to Ebola awareness, preparedness and response. These 30 IFPs also worked with 180 community people who were reference group members that meet weekly to discuss the community status in the Ebola fight.
YACAN, since December 2014 to 2015 during the Ebola Outbreak has reached over 7,340 household members and each household is made up of between 1 to 6 people. YACAN through the support of Plan Sierra Leone in the RETP Project funded by DFID has reached 21,117 people in Quarantine.
YACAN has considered all this intervention as a great success for the organization to reach more people and for the organization, and it was the first time to respond to an emergency of this kind. This has helped to show many people that with committed young people and volunteers youth can contribute positively to any emergency.
GIRL POWER PROJECT
The Girl Power Program (GPP) is an International Project supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Netherlands for a period of five (5) years (2011 to 2015).Plan International Netherlands and other consortium members in the Project are implementing in ten countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh).
In Sierra Leone, YACAN is among the local partners selected by Plan Sierra Leone to implement the project in Freetown (Western Area) as the Project is being implemented in two of Plan Sierra Leone’s operational areas, Moyamba and Western Area. YACAN over the last five years implemented the Girl Power Project in the Western Area in both Schools and Communities.
Project communities in the Western Area are:
Beneficiary Schools in the Girl Power Project are:
-St Joseph’s Secondary School
-Murray town Army Junior Secondary School
– Services Junior Secondary School
– Vine Memorial Junior Secondary School
– Government Model Junior Secondary School
– Laura Dove Vocational Secondary School
– St Raphael’s Catholic Secondary School Waterloo
– Government Rokel Junior Secondary School
– Government Secondary Technical School
Government Municipal Junior Secondary School
In the course of the implementation phase in the five years period, YACAN has been able to train over 15000 girls and young women in communities and schools in the Western Area and also work in collaboration with Plan International Sierra Leone in over 20 communities.The Project has contributed to the identification of major issues affecting girls in communities and schools such as Gender Base Violence, right to Girls education, inclusion of young women in community engagement by stakeholders and more. Girls and boys in Schools have also benefited from YACAN’s training in over ten schools on Communication skills, Leadership, Sexual Reproductive Health, Governance, Group formation, Gender and Monitoring.
YACAN has contributed immensely in reducing the huge gap that used to exist between young women/girls and their stakeholders (chiefs, MP’s and Councilors) in their communities, and also greatly improved on bilateral dialogue on needs of young women and girls. The GPP Project initiates the production of Pikin Varanda Newsletter publication that report on the evolving trend of girls and women’s development in Sierra Leone and to make a clarion and solemn call on stakeholders in charge of decision making in the country.
YOUTH INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT 2012 to 2014
The Youth Inclusive Economic Empowerment Project (YIEEP) was implemented by YACAN for Plan Sierra Leone in the year 2012 to 2014 in the Western Area of Sierra Leone.
The project had three main components to help address some problems of young people in the Western Area and Moyamba. YACAN and two other NGOs (GGEM and CEFORD) were jointly implementing the project in the two regions i.e. Western Area and Moyamba.
YACAN was contracted by Plan Sierra Leone to lead the Implementation in the area of developing Life Skill manual on Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Gender, Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Education (ASRHE) and conduct training for community youth groups through 50 community volunteer trainers (CVTs) in both Freetown and Moyamba. YACAN was also leading the youth linkages and advocacy components. YACAN considers the YIEE project as one of its most successful intervention through a project implemented for young people in the western Area. The Projects, within the three years period was able to coordinate major advocacy engagements between young people, community leaders and senior members of government including ministers and members of parliament.
The project was able to push the agenda on the advocacy for youth employment. YACAN was able to lead young people from different organizations and communities to present a Position Paper on the status of youth unemployment in Sierra Leone. YACAN also jointly presented a video documentary on youth employment in Sierra Leone to the EU Members of parliament through its partner, Plan Finland in 2013.
The YIEE Project was able to support the training of over 6500 youth in community groups of 20 reaching 325 groups in both Freetown and Moyamba in youth savings and loan Association (YSLA) groups on life skills component of the project; Gender, HIV & AIDS, Malaria Prevention and Sexual
EDUCATIONAL MENTORSHIP PROGRAM FOR UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN 2012 to 2013
Youth and Child Advocacy Network (YACAN) and a British foundation called NGbotima set-up by some philanthropist made up of Young People in the UK. We identified one major challenge faced by most children who came from poor families and are living with relatives mostly due to economic predicament or parental dispute. YACAN noticed with utmost concern that some children could not perform better in school due to lack of attention accorded them for coaching and mentoring, and this Initiative brought about the Educational Mentorship Program for Underprivileged children in poor and slum communities and schools.
This pilot project was implemented in 3 communities in Freetown and 10 schools in 5 Secondary and 5Primary schools. With about 50 children for two academic years (2012 to 2013) the Project was able to show a significant change in 45 out of 50 children. These performances of children in school increased over 25% in their grades and 20 out of the 50 children were able to have a clear pass mark in their first attempts in Public Exams during the Mentorship phase.
YACAN collaboratively developed a mentor manual with NGbotima foundation which was appropriately utilized by mentors for a successful implementation of the project. YACAN trained five (5) Mentors and worked with them closely, and also identified and mentored 50 Mentees/ children from three communities in two years. YACAN’S mentorship service contributed immensely in the academic performances of school going children, as they accounted for excellent grades in their public exams and a noticeable improvement in their academics.
LEARN WITHOUT FEAR CAMPAIGN (LWF) 2008- 2011
The Learn Without Fear was a timely initiative by Plan International on a global campaign with the utmost desire to end violence against children in schools with particular focus on Corporal punishment, Sexual violence and Bullying. It also aimed at creating an enabling and conducive schooling environment for children that will be devoid of violence, Gender Base Violence, Right to education for all children and to put a stop to all forms of sexual exploitation against children in school.
YACAN, being the leading youth and children organization in Sierra Leone, was given the mandate to implement and spearhead this project in the Western Area of Sierra Leone (Freetown municipality) with the principal aim to raise awareness and campaign through intense and active advocacy among children and adult on the aforementioned contending issues. As an organization with the incessant passion and desire to advocate on issues affecting the well being and welfare of youth and children nationwide, YACAN was able to reach children, youth, teachers and other stakeholders through the media by introducing school crusaders clubs against violence and abused and the Pikin Varanda Radio Magazine show.
25 Schools both Junior and senior Secondary schools joined the campaign for three years and 10 communities also supported the campaign as a result of the growing violence among children and youth in schools and at sporting activities with the aim of reaction. Schools, however, agreed that this was among the most successful campaign for children in the advocacy of inclusion on issues affecting children and young people. Over 50,000 people received non-violence messages, testimonies to violence and abused in school as both boys and girls shared their experiences. 2,500 children in junior secondary schools took active role in the campaign between 2008 and 2012, and over 50 teachers received training on guidance and counseling organized by the LWF Campaign in the Western Area.
Although the campaign has ended in Sierra Leone by Plan International, YACAN as an organization still continue to take the positive image that we learned and internalised throughout the campaign period and we have supported and created an environment for children to share their views on issues of abused through the Pikin Varanda Weekly Radio Magazine show and the Quarterly newsletter for children which is a legacy of the LWF Campaign in Sierra Leone.