A19. Reintegration of former child soldiers in Liberia

Background

Since Liberia experienced the 15 years prolongs civil unrest, the chances of chaos, crimes, violence and addictiveness to elicit substance remain a huge challenge for former child soldiers (FCS), women associated with fighting forces (WAFF) and other war affected youths (WAY). Today, vast number of these young men and women are caught up with the use of illicit substance, violence and crime for living.

Liberia’s two-parts, 16 years civil conflict are a story of much tragedy and disaster. More than three hundred thousand lives were lost, and a million people were made displaced into refugee camps in neighbouring countries. Yet the greater marker of the war’s damaging effect is the immense population of 60,000 children that were either abducted and recruited or were forced to become child soldiers due to some unforeseen circumstances. These Child soldiers committed wide spread atrocities; raping and murdering people of all ages as they were instructed by their commanders, while under the influence of dangerous drugs administered to them. Because they were easily influence, and just as easily dispose of by these adults that had recruited them, these child soldiers became the hottest commodity in West Africa’s wars and due to their huge volubility politician and warlord are re-recruitment them for new conflict in others West African countries.

The Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) programme in Liberia began in 2003, and followed the end of the civil war. The programme followed from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that was brokered by international and regional actors in 2003. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement included a provision requesting that the UN send troops to support the transitional government. This included a mandate to aid in the reconstruction of the country, including the reintegration of former combatants. To this end, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was established in 2003 under UN Security re-commencement of on15 April 2004, UNICEF is mobilizing resources Council resolution 1509 (UNDDR 2011). UNMIL’s mandate was to demobilize, disarm and provide training and reintegration support to former soldiers for the two main factions, the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), as well as the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). This included women and children.

The challenges in Liberia were almost more then what IDEFOCS had experienced in Ghana, because most of the warlords who were perpetrators of the act of recruiting children into soldiers now found themselves in top government positions. And with the closure of the UN/Government of Liberia ‘s Disarmament Demobilization Rehabilitation Reintegration (DDRR) programme for ex-combatants, it seemed odd that a grass root group like IDEFOCS would raise the issue of former child soldiers. But the stunning fact was hard to resist: thousands of FCS was engaged into violent crime like armed robbery, rape and drug abuse all over the country. When IDEFOCS arrived in Monrovia, the urge to work in Liberia was irresistible, as communities became threaten from violent acts perpetrated by these abandoned ex-child combatants. There was so much to be done in Liberia with FCS and WAFF rehabilitation and reintegration. But the problem with Liberia was that the Joint Implementation Unit (JIU) that had run the DDRR programme had incidentally designed a short term programme to deal with ex-combatants. FCS had joined the war at different stages of their life and had gotten engage at different levels, fought at different length of time and needed specific programmes to address their respective situations. One of the main concerns at the forum in the refugee camp had been the lack of survey to identify potential FCS and designed the relevant programme to facilitate the process of their rehabilitation and reintegration. The 21st Century Child Soldier Survey had been designed for just the purpose.

However, the DDRR, instate of addressing the impediment, created a situation wherein hundreds of FCS were left out of the process due to the lack of survey to identify their specific needs and designed the relevant programmes and time frame to get the programme to work.
 

The UN Security Council resolution 1509(c) (2003) had mandated UNMIL to: “develop an action plan for the overall implementation of a disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and repatriation (DDRR) programme for all armed parties, with particular attention to the special needs of child combatants …in the DDRR process”. Many human right activists had observed that despite the logistical challenges of disarmament and demobilization, reintegration—the acquisition of civilian status and sustainable employment and income—is considered the most difficult phase of any DDR process. An Institute for Security Studies (ISS) paper calls it “the Achilles heel of DDR.” Reintegrating into Civil Society is so difficult that it requires longer term programmes while different criteria should be applied to special groups so that resources can be allocated to those who really need them.  The DDRR programme failed to rehabilitate and reintegrate thousands of FCS with more than 80 million US dollars spend during the entire process. There yet remains a more serious impediment as several FCS are unaccounted for and even those who the programme attempted to have trained technically /vocationally are faced with the battle of social reintegration, and lack of job opportunities.

Considering these challenges, IDEFOCS decided to implement the SDRR programme designed in Ghana to help transform the lives of former child soldiers in Liberia. The SDRR was designed to buttress the UN/government DDRR programme. Subsequently, the Metric was designed to be more economical, and to have full impact through long term programme that would address the specific needs of FCS as stipulated within the UN Resolution 1509©.

The rapid development of Liberia may continue to remain elusive if we persist to ignore the importance of promoting social change and relieving our young men and women from illicit substances and other immoral practices.

