Here is full report on what needs to be done in order to complete our first goal of regenerating an old diamond mine in Sierra Leone and giving these reformed childhood soldiers a sustainable food source, income and the trade of farming. In the report you will find our current situation analysis, goals (with output and activity descriptions), expected results, sustainability, implementation strategy as well as monitoring and evaluational reporting. MiaDonna and The Greener Diamond are working to use the proceeds from the ENOUGH! shirt and sales from our Eco friendly jewelery to fund the project. We have a long way to go, please spread the word and buy your ENOUGH! shirt today.
Project Description: Enhancing Livelihood and Job Creation for Youth in Kono district
Target: 15,000 youth in Kono District-Eastern Province to supply agriculture
Sierra Leone is ranked by the United Nations as the world’s least developed country*with appallingly weak social and health indicators. There is massive unemployment and it is estimated that more than half of the population live below the poverty line on less than $1 a day. In spite of several national and international efforts, the measure of poverty and vulnerability remains high especially among the youthful population. ………………
Sierra Leone is only just recovering from a decade-long civil war that was characterized by huge loss of lives, destruction to property and infrastructure. The restoration of democratic governance and the rule of law, infrastructural development and the development of a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper are all positive steps worth mentioning. However without overemphasis, poverty remains ripe among the Sierra Leonean population. Life expectancy is only 34.2 years, adult literacy is just 36%, per capita GDP is $490, and maternal mortality rates are the highest in the world. This appalling poverty is exacerbated by weak national infrastructure such as road network, hospital and government institutions on which people rely for livelihood. Although plausible efforts have been put into reconstruction, the ineffectiveness of service delivery and a very poor culture of maintenance is doing very little to address the needs and support required by the people of Sierra Leone. In addition, lingering social, political and psychological scars have been left on a population that lived for years in a state of conflict, experienced massive displacement and social upheaval, and lost faith in a corrupt and grossly mismanaged public service
Nowhere is the poverty more evident than in Koidu New Sembenhun and Sando chiefdoms in Kono district. Many have not returned to these rural areas and much of the arable land is not cultivated. Even after the war, rural/urban migration has continued especially among the youthful population to the detriment of rural food production and development. Unemployment remains appallingly high among youth and with the current hype in the prize of foodstuff, it is not uncommon for families to go without meals or to survive on a single meal for the day. Food production is substantially low and limited to vegetable and cash crops the magnitude of which is hardly adequate to feed the hungry population.
In this context, responding to needs of youth should serve socially constructive purposes to prepare Sierra Leonean citizens to actively participate in the process of social, cultural and economic development. It should contribute positively towards building a culture of solidarity and tolerance within a framework of diversity. The unification and development of the country will require a major effort to raise the levels of development among its citizens.
A gap is however being created in the Sierra Leone reconstruction process by which youths are being put in a very marginal position. It is this need gap that the project intends to fill and in doing so ensure that the identified needs of youths is adequately responded to.
Youth Action International is therefore seeking $ 25,000 to address the high rate of unemployment among youth in Kono district through engagement in agriculture and food production to enhance livelihood and job creation. The project will significantly contribute to the empowerment of local capacities to reduce poverty levels in the district.
II. SITUATION ANALYSIS:
The Kono assessment conducted in June 2008 revealed a great need for the development of agricultural programs for several reasons. Firstly, the district is comprised of rich terrain, which produces cocoa, cassava, oranges, bananas, and various forms of vegetation. The verdant land supports the tending of animal husbandry. Cultivation of this land would sufficiently supply the local community as well as larger markets with food goods. Given the growing world food crisis, the need for sustainable agricultural development is generally apparent.
Secondly, within Kono, youth groups identified a need for agricultural development as a means of diverting the attention of idle youth from criminal involvement and the dangerous allure of diamond mining. Diamond mining appeals to many of them, as they hold fast to the hopes of finding valuable stones to transform their disadvantaged lives to lives of promise.
Those youth, not attracted to the slim prospects of mining or eager for more immediate means of obtaining money, turn to acts of crime. Ten years after Sierra Leoneâs civil war devastated Kono, the criminal activities of youth threaten to bring instability to the district once again. Armed robbery and rape are the chief types of crimes that are committed and upset sense of peace returning to the community since the end of the war. However, the lack of resources such as machinery, decent road networks, and efficient harvesting tools makes agricultural ventures comparatively unprofitable and unattractive to youth. For example, the road networks between many of the farming areas in Koidu and Sando chiefdoms are in such detriment that it often takes days for farmers to deliver their produce to sell. Crops wilt and suffer due to the heat of the sun and tight binding used for transporting them.
