Empowered young people look to the future in Sierra Leone

Men and women train alongside each other to challenge gender stereotypes



29 talented young people from the Kenema district in Sierra Leone are now equipped with a trade skill for life!

Our in country partner Future Focus Foundation trained young people from rural backgrounds in welding, tailoring and carpentry skills in their vocational training centre.


Challenging gender stereotypes

Women and men trained alongside each other in what are commonly thought of as male dominated trades, carpentry and welding.  This has been well received in the community to help break down gender stereotypes between men and women at work.

Empowering women to have control in their lives

Female trainees reported that the knowledge they acquired in life skills sessions about gender-based violence had empowered them to address the issue with their husbands.  Many said this has improved the dynamic at home.

Learning to read and write

Many participants didn’t go to school or had very limited education, so literacy and numeracy training was provided to help them read, write and take measurements.  Without this support, many people would be unable to do fundamental tasks such as take measurements or keep business records.

Some participants were young mothers.  Because they couldn’t afford childcare, many of them were forced to bring their children with them whilst training.  This can be disruptive for trainees, so Future Focus Foundation have addressed this by creating their own onsite creche, which will support future trainees’ children (aged 0 – 4) whilst they are training. This will enable trainees to concentrate on their learning, whilst providing their children with a stimulating, safe environment.

What has been the impact of this project?

29 people have improved vocational skills and business skills and the tools to establish their own business

“Before the training I use to rely on my family for everything, but now I am earning money and contributing to the upkeep of the family and that has added value to my life now,” Alpha Kamara.  

All trainees said they were unable to save before the project, but all of them earned money during the training and were able to make savings, which they can invest in their business or use for unplanned things like health costs.    

 29 people have increased confidence and self-esteem.

“I am living a happy and useful life now, even the community members now have some amount of respect for me,” Tailoring trainee. 


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