The Sierra Leone Team and its workshop graduates have trained thousands of diverse stakeholders inspiring them to envision what sustainable peace looks like for their country and equipping them with the necessary skills to Build unity; Spread peace; and Inspire New Leaders.
The Team first engaged in Sierra Leone in 2009 when local students and peacebuilders requested MBBI’s assistance to address election-related violence. Since then, the Team has continued to partner with local leaders to promote peace during subsequent elections through dialogue and training in mediation and leadership skills, as well as conflict transformation and prevention. MBBI’s Sierra Leone Team also supports and coaches local leaders as they expand their reach, including addressing conflict and trauma related to the Ebola crisis and providing targeted leadership training to high potential candidates in the local communities.
|Team Leader: Loretta Raider, USA
African Consultant: Debey Sayndee, Liberia
Board Liaison: Steve Seeche
- Alpha Umarr Barrie, USA & Sierra Leone;
- Karen Boxer, USA
- AnnMaria Didio, USA
- Maureen Inglis, Australia
- Judith Ogden, USA
- Bo Rotary Club District 9101
- Magnolia Texas Rotary Club District 5910
- Susan Conteh, Campaign for Good Governance
- Ebu Daramy, USYDA
- Amhed Kamara, United for Development
- Hannah F. Koroma, WAVES (Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society)
- Abdul Lebbie, United for Development
- Mohamed Sheriff Mansaray, Kono District Council
- Mohamed Shonnah, CASE – SL (Community Action for Socio-economic Empowerment -Sierra Leone)
- Training civil society members in conflict transformation and leadership skills to act as peace ambassadors prior to elections;
- Involving local key-partners in “Train-the-Trainer” program to increase the impact and scope of the workshops;
- Developing training partners to facilitate dialogues and training for hundreds of Sierra Leoneans alongside MBBI personnel;
- Conducting ongoing needs assessments – to support areas identified earlier in MBBI’s work in Sierra Leone: advance women and youth leadership, support tribal leaders, and a train-the-trainer program.
Learning from Grassroots
During a recent trip in February 2018, the MBBI’s Sierra Leone Team held four workshops on Building Unity for Peaceful Elections and trained over 300 participants from diverse stakeholder groups. In collaboration with local partners, the MBBI Team conducted needs assessment interviews and focus groups with corporate CEO’s, UNDP, women’s and youth leaders, youth, and women. Data collected overwhelmingly support the challenges of women and youth in society, and the need for building the capacity of women and youth leaders.
- Building Sustainable Peace in Sierra Leone by Developing Leaders and Transforming Conflict
- Project Highlight: Inspiring New Leaders, Sierra Leone
- A Minute of Silence for Sierra Leone
- Building Sustainable Peace in Sierra Leone
- Political Empowerment of Women in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone has struggled to maintain peace following a long and bitter civil war. The Ebola crisis and 2017’s mudslides and floods have placed additional strains on the country. Women have historically been marginalized in society. UN Resolution 1325 calls for the increased participation of women at all levels of decision-making, in peace negotiations, and in mechanisms for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict. The first resolution for youth peace and security, UN Resolution 2250, emphasizes the importance of youth as change agents in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. The large population of young people in the region is facing a high rate of unemployment and an economic crisis. Confronting these issues is critical to building sustainable peace. For these and other reasons, the MBBI Sierra Leone Team has developed a program to train women and youth to assume leadership positions.
The program intends to provide in-depth and long-term support to leaders who become:
- Skilled in conflict prevention and resolution
- Empowered to take active roles in sustaining peace and building societal resilience
- Actively-engaged in Sierra Leone’s ongoing development
The program is designed to provide training via a core, five-day intensive learning program followed by personalized coaching, a robust network of in-country colleagues and peers comprising a vibrant support system, ongoing training and skill refreshers (live and virtual), and a dedicated team and resource materials to facilitate leadership and change agent processes. Specific training blends theory and practical learning in leadership, conflict management, communication, civic responsibilities, personal leadership and development processes, and team effectiveness, among other topics. Ongoing one on one coaching and webinars will follow the five-day intensive training session.
Up to 28 regional women and youth will participate in each session, each selected by local leaders based on their potential to lead and train others in their communities. The targeted curriculum covers Women’s Empowerment courses that equip women with political aspirations to seek public office in line with Sierra Leone’s goal of increasing women in political leadership to 30%, as well as to serve as leaders in their respective communities. Sierra Leonean culture faces additional challenges as changes to gender roles threaten traditional family and social structure. This resulting widespread disruption also makes the country vulnerable, and our program will seek to empower women to build the capacity to manage these risks and become leaders while managing conflict situations.
The Youth Leadership curriculum, designed for participants ages 21-35, raises awareness of leadership potential of young people who comprise the majority of the population, empowering them with skills to address issues such as unemployment and conflict management in order to work with youth at risk in their communities.
Sierra Leone’s peace is quite young at the end of the civil war in 2002 finally brought relief to the civilians who had suffered atrocities throughout. The pillaging of Sierra Leone’s resources, what the world knew as “Blood Diamonds,” was the primary finance for the 11-years conflict during which children conscripted to become soldiers.
The MBBI Sierra Leone team consists of 7 committed team members drawn from the US, Australia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The team conducts dialogues and intensive training in conflict transformation equipping local leaders with the knowledge and skills to be Peace Ambassadors. The team has witnessed a transformation of the trainees’ communication skills including listening skills, emotions management, and the ability to build common ground.
Peace Ambassadors utilize the knowledge and skills learned through MBBI workshops to:
- Play a vital role in ensuring a peaceful election process for their communities;
- Help manage the Ebola crisis during the outbreak and its continuing aftermath;
- Serve as role models for how to build unity to achieve shared goals.
We need people and resources to support our project! Please click here to contribute and help build sustainable peace and save lives. The direct Beneficiaries will be approximately 28 women and 28 young people participating in the programs. These participants will then impact potentially thousands in their communities throughout Sierra Leone.