Finally, improvements in the agricultural sector in Kono would curb the growing populations in Koidu, Makeni and other surrounding cities. Disgruntled youth often migrate to larger cities in hopes of greater economic opportunities than their rural homes can afford them. They add to the already high levels of unemployment and steepen competition for basic jobs. Few succeed in finding the stable lives they need. Instead, many loiter the streets as street children and commit petty crimes to get by.
The YAI Enhancing Livelihood and Job Creation program would address the needs outlined by the Kono youth by providing skills training to enhance their qualifications and elevate the sustainability of their farms. YAI will utilize government land issued to youth groups in each of Konoâs fourteen chiefdoms. Each plot of land measures 100 acres. Additionally, YAI will utilize former diamond mines, which have been reclaimed by the Sierra Leonean government and turned over to the youth of Kono. While these lands are rich and abundant, they are not tended to by youth due to lack of adequate resources to fruitfully cultivate the lands.
In the light of the above, the proposed project shall work to improve the livelihood situation of vulnerable rural youths by promoting household level food production and community cohesion.
In pursuit of the above goal, the following shall be specific objectives:
To support youth groups with seed and equipments to engage in agricultural production to reduce
poverty and unemployment.
2. To enhance the acceptability and affordability of livelihood for community Youth
3. To promote community engagement in favour of cohesion and rights realization.
4. To enhance the management and leadership skills of community based youth groups.
Output / Activity Description
Output: 1.Organize leadership and skills training workshops to improve their capacity enhance their qualifications and evaluate the sustainability of their farming activities.
These outputs aim at supporting twenty youth groups in Sando and Gbense chiefdoms in Kono district to engage in agricultural production, processing and marketing. This will ultimately improve on the situations of the unemployed youth in the district and is expected not only to reduce unemployment and poverty but also to influence their behaviors and reduce on the level of drug abuse, prostitution and crime in the district. Specifically, the following will be carried out under this output.
â¢ 12 community youth groups will be trained in leadership and simple mechanized
â¢ 12 chiefdom youth farm clubs formed and supported to carry out their activities.
â¢ 12,000 people in the selected chiefdoms sensitized on youth engagement in agriculture.
â¢ 15 project committee members trained on project management, monitoring and evaluation
Output: 2 Supply seed and equipments to farming groups and evaluate the sustainability of their farming activities. Specifically, the following will be carried out under this output.
20 Chiefdom based youth groups receive seeds and planting materials
IV. EXPECTED RESULTS:
It is estimated that through 350 youth farmers and 20 youth groups, about 2,850 people in 22 marginalized villages in the districts of Kono will directly benefit from the project activities outlined in this proposal, and that another 15,000 will benefit indirectly, particularly residents of those communities that fall within the targeted Chiefdoms of Koidu New Sembehun and Sando.
There will be increased availability and variety of food in all households for all household members as a result of the adoption of improved and sustainable farming practices and animal rearing , increased food production, a decrease in pre and post-harvest losses and proper processing of produce resulting in improved preservation.. The volume of produce marketed will have increased as well.
Other benefits will include improved and consolidated stock of seeds, livestock farming, better availability of farming tools, rehabilitation and developed valley fields, operational agro-processing equipment within the community, storage and drying facilities for agricultural produce, functioning local markets (market days), and improved nutrition and sanitation and employment operation within the communities for youths and women
Communities will also benefit as leaders at various levels will have been trained to be more responsive to their needs and members of the community will have been empowered to link up with the local level government and other decision â making structures, particularly to harness support from the government and other organizations to help consolidate food security/rights to food and employment creation. More over, residents will be representative and inclusive and will initiate and participate in development programmes.
By the completion of the project, marginalized villages in the district of Kono will have active and dynamic agricultural sectors. Within these communities, there will be a number of farmer groups that will have measurably benefited from YAI activities, including farmers, who participated in farmer Human Rights, Leadership &Advocacy training. While farmers will have been empowered to access demand budgeted support from local and central households in the participating communities will benefit from the innovations that farmers are implementing and the goods and services provided.
The volume of agricultural products marketed would have increased at lower prices. Hence, this is in favor of the countryâs food security/rights to food dream by the President and employment promotion programes.
Youth Action International has a vision to be implementing its unique pro-poor programs in every post war African country within five years. With this goal, weâre also working actively to ensure the organization attains organizational self sufficiency and sustainability.
Currently, the base of YAIâs financial supports comes from its college chapters at fifteen American and Canadian high school colleges and universities. We are working to grow the numbers of chapters raising awareness and funds to support YAIâs programs. This will ensure that YAI has a wider support base in the long term. Our next layer of support comes from individuals and small family foundations. In 2006 (our first year of operations as a public charity in the United States), YAI received $190,000 in donations and pledges of over $400,000 towards future years. In 2007 YAIâs work will receive incredible attention. YAIâs work in Africa will reach millions around the world when MTV features the organization in its new reality series called 4REAL. With these and other opportunities, we expect to more than quadruple our revenue from donations and grants from larger foundations.