Ghetto Outreach Forums

The Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS) conducted three Ghetto Outreach Forums, in July and November 2013 and in January 2014, with support from Action10 – HR&S. The events took place in Turtle Ghetto, Du Pont Road Ghetto, and Kink Grey Ghetto, all in Monrovia, and brought together stakeholders and individuals from diverse backgrounds with complex situations, through interactive sessions. The sessions aimed at informing about the danger of illicit substances, violence, and crime.

After these interactive forums, the first 21 century FCS and WAFF surveys were conducted. These sessions  included surveys where ghetto boys and girls could explain in which way they would like support with facilitating a process where they regain their lives. Eight volunteers of IDEFOCS were placed to survey 20 FCS, WAFF and other war-affected youths per forum. During the survey the volunteers addressed 7 pages with 42 questions concerning the personal background, recruitment by fighting forces, an assessment on how the Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) programme in Liberia which began in 2003 after the end of the civil war affected the person, current circumstances and current health status.

The surveys were able to ascertain the driving force that will lead the boys and girls in the ghetto to a new life. The survey thus captured their dreams.

It also captured the challenges that the ghetto dwellers faced and which made it impossible for them to change their livestyles without support from outside the ghetto. Addressing all these challenges now constitute the strategy map for the IDEFOCS- HR&S-Action10 collaboration programme.

The Ghetto dwellers also shared that such support programme has to be offered outside the ghetto. As long as they live inside the ghetto, any sustainable changes of lifestyles are impossible.

The dreams were expressed as: 

  • Everyone in Liberia lives in an environment that enables them to have high quality life.
  • Drugs, violence and crime are not part of their lives.
  • All Liberians lives in a home with their families.
  • They have the training of profession they wish, and they can all read and write.
  • They have employment or run their own business and earn enough to sustain their families.
  • With the funds they earn they can have quality health care and university education if they wish.
  • They are safe in terms of social and physical security. They are all part of the society as equal Liberians.

Ghetto Outreach Report – 2103

By Brocks Pokai. IDEFOCS. Ghetto Outreach Forum Awareness. LIBERIA MONROVIA. 2013.

Activity

The Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS) conducted three Ghetto Outreach Forums, in July and November 2013 and in January 2014. The events took place in Turtle Ghetto, Du Pont Road Ghetto and Kink Grey Ghetto, all in Monrovia, and brought together stake holders and individuals from diverse backgrounds with complex situations, through interactive sessions. The sessions aimed at informing as well as collecting information about the danger of illicit substances, violence and crime. The sessions also included surveys where ghetto boys and girls could explain in which way they would like IDEFOCS and Action10 to facilitating a process where they regain their lives. Eight volunteers of IDEFOCS were placed to survey 20 FCS, WAFF and other war affected youths per forum. During the survey the volunteers addressed 7 pages with 42 questions concerning personal background, recruitment by fighting forces, an assessment on how the Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) programme in Liberia which began in 2003 after the end of the civil war affected the person, current circumstances and current health status.

Foreword

Whenever a country experienced prolongs civil unrest, the chances of chaos, crimes, and addictiveness to substance abuse and under development remain a huge challenge for post war Liberia. Today, vast number of young men and women are caught up with the addictiveness of psychoactive substance and the need to unleash them from immense addictiveness is imperative for the growth of post war Liberia. Young men and women who find themselves in situation like these are willing to allow the end justifying the means in order to satisfy their urge for cocaine, weed, and tar and so on. The rapid development of Liberia will continue to remain elusive if we persist to ignore the importance of promoting social chance and delivering our young men and women from the spell of illicit substance and other immoral practices. At this junction the Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS) sees this as an imperative tool to engage in a thoughtful Ghetto Forum activity that would ascertain resourceful information from young men and women who are addictive to drugs abuse as to what possible solution is needed to get them out of this addictive illness. The Forum will address the following topics:

  1. Why psychoactive substance is prevalence among the youth?
  2. Substance abuse ( The harm it causes)
  3. What is needed to be done
  4. PTSD counseling
  5. Peace education
  6. Recommendations

The above topic will guide us in a successful forum in order to come up with helpful solution in delivering our peaceful democracy, young men and women from the harm of psychoactive substance.

Forum Goal

The overall purpose of this forum is to collect resourceful information on what is needed to help deliver young boys and girls from the rampant substance abuse involvement. The ghetto outreach will be done in two phases.

  • Phase one will ascertain resourceful information and recommendations for support.
  • Phase two will articulate into sustainable development programme for youth under the influence of substance abuse.

