Community Outreach

Health & Hygiene sensitization

During the course of Summer School in 2012, WYCF noticed an alarmingly high number of illnesses amongst the children in our schools. Around the same time, it was declared that Sierra Leone was facing the worst Cholera outbreak in 15 years.

WYCF quickly recognised the need to protect our children and their families from preventable diseases. Up-to-date, we have established school health clubs in all our schools, these clubs take the lead to sensitise colleagues’ students and community stakeholders during our meetings and events.

The challenges:

– 3-5 of 90-100 children left school early complaining of illness;

– Fluctuating class sizes due to children staying home when showing signs of illness;

– Recurrent bowel and skin related complaints;

– Unhealthy practices such as not washing hands and consuming water not suitable for drinking.

Our solution:

– Deliver a Health & Hygiene sensitization programme in George Brook and Kroo Bay;

– Disseminate information through focus groups in both communities;

– Target a relevant topic each week, over the course of 7 weeks: Water, Food, Body, Scabies, Cholera & Dysentery, HIV/AIDS, Smoking & Drugs;

The outcomes:

– Families felt empowered by the newly gained knowledge;

– WYCF observed an effort to change some hygiene practices amongst the communities;

– WYCF built a stronger, trusting relationship with the families and established its presence in both target communities outside the basic remits of running our schools.

Sexual and Gender Based Violence sensitization

Group discussions and sensitization meetings held with residents of WYCF’s target communities indicated a minimal awareness of Human Rights and a disturbingly high rate of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

Gender inequality and violence against women remain prevalent at all levels of society in Sierra Leone, women and children being the most affected groups.

The challenges:

– Prevalence of SGBV in Kroo Bay and George Brook;

– Lack of knowledge about Human Rights and the causes and impacts of SGBV;

– Gender inequality and violence remain as major obstacles to development in the communities.

Our solution:

– Conduct community training workshops to introduce advocacy concepts;

– Document and report women’s rights violations and enact the prevention of social injustice;

– Provide psychosocial counselling, legal assistance, transportation and medical referrals to SGBV victims, their families and witnesses;

– Develop and disseminate Information, Education and Communication materials on women’s rights.

The outcomes:

– Raised awareness of Human Rights and gender equality;

– Establishment of communication and information channels to disseminate advocacy messages;

– Empowerment of the victims and witnesses.

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