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War Child Holland


Women & girls raped/sexually abused during war: 257,000 (estimated) ... Parents also set a bad example by fighting each other on almost a daily basis ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: War Child Holland

War Child Holland
Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone Understandings and
War Child works towards positive peace, aiming
to transform social relationships, structures and
culture in a direction conducive to a reduction
of root causes of social conflicts, and enhancing
the capacities to manage emerging conflicts
non-violently and constructively.
Peacebuilding Framework Deficit approach
War Child paper (2007)Key understandings (1/3)
  • Not all conflicts become violent they should be
    seen as potentially contributing to positive
    change. Conflicts are complex social, political,
    cultural and economic phenomena, which warrant in
    depth and continuous analysis and reflection.
  • The most appropriate way of dealing with conflict
    is therefore not to prevent or resolve it
    altogether, but to try to transform it and make
    it work for positive change.

War Child paper (2007)Key understandings (2/3)
  • Peacebuilding is not only an activity or series
    of activities, it is an impact. This impact is
    twofold 1) stopping violence and destructive
    conflict and 2) building a just and sustainable
  • Humanitarian and development interventions should
    consciously increase positive and minimize
    negative effects on peacebuilding potential.

War Child paper (2007)Key understandings (3/3)
  • Youth should not be seen as a homogenous group,
    but rather as a heterogeneous group with widely
    differing needs, interests and ambitions.
  • Young people have great, largely untapped
    peacebuilding resources. They should be regarded
    as active agents in their own lives and capable
    participants in their communities. Increasing
    their resilience and socio-political engagement
    should be the main foci of peacebuilding
    interventions for young people.

Young People activelyinvolved in Violent Conflict
  • Demography
  • They fight because there are too many of them
  • Coercion
  • They fight because they are forced to
  • Youth crisis
  • They fight because they are alienated and

Engaging Young people
  • Active agents during armed struggle
  • Primary producers of violence in the post-violent
    conflict period
  • Victims of post conflict violence
  • Crucial actors in grassroots community
    development and peacebuilding
  • Holders of the right to participation

Actors for Peace
  • Insider

Y o u n g P e o p l e
War Child contexts explored
  • Level of Violence /
  • Intensity

Context typology
WAR A DON DONthe war is over

  • During the festive community celebration, a
    person stood up from the crowd unexpectedly.
  • In front of a large public he felt urged to share
    how he had not been on speaking terms with his
    neighbor for many years.
  • The neighbor was among the crowd. The two then
    used the opportunity to settle their differences
    on the very spot.


War Child Sierra Leone vision
  • Young people growing up in a healthy, stable and
    cohesive environment, supported by protective
    factors that help them grow into 'peace minded'
    adult community members.

War Child Sierra Leone mission
  • In the communities where WCH-SL works, adult,
    youth and child community members will either be
    actively participating in or attending activities
    organized and implemented by the community
    structures set up for that purpose.
  • Children and youth will participate in creative
    and life skills workshops, fun days, recreational
    (sports and games) and cultural events, community
    meetings, and participatory assessments and
  • Adults will participate in parent support groups,
    recreational and cultural events, community
    meetings, participatory assessments and
  • All community members will be encouraged to
    attend awareness-raising activities and events,
    such as drama performances, panel discussions,
    rallies etc.

War Child Sierra Leone programme approach
  • Contribute to the psychosocial recovery of
    communities and foster community cohesion through
    the development of individual life skills and the
    facilitation of social infrastructures

Current situation in Sierra Leone (2007 PNA
  • Inadequate adult support for children
  • Lack of community cohesion / negative
    interactions between community members
  • Negative peer interactions influence
  • Lack of future prospects/livelihood prospects
  • Migration from community to town or mines

Community cohesion interaction (1/2)
  • There is a lack of harmony and positive dynamics
    amongst community members.
  • This is to a large extent due to the
    disintegration of society and community during
    the war. The chaos, anarchy and violence of the
    war have led to the collapse of many communities
    and the breakdown of the social fabric that
    traditionally holds a community together.
  • Ten years of conflict have splintered homes and
    communities, destroyed social structures,
    cultural norms and values, and protective
    mechanisms that used to keep people together and
    brought about unity in a community. This has an
    immense impact on the wellbeing and the
    development of children and youth. They are
    exposed to this lack of unity and negative
    interactions between adult community members who
    are supposed to be their role models.