Objectives

  • To gather information on what is needed to help reduce the vast involvement of young women and men from illicit substance.
  • To share recommendations with relevant partners who are responsible for the wellbeing of people under the influence of psychoactive substance.
  • To provide trauma counseling for boys and girls who are addictive to illicit substance.
  • The collection of data on former child soldiers and women associated with fighting forces involvement through a Survey.
  • To encourage our targeted beneficiaries participate into community development programme.

Target

The primary beneficiaries of this forum will be youth associated with violence and crime, women associated with prostitution practices and other war affected individuals. The Forum will focus on five major topics and one Survey activity in our targeted ghettos in Paynesville, Monrovia. The total participants expected are ten males and ten females’ per ghetto.

Rationale

The growths of our beloved country Liberia rely solely on every patriotic citizen. The development of Liberia is in the future leaders’ hands. We believe the best way to achieve development is to invest in the youths of Liberia. Young people who are chronically involved with the use of illicit substance are no exception to the mainstream development of Liberia. They are our development partners and the need to gather useful information on the way forward to promote sustainable development is highly vital.

Implementation Strategy

The Ghetto Outreach Forum will last for five days.  In the first day of the outreach Forum, a workshop will be conducted to train 8 volunteers on how to administer the former child soldiers (FCS) 21st century survey and the forum implementation. On the second day, the implementation team will organize the first forum in the King gray Ghetto to ascertain resourceful information and recommendations from former child soldiers, war affected youths and women associated with immoral practice. On the same the IDEFOCS 21st Century former child soldiers Survey will be conducted; on the third day, our implementation team will conduct the same activities in the Tortor Ghetto at the Red Light market. On the fourth day, our implementation team will conduct the same activities in the 72nd Barrack Ghetto. A soccer match will be organized best out of three, between the three Ghettos on the fifth day at the 72nd foot ball field. At the end, each ghetto will be rewarded a certificate of participation. The certificate will always serve as a reminder on what they learned from the Ghetto outreach forum, and encourage them to always be a part change and development in the reconstruction of post war Liberia.

Risk

Addressing the success of the Ghetto Outreach forum is something very peculiar in the enhancement towards Liberia reconstruction process. The lack of the research implementation is a great challenge towards the growth of Democracy in post war Liberia. If the Ghetto Outreach Forum is not achieved, the possibility of young people involvement with violence and crime will be wild spread in the Monrovia city and across the country.

First phase of the project Implementation Plan

Date

Day

Location

Activities

Time

22-07-2013

Monday

IDEFOCS office

Work shop

10:00am-12:00pm

23-07-2013

Tuesday

King Gray Ghetto

Forum & Survey

10:00am-1:00pm

24-07-2013

Wednesday

Tortor Ghetto

Forum & Survey

10:00am-1:00pm

25-07-2013

Thursday

72nd Ghetto

Forum & Survey

10:00am-1:00pm

26-07-2013

Friday

72nd Field

Soccer Match

10:00am-5:00pm

02-08-2013

Friday

Sponsor offices

General report of project implementation

10:00am-12:00pm

IMG_4560

Logistics of meetings with the Target partners

The logistics of the meetings with the Target partners and how the surveys were conceptualised to capture their dreams and outcome challenges. 

  1. Visits to three ghetto in Monrovia  Duration: Continuous      IDEFOCS staff   General discussions and information sharing                         
  2. Outreach 1  July 2013  IDEFOCS staff      Trauma counselling, social events and interviews   Compilation of Dreams of 20 TPs
  3. Outreach 2  November 2013    IDEFOCS staff    Trauma counselling, social events and interviews  Compilation of Dreams of 20 TPs
  4. Outreach 3   Early 2014  DEFOCS staff and Cecilia   Trauma counselling, social events and interviews    Compilation of Dreams of 20 TPs

Operation

 Two volunteers will be taken from each ghetto to be trained in a one day workshop for the project implementation. Volunteer will be motivated to encourage their participation and efficiency; Our team suggests food be cooked each day at each ghetto during the forum, since we want to encourage the role of female associated with psychoactive substance. Food will be needed to energize participants to fully capture the basis concept of the forum. Stationary will supply workshop materials and forum activities. Transportation will be used to take participants from various ghetto locations to the 77 2nd Soccer pitch to attend the programme. The media will widely spread the message across Liberia on substance abuse and what can be done about it. The sport even will bring substance users from different background and community ghettos for fellowshipping and entertainment.