To ensure eventual total self-sustainability, Youth Action International has began working with the Falconer Group: Asset Wealth Managers to create an endowment, and dedicate a portion of donations to high interest investments, which will ensure that funds are always available for programs such as our scholarships for girls. Finally, YAIâs country offices are starting to explore a number of unique and innovative programs that aid local communities where we work while at the same time supporting the overhead of the organizationâs management and programs. This includes creating community co-opt businesses that can be shared by communities and the organization. Within seven to ten years, YAI will no longer be 100% dependant on outside funds to operate.
VI. IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY:
The implementation of this project will be done by YAI in partnership with the Kono District Youth Coalition and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The strategies and roles of these partners have been clearly indicated below.
Youth Action International
Youth Action International will oversee the overall implementation of the project and will fundraise for the project. It will be the role of YAI to procure seeds, materials and equipments and supply them quarterly to the youth groups. YAI will take the lead role in monitoring the implementation and evaluation of the projects. Before giving seeds and equipments to the groups to start implementing their activities; we will carry out series of trainings and meetings with the groups and will set up systems and mechanisms to make them operate well.
This trainings and meetings are very critical in developing the groups so that they are prepared for implementing and sustaining their activities. YAI will get monthly or quarterly progress and financial reports from the youth groups. The exact format, nature, and the duration of reporting shall be agreed between YAI and the youth groups.
Kono District Youth Coalition
The Kono District Youth Coalition will be in charge of coordinating the day-to-day monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the project. KDYC will also coordinate the implementation of the projects with other stakeholders including the district leaders. One project officer will be recruited by YAI to work with the Youth Coalition to ensure that the project is implemented successfully.
Ministry of Youth and Sports
The Ministry of Youth and Sports will work closely with YAI and the Youth Coalition to prepare quarterly and monthly work plans and budgets and submit to YAI together with the report and accountability for the previous quarter. The release of the funding for the quarter will be done upon the sub-mission and approval of the narrative and financial report and accountability for the previous month by Youth Action International.
VII. MONITORING AND EVALUATION:
YAI is responsible for the overall monitoring of the project. There will be continuous collection of data from the field by project staff and the data will be analyzed to ensure corrective actions taken in time. Other stakeholders will include the chiefdom committee and district council leadership will also be involved in monitoring of the project.
YAI staff in Sierra Leone will produce periodic monitoring reports (monthly, quarterly, and annual) and send both the narrative and financial reports to YAIâs head offices in New York. Annual narrative and financial reports will also be sent to the donor. An external evaluator, YAI, and other stakeholders will carry out mid term and end of project evaluations to assess the progress and impact of the project respectively.
The findings of both the mid term and end of project evaluations will be shared with other stakeholders and will be used for future programming. Every year, the project will undergo changes based on the needs of the community benefiting from the programs.
The program will be evaluated on four different levels as follows:
Participants: The most important review of the project will be based on surveys of participants. Participants will be regularly gauged and asked to provide feedback on how the program is affecting their lives and what changes could be made to create a more profound impact.
Local staff: YAIâs staff based in the district will host regular weekly meetings to evaluate both suggestions made by the participants and prevailing circumstances in order to determine how to best readjust the program. National staff members will compile and submit two evaluation reports annually. At the end of the year, one major report will be compiled and submitted by the staff based on observations and recommendations received throughout the year.
International staff: The Board of Directors and YAIâs staff in New York City will work closely with a team of external observers and auditors to gauge the overall success of the program. Ultimately, the success of the program will rely on our ability to truly empower the participants.
Independent review: After every twelve months an independent agency will evaluate the full impact of the programs on helping to support and strengthen local communities.
VIII. ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND:
Youth Action International (YAI) was established in 2002 to develop and implement programs that alleviate the suffering of children affected by war, and empower them to reach their full potential. The organization is comprised of a growing network of young people, primarily volunteers, who utilize grassroots techniques to support war-affected communities to improve the lives of their children. Youth Action International has volunteer chapters at Universities including Amherst College, Columbia University, and Harvard University. The organization also has an administrative office in New York City, and an international staff working in Burundi, Ghana, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. Our programs are strategically developed to break the cycles of violence and poverty.
Executive Director Kimmie Weeks is a renowned human rights activist who as a child experienced firsthand the violence and human suffering during the Liberian Civil War. Kimmie recalls eating wild roots and drinking infested water to survive. His experiences during the war inspired him to establish YAI to support the needs of women and children in post war countries. YAI now works to bring to fruition his dream of a world where no child subsists without the basic necessities of life. Funded in part by a network of student chapters, foundations, and individuals, Youth Action International currently has active projects in Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
Please contact us at email@example.com for any information about the ENOUGH! project. We appreciate your support.