Community cohesion interaction (2/2)
  • 2. Relations between adult community members are
    in many cases not considered to be positive and
  • Conflicts between community members are frequent,
    leading to aggressive and violent attitudes
    towards each other. There appears to be a lack
    of support for one another and insufficient
    collaboration in working towards the development
    of the community. People do not work anymore as
    one community towards a common goal.
  • Cultural activities, which used to play an
    important role in bringing the community members
    together and in expressing a sense of community
    identity, have largely disappeared as a result of
    the war.

In todays world, we ought to ask children and
young people for their opinions. By involving the
children, we prepare them for the world of
tomorrow. By involving children in activities,
they learn skills such as how to speak before a
group and express their opinion, and how to solve
problems by discussing them.
Impact on children of Civil War in Sierra Leone
  • Children were at the core of the brutal civil war
    that ravaged Sierra Leone between 1991 and 2002.
  • Many children witnessed horrible violence, were
    subjected to systematic abuse, lost family
    members, saw their homes go up in flames and had
    to flee to find refuge in camps or with relatives
    in safer places.
  • Thousands of children, boys as well as girls,
    were forced to become combatants themselves.
    Senseless killings, mutilations, rape and other
    inhuman treatment were part of these childrens
    daily experiences.

War Child Sierra Leone programme results
  • Sustainable community structures that involve and
    support children and youth are created and
  • Awareness of and support for child rights and
    psychosocial development of children and youth at
    the community, district and national levels has
  • Positive dynamics/cohesion within the community
    have increased
  • Children and youth have gained life skills
  • Educational opportunities for youth are enlarged

War Child Sierra Leone programming process
  • Assessment
  • General Needs Assessment to select communities
  • Year 1
  • Participatory Needs Assessment in selected
  • Set up Children and Youth Support Structure
  • Form Community Action Groups
  • Action Sustainability planning for 1st year
  • Implementation of 1st year Action and
    Sustainability Plan
  • Participatory Community Evaluation AND Action
    Sustainability planning for 2nd year
  • Year 2
  • Implementation of 2nd year Action and
    Sustainability Plan
  • Participatory Community Evaluation AND Action
    Sustainability planning for 3rd year
  • Exit
  • Year 3
  • Monitoring and follow up

Community structure
In times gone by, our parents did not protect us.
If adults saw children going to dangerous places,
like into the jungle, they would only laugh.
Their attitude was one of I dont care. Parents
did not look out for their children, and
certainly not for children who where not their
biological children. Things are different now,
because parents are showing that they care about
Adults now pass on their knowledge to us. They
not only teach us how to play the Boo-Boo flute
and how to drum, but also how to get a group
together and then lead it. Children and young
people are now very much involved in planning and
carrying out community activities
The war has made our people violent. Children
and young people stopped going to school and
started playing in the jungle instead, fighting
each other with sticks and bottles. No-one had
any control over them. Adults were not aware of
the negative effects of the situation. Parents
also set a bad example by fighting each other on
almost a daily basis while their children were
If we act respectfully, the people in our
community know that we are being properly brought
up. Our parents can then be proud of us, and we
are asked to take part in community activities.
This generates peace and unity, not only in the
family, but in the community as well. We have a
saying If children wash their hands, they can
eat at the village chiefs table.
Now that there is more peace in the communities
and adults are no longer each others enemies,
they are able to pay more attention to children,
whether these are their own biological children
or not. Neighbors help children when they are ill
by taking them to the hospital, even if the
parents are not around. And our parents no longer
hit us now that the message has been spread about
maltreating children and childrens rights.
There is now more cohesion in our community
because we have come together and have started
organizing cultural festivals. Nowadays,
residents of nearby villages are friendly towards
us. In contrast to how things used to be, when
such cultural dance activities were characterized
by violence, they now end peacefully.
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