 

Ghetto outreach follow-up

After these interactive forums, the first 21 century FCS and WAFF surveys were conducted. The surveys were able to ascertain the driving force that will lead the boys and girls in the ghetto to a new life. The survey thus captured their dreams. It also captured the challenges that the ghetto dwellers face and which makes it impossible for them to change their lives without support from outside the ghetto. Addressing all these challenges now constitute the strategy map for the IDEFOCS-Action10 collaboration programme. The dreams were expressed as:  Everyone in Liberia lives in an environment that enables them to have high quality life. Drugs, violence and crime are not part of their lives. All Liberians lives in a home with their families. They have the training of profession they wish, and they can all read and write. They have employment or run their own business and earn enough to sustain their families. With the funds they earn they can have quality health care and university education if they wish. They are safe in terms of social and physical security. They are all part of the society as equal Liberians.

The mission of this programme has thus become to provide trauma counselling, medical treatment, homes, training and employment opportunity for former child soldiers, women associated with fighting and other war affected youth living in the ghetto. The Ghetto dwellers also shared that such support programme has to be offered outside the ghetto. As long as they live inside the ghetto, any sustainable changes of lifestyles are impossible.

During September, IDEFOCS has visited the ghettos outside of Monrovia to capture the interest of former child soldiers in the program, assess the situation in the ghettos and inform about the next steps. Several former child soldiers have lined-up to be part of the program and to be interviewed by IDEFOCS as well as proposed to start activities like soccer in the ghettos themselves to strengthen a feeling of community and create trauma-counseling through team sport activities. The support for our reintegration program and the interest by former child soldiers is huge – the impact will be great.

Campaign against substance abuse

A Campaign fighting against Substance Abuse across Post War Liberia: IDEFOCS is currently working in three Ghettos, King Gray, Tortor and 72nd Ghettos.

 “Be cautious of Substance Abuse, It makes you a failure.”

No matter, you have tried hard to recover from that unpleasant feeling of drugs dependency syndrome which compels you not to stop using drug, or even you have tried millions of times but fail; the only hope is to recognize your goal and role in society, keep focus, but always remember that your greatest challenge to achieve your goal and play your role will be substance abuse. Therefore, to smoothly accomplish your goal and be part of development in your local communities, I urge you to resist substance use, let go that feeling, free yourself, your mind and be a part of community development.”

Botanical reintegration village (BRV)

The programme is constructing a vocational and technical institution called the Botanical Reintegration Village (BRV),  where the Target partners can find a safe environment, support and work.  Through this activity the programme can make a larger impact which benefits both the target partners and the whole society. The BRV shall be able to host target partners for six months and give them all the necessary skills and support that they need.

IDEFOCS and Action10 have procured a piece of land in a peaceful village by the sea, the Little Bassa, one-hour drive from Monrovia. IDEFOCS has cleared the land from trees, dug a water well, planted cassava and constructed a home where ghetto dwellers can stay and benefit from a rehabilitation programme. IDEFOCS has also involved the community, to ensure a loving and caring environment. The home shall eventually have twenty rooms, and those coming out from the programme shall find employment and a home of their own.

The BRV will give IDEFOCS the opportunity to monitor the Target Partners. The BRV will provide the opportunity for IDEFOCS to reduce violence in our Communities; stop the re-recruitment of FCS; help to work towards the goal to stop the migration of war in West Africa; and it will promote peace and security.

The BRV will give trauma counselling & appoint counsellors; PTSD Counselling, One on one Counselling, Group Counselling, as well as medical treatment,drug abuse treatment, Goal & Career Counseling and Behaviour change counselling. The counseling and treatment programme is designed to guide our Target partners while building their individual goal and career. The project will also help them fight stigmatization, discrimination and drug dependence syndrome amongst other traumatic memory. The counseling will be conducted once in every month, it can be one to one counseling exercise, groups counseling and practical demonstration. In relation to the counselling programme will we offer a variety of related workshops: Behaviour Change workshops, Non-violence workshops, and Relationship workshops.

The BRV will give Vocational and Technical training: The BRV will give IDEFOCS the opportunity to create a good training and learning environment for former child soldiers, and provide training. Vocational and Technical Educations: Agriculture, Sanitation, Peace building. The BRV will give IDEFOCS the opportunity to create a good training and learning environment also for national and international trainers (quantify). The BRV is going to collaborate with Government, NGOs and other institutions to provide trainers for the BRV institution.

The BRV will give Employment: Provide employment in own companies: The BRV will provide the opportunity for IDEFOCS to place those FCS in to the Post Reintegration Investment (PRI) according to their skills they had learned. This will grow our impact with income revenue for sustainability. As well as, provide employment in other companies and organizations.

Connect with childhood families: Connect with their childhood families and communities.

Access to own homes: Enable a safe and harmonic home.

