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Sierra Leone: Mission completed

Isatu participated in War Child's training programme in Sierra Leone, which supports young people to become self-sufficient in a country that was shattered by war. Through literacy and numeracy classes and by learning how to grow vegetables, peanuts or rice, they are able to stand on their own feet.

With the revenues from the harvest, Isatu can send her children to school

"Together with other young parents I sell cassava,” Isatu explains. “Because I know more about the technique, the harvest is much better than before. I have learned English and I can exactly calculate how much profit I make. With the revenue I can pay the tuition fees for my children. I can even help my children with their homework. Before I came into the programme, I could not even write my own name."

Purpose in life

Livelihood skills are essential for citizens of a country that was torn apart by war. Due to scarce employment opportunities in Sierra Leone, working the land is one of the few ways that young people can earn a living and have structure and purpose in their lives. Unemployed and socially alienated young people with little prospect of a better future could easily cause conflict to flare up again. "I am very proud of myself that I mastered all these skills. I can now work together better and if there is a conflict, we solve this now by talking. I can tell you, in the past that used to be very different.”

Disclaimer: for safety reasons the name of the girl has been changed.

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