Launch of the Africa Youth Award in Sierra Leone, thanks to The Aall Foundation

The Africa Youth Award is a two-year personal development programme devised by Transformed International, for young people aged between 14-35, which is being run by Watchmen International teams across East and West Africa. The programme is divided into two one-year-long programmes – Silver and Gold. Each programme consists of five sections that need to be completed in order for the participants to obtain a graduation certificate. The sections are: Skills Development, Community Service, Church Service, Christian Discipleship and Physical Recreation.

AYA group Lifewater

AYA youths participating in the Lifewater Programme as part of their Community Service

As mentioned in an earlier News Update, The Aall Foundation have generously sponsored the Africa Youth Award across Africa this year. This has enabled us, amongst other things, to officially launch the Award in Sierra Leone, where our contacts have been clamouring for the scheme to be started! We also plan to roll out the scheme in neighbouring Liberia later in the year. This is an immense privilege for us for, as you may recall, it’s not many years since the area was devasted with Ebola, leaving many families destitute. One of the major benefits of the Africa Youth Award is that it gives hope to the participants and empowers them towards a better life (as will be seen in the reports below).

September 2019

Roger London and Alistair & Lorraine Patience recently returned from a two-week trip to Kailahun, Sierra Leone.  The primary focus of the trip was to officially launch the Africa Youth Award (AYA) in Sierra Leone, which had been sponsored by The Aall Foundation.

After two long days of travelling we arrived in Kailahun on Friday evening.  On Saturday afternoon it was great to meet with the Watchmen International Sierra Leone / Liberia team who came to the guest house to meet with us and finalise the plans for our time in Kailahun.  The team were very excited about our visit and were looking forward to our time together.

 We held 3-day AYA training where we had 6 youth leaders who were being trained to lead the AYA in both Sierra Leone and neighbouring Liberia.  The training was well received and all were very excited about launching the AYA in their own communities.  The training covered the five different elements of the programme – Christian discipleship, Skills Development, Community Service, Church Service and Physical Recreation – maintaining the authenticity of the programme by ensuring all elements are fulfilled and all paperwork is correctly completed. The protection of vulnerable children and young adults was also a key aspect of our training, in line with the Transformed International Child Protection Policy. There were opportunities for questions throughout.  Later in the week we visited a town around 20 miles away from Kailahun near the Liberian border where we met members of an AYA group that had just been established there.  It was a great day and the community were very happy that we had visited.

SL Monosewallu group

The new AYA Group in Monosewallu, Sierra Leone

All in all it was a very positive trip and the Watchmen international teams in both Sierra Leone and Liberia are very excited about moving the work forward.  At our concluding team meeting it was decided that the Africa Youth Award would be officially launched in Liberia in December of this year.  Some members of the Sierra Leone team will travel to Liberia to assist in the training and the official launch of the work there. Both the Sierra Leone and Liberian team members wanted to convey their thanks to the Aall Foundation for their willingness to support the launching of AYA in their nations.

 AYA Update October

 Currently in Sierra Leone there are four groups have been started in Nyanyanhun, Monosewallu, Buedu and Kailahun Town with a total of 65 young people involved.  Below are a few testimonies:

 SL Hawa Bockarie HAWA BOCKARIE is my name, I thought I could do nothing again, in my life, but with the intervention of AYA in my life, I decided to develop a skill of tailoring, now I have started helping myself through tailoring I thank God a lot for this programme of AYA. Hawa is 20 years old and part of the Kailahun group.

SL Dauda

Bro Dauda is 17 years old and is part of the Buedu group.   

I want to say a big thank you to AYA, I was thinking that my life is empty, but with help of AYA, I have started a computer skills training and I am really doing it through God’s grace.

This is Bockarie, he is 21 and part of the Kailahun group, he is doing motorbike maintenance as his new skill development. SL Bockarie motorbike

 SL Tamba James

Tamba James is 35 years old and he is learning carpentry as his new skill development.

 Ahmed James age 25 from Nyanyanhun -says “AYA have added more value to me because I can now contribute in my community by voluntarily working to clean my community, and I have got a hand in the development of my area or town. God bless AYA.”