BRV report 2014
Procurement of land

By Brocks Pokai. Approved: Morris Matadi
Date: 06-05-2014

Final Land cost discussion    

Report Introduction: IDEFOCS/ACTION10 made the second visit to Little Bassa to finalize the purchasing of two acres of farm land and one acre of beach land with the property owners. The meeting was well attended with every family member associated with the property including, head of elders, pastors, town chief, youth representative, speaker and secretary of the elders, and other relatives were presence. However, the price of the land was not finalized. The meeting started 5:30PM and ended 8:00pm in the mother village of Little Bassa.

Details: IDEFOCS/ACTION10 represented by Morris Matadi and Brocks Pokai made the second trip to district 1, Little Bassa Grand Bassa County on May 4, 2014 to finalize the price of the three acres of land. We arrived on the 4th at 2:00pm, unfortunately, the town chief at the time had travel to another village, therefore had to wait until evening. Upon the town chief arrival in the evening, he told us to wait the next day, because not everyone was aware therefore have to spread the message to the rest of the family members that we have come to finalize the cost of the land”. The next day on the 5th, the town chief sent message to the rest of the villages were other family members live, he also sent message in  the  Monrovia City to one of the brothers working finance Ministry. On the 6 of May, the rest of the family arrange on phone that we all meet to the mother village of Little Bassa, the home of those that establish Little Bassa. The meeting began 5:30pm and ended 8:00pm, we started with a word of prayer done by the head pastor of the village, next was IDEFOCS/ACTION purpose for visiting the family, Morris elaborated, “We want to buy two acres of farm land and one acre of beach land  from you to run our programme as we  previously discussed” he said. In response, the speaker introduced the entire family leadership and other relatives associated with the property and welcomed us. He said “the family has decided to lease the land to you for as long you intend to do business in the region” he said, “but the land is not for sale, said the speaker. In our response, Morris stood to give details information and the important for the family to sell this land to IDEFOCS/ACTION10 because it is the only way we can continue our programme. Later the family had to gather 4 minutes family meeting and got back to the original gathering to us later.  The speaker said “we have come back as family and see it necessary to sell the land to you” We have decided to sell one acre for 2500.00 USD” In this section of the meeting, Brocks, responded and said “to be realistic, the organization can’t afford to buy the land with such cost, it is too expensive” said Brocks, in addition Morris appeal to the family to please reduce the price. In response, the speaker said” We need to rearrange the final meeting on May 11, this coming Sunday, we seconded the view that the meeting be adjoined Sunday because we also wanted to discuss as IDEFOCS/ACTION, as to how much can we afford to pay for the land.  This is how the meeting came to an end. At the end of the meeting a closing prayer was done with a group photo taken.

(The acre is a unit of area used in the imperial and U.S. customary systems. It is equivalent to 43,560 square feet, which is approximately 4,047 m2.)

Payment of a Land sold to IDEFOCS/ACTION10

IDEFOCS/ACTION10 made a trip to little Bassa on May 16 – 20 represented by Morris Matadi and Brocks Pokai. At this time of the season; the rain is falling, with a very bad condition. We spent 4 days because we were not able to meet the elders on time, at the time; they have gone for a board meeting for two days into another county.   Upon their returned, the meeting was called and issues were finalized, part payment was made with traditional ceremony demonstrated.

Details: The meeting was called on the 19 of made, at 5:30 PM, well attended with all family and relatives members present, including the elder of elders, Town chief, speaker of the elders, secretary, head and assisting pastors, youth, women and children were all present. The meeting started 5:30PM and ended 9:30PM held in the Kpain’s Town, the mother village of Little Bassa.

Opening prayer was the first on the Agenda, Morris and Brocks presented a cartoon of hard gin, 2 cartoons of Royal juice, 2 packs of candy, 2 cartoon of soft drink (VIMTO) and 5 heads of tobacco leaf for the traditional ceremony. Morris introduced IDEFOCS/ACTION10’s consur. He continues “We should have come to finalize our previous discussion, but due to the death of my aunty who I considered my mother, we couldn’t, however, we have come to finalize the cost of the land and to make a part payment of $1700.00 USD  against the full cost of the three (3acres) of land sold to us. Morris continues, we can’t afford to pay 2500 per, acre, but we appeal to pay 1300 per acre”. He continued, “The programme is to bring development to your village and peace across Liberia”. We will want you to please see reason to accept the price we can afford.

The speaker stood to respond, “we have finally decided to sell the land 2000.00 per acre, the reason is that the land is a family heritage, we could reduce the cost a little if you intend to purchase more” he said. The elders asked us to excuse the general meeting for a short family meeting. When they return from the 5 min family meeting, the speaker continue, “we don’t think is a good idea to receive this money little by little, otherwise it will be difficult to accomplish what we intend to do with the money as family” he continues, “we will accept this part payment for now”, he emphasized, that the family will not accept the balance $4,300.00USD in part payment but full payment” he continues, and will not want the balance payment to a take long time to be paid.

 “How soon with the balance of the money be paid”? The secretary asked. Brocks Pokai responded, “We will respond to your question in a week time please.

The elder of elders stood to express his appreciation for the task under taken by IDEFOCS/ACTION10, “after you have finally paid for the balance payment, we are going to take you to the district superintendent to obtain your land certificate” The elder of elders noted that the cost of the certificate will be undertaken by the elders, not IDEFOCS/ACTION10. But IDEFOCS/ACTION10 is responsible to pay for the cost of the land survey, which we accept.

As the meeting went to an end, the women and youth representative stood and appreciate IDEFOCS/ACTION10 work and promised to cooperate with our project in the district. Finally, the traditional ceremony was the last on the agenda; drinks and candy were distributed to elders, women, youth and children of Kpain’s Town which finally brought the meeting to an end.

BRV report 2014-16
preparing the farm-land

Farm Brushing   Hired manpower from little Bassa provide the brushing and trees felling services.  The land was brushed and ready for burning and clearing. 10 men from Little Bassa community,  15th  – 23rd Dec.2014

Burning and Clearing   Hired manpower from little Bassa provided the burning and clearing services of the farmland. The land was burned and cleared and made ready for planting. 10 men from Little Bassa community, 7th -21st Feb. 2015

Planting   Hired manpower from little Bassa carried out the planting exercise. Cassava and Plantain were planted on the land prepared. 10 men from little Bbassa community, 3rd – 24th March 2015.

Monitoring Progress  IDEFOCS Farm Supervisor will provide oversight on what was needed to be done on the farmland after every three weeks within the start month of planting. Farmland will be weeded constantly, crop growth observation and pesticide. IDEFOCS TEAM  and 5 hired men,  7th  April – July  2015.

Second weeding The second weeding of the farm was done in the early part of November to give the cassava good growth and better roots.  November 2015.

Harvesting  Harvested plantains IDEFOCS TEAM and  Farm Supervisor, November 2015.
Dugout tubers from the cassava plant and the heads of plantains. IDEFOCS TEAM and  Farm Supervisor, January to May 2016. A large amount of Cassava. From harvesting only a very small areal of the farm, as a pilot project,  and got six bags of Fufu and will be market at the rate of 800.00 LD in USD 9.00.

Value-addition Cassava tuber and plantains heads were made ready for processing into different basic local food products such as farina, fufu, dipper, and flours forms for marketing. IDEFOCS TEAM and Farm Supervisor, 2016.
The second weeding of grass from the cassava farm started in November and the harvesting of the cassava has been postponed from January to May, due to the

Marketing products  IDEFOCS MANAGEMENT TEAM gathered all products from the farm and identified potential buyers. Products from the farmland were sold and income generated. Profits from the products are reinvested in the farmland and other relevant activities. IDEFOCS MANAGEMENT TEAM, 2016.

Storage We need a proper storage place and f tools to preserve the cassava. Therefore IDEFOCS and Action10 have decided to build a storage room as well as a production center. The center will also serve as accommodation for a few former child soldiers, who are working on the farm.  Action10 transferred a 2,000 $ donation to IDEFOCS in October 2015, to address the initial cost with the construction of the storage room and the production center.

Cassava Mill In a second step, a canopy will be constructed where the cassava mill will be installed. This will constitute a mini cassava factory to support the preservation of the cassava into other local food such as farina, fufu, acherkeh etc for public consumption. Growing cassava is one of the major sources of income for rural farmers in the Little Bassa community. They depend on this income to support their children to go to schools, to buy food, and to build shelters for the family. There is a constraint in today’s production because the farmers lack tools to preserve the cassava tubers. At the same time, we see an opportunity to increase the income by producing other local food from the cassava tubers. Then the size of the farm could also be increased and the value-added food could be sold on the market. Action10 support by providing the necessary start-up funds that will lead to an increased income for the group and the village.

Transportation In the implementation of the farm, our major challenge is transportation; we are spending more money on transportation then expected. A motorbike and/or a car is a good investment for the transportation of people,  construction materials, and products from the farm.  

Quality of soil Our land in the Botanical Reintegration Village (BRV) is very fertile and the cassava grows well. 

Monitoring It is continuously being checked on its quality and growing progress by Brocks POKAI and Morris MATADI from IDEFOCS and Richard DARWO – a former child soldier from the ghettos outside of Monrovia who takes care of the farmland during 2016.                      

BRV report 2015-16
Constructing the a five beedroom house

Report compiled and arranged by: McYonordee Page, Head of Programme/IDEFOCS

Introduction  The purpose of the house is to serve as a rehabilitation and reintegration center for young people associated with violence, drugs and crime. The building will be the first rehabilitation center to host traumatized youth for a six months period after the poor implementation of the Liberia government/UN back Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) program. According to Amnesty International report on the DDRR about 84 million was spent to implement the program, but there is no government own rehabilitation center to this day to address the challenges faced by young people associated with violence, drugs and crime.   The building will served as home, store and training center. The project intends to build five of this building at the DRV and the capacity of these categories of youth by supporting them with drugs rehabilitation program, PTSD and Career counseling, agriculture, and other skills values, including employment opportunity, so that they can be capable to shift their own destiny.The house is a crucial for the scaling of the programme to reintegrate former child soldiers.

With the reintegration home and training center, we have the possibility to provide a home to more former child soldiers as well as storage room for tools needed on the farm. Once the house is established, we are able to increase the production on the farm with the cassava mil and let the entire community of Little Bassa benefit from it.

The project is sponsored by HR&S/Action10 and implemented by IDEFOCS. The site is located in Little Bassa, Grand Bassa County, Liberia.

Bricks
Moses MASSAQUOI and Mathew NANAGBAH are former child soldiers previously living in the ghettos in Monrovia. These are the ghettos that have been adopted by IDEFOCS and Action10. Moses MASSAQUOI, Joe Y. MATADI  and Mathew NANGBAH have moved out to the Botanical Reintegration Village (BRV) and are, together with Richard DARWO,  producing bricks for the house.
3400 bricks have been made during the year 2015, and with these the constructing the house can start.

First Five (5) bed room’s.
The project started in October 2015 and was completed by June, 2016.
The activities of the construction were: 

  • Coordinating with the Elders of Littel Bassa.
  • Purchasing of construction materials. 
  • Transportation of the materials from Monrovia to Little Bassa
  • Hauling  of sand from the beach to the construction site, 
  • Fetching water from the swamp to the project site, 
  • Digging of the foundation,  
  • Mixing of concrete,
  • Laying of earth bricks
  • Cooking and others activities.

The construction of the building was initiated on October 2015, with 3 staff of IDEFOCS purchasing building materials to be transported from Monrovia to Little Bassa about 55 Kilometer distance. The team arrived in Little Bassa on October 15, 2016, where a meeting was organized between elders of the town and the staff of IDEFOCS over the construction of the building. The outcome of the meeting officially gave IDEFOCS the traditional authority to start the construction of the building on IDEFOCS 2 acres property. The project initially targeted 4 bed rooms, but we were able to achieve the construction of five (5) bed rooms including a bath room. The building was constructed with 10 steel concrete pillows.  The two Masons constructing the building were transported from Monrovia to the farm and helped by our targeted FCS that lives at the BRV. IDEFOCS rented a two bed room house, where all its workers slept. These workers leave the Little Bassa village every morning to go to the farm to build. 

The implementation of the building project was done in four phases:

  • Phase 1 From October 2015 to February 2016 – the team molded 5000 Bricks to commence the project.
  • Phase 2 From March 2016 to April 2016 – digging of foundation and elevation of the structure got underway. While two village youth and two women of Little Bassa were loading sand from the beach to the farm land in wheelbarrow and buckets. In such time frame, workers were able to construct the foundation of the building from the depth of the trench to the floor level of the building.
  • Phase 3 From early May 2016 to late May 2016 the team was able to remold 1000 damaged bricks for the completion of the elevation.
  • Phase 4 From late May 2016 to June 1st 2016 – the team was able to complete the roofing. Eight bundles of Zinc was used for roofing.

The construction of the building was providing job opportunity for 3 targeted partners, 3 rural women, and 3 village youth from the Little Bassa community, 2 masons, and 2 helper boys with each group providing different roles and responsibilities to enhance the project success. Villagers passing through our farm (BRV) to other villagers are motivated over the remarkable effort undertaken.

After this phase of the construction was completed the workers returned to their families. And are awaiting us to return to work as soon next phase will start.

Challenges

  1. Transportation: The distance From Monrovia City (where the purchasing of the building materials was done) to Little Bassa Town, (our project site) in Little Bassa is a 55 Kilometer distance. It caused us so much expenses to get the building materials from the store to the project site
  2. Water The use of water is very important in construction. The lack of ground water on the farm made work more difficult for the workers. Workers have to leave the farm and walk a good distance down to the swamp, where the water level was so high to dig a mini well for the construction work to continue. Unfortunately, the well sunk in, and workers have to leave the farm to the village for water, about 15 minutes walk from the farm.
  3. Village Road to Farm The road from the Little Bassa Town to the BRV is a path road which doesn’t allow vehicles to ride on it, only by foot can we transport the sand from the beach to the farm. It cost us more fund to use manual labor for the transportation of the sand, planks, begs of cement and other materials from the beach to the farm.
  4. Workers Dwelling It was a challenge to find dwelling for all our workers, therefore we had to rent two bed rooms house for our workers to sleep comfortably.
  5. Heavy down pour of Rain Liberia has a very huge tropical rain forest, and the raining season in the rural arear commence two months ahead of the July to October season. Working under this strenuous condition we had to hurry to roof, if we had failed to roof the building before July, 2016, the rain might destroy the earth bricks and the wall of the building would have eventually fall.
  6. The sudden death of Moses Massaquo During this difficult period, we had to  help the family transport the body to town to be placed in the mortuary, and help in the funeral arrangement.

Next phase evaluation planning

  • A pickup for transportation.
  • A well to be dug on the farm.
  • Manually construct road from the Town to the farm, so that vehicles can ride on it.
  • Extend the payment of the building under rent for our workers and renovate it.
  • Plaster and lay the floor, insert doors, window bars ceiling and paint.

We will remember you Moses Massaqoui
and pay respect for the house you built.

The sadest happening was that Moses Massaqoui, one of our collaborating workers, died during the last phase of the job.
The team and arrived in Monrovia on the 2nd of June to attend the funeral.

May you rest in peace.
Amen.

Target Partners (TP)

TP1: Former Child Soldiers (FCS)

FCS are those young people who were under the age 18, got conscripted as fighter either by force, for revenge, pear pressure or any other unconventional means. They are usually uneducated, without skills, and unemployed. They are usually exposed to drugs, crime and violence for living. Many of them have not undergone a unique rehabilitation and reintegration activities since they escaped or were disarmed. They are usually found in large numbers in ghettos.

TP2: Women Associated with Fighting Forces (WAFF)

Girls and women who were used as sex slaves during the war. Some were used as cooks and wives for rebel fighters and their commanders. Many of them use the ghetto as their home. They were identified by survey through the IDEFOCS Ghetto Outreach Forum on July 31, 2013. Those women must accept to continue the rest of the phases of the programme.

TP3: Wars affected youths (WAY)

These are youth who find themselves in the ghetto because of the lack of parental care, pear pressure or extreme poverty.

TP4: Ghetto Children

Children whose parents are FCS, WAFF or WAY and who are born in the ghetto. These children are usually exposed to drugs, violence and crimes as well as immoral practices. Also children who, based on the poor relationship between themselves and their parents led the children to move into the ghetto.

TP5: Parents outside Ghetto

The parents are those who, based on the poor relationship between themselves and their children led the children to move into the ghetto and become involve with drugs, violence and crime for survival.

Target Partner Social entrepreneur (TPSE)

TPSE: Initiative for the Development of Former Child-Soldiers (IDEFOCS)

Established 2003 on the Buduburam’s refugee settlement in Ghana under the Refugee Welfare Council, and registered with the Liberian government on July 27.
Address: Paynesville City, Montserrado County, 1000-100 Liberia.  www.google.com/idefocs
CEO and co-founder Mr. Morris MATADI.

The Initiative for the Development of Former Child-Soldiers is a broad-based, democratic, pluralistic nongovernmental and non-faction youth organization established to advocate for and enhance the development of former Child Soldiers, women associated with fighting forces and war-affected youths (Zogos). IDEFOCS was established in Accra June 20, 2003 with the primary drive of providing rehabilitation, reintegration and employment services to these vulnerable groups. Following years of civil unrest in Liberia, the need to ensure policies and decisions that would engender the participation of vulnerable youths in national development plan is paramount to the work of IDEFOCS. IDEFOCS was established to serve as an institution to promote rehabilitation, reintegration and employment of former Child Soldiers, women associated with fighting, forces and other war-affected youths (Zogos). The vision is a Liberia of well-developed, integrated, and pro-active former child soldiers, women associated with fighting forces and war affected youth (Zogos) effecting positive change. IDEFOCS is charged with the responsibility of seeking the wellbeing of FCS, WAFF and WAY through its holistic development, empowerment and employment programmes. IDEFOCS’ goal is to provide strategic direction for FCS, WAFF and WAY into active youth service corps for the purpose of cooperating and working with relevant agencies, international partners and groups to promote the advancement of former Child Soldiers, women associated with fighting forces and war-affected youths (Zogos) in the country.

IDEFOCS’ passion is to promote its post-reintegration investment plan by empowering and employing FCS, WAFFS, and WAY in Liberia.  What sets IDEFOCS Apart is that we as former child soldiers designed our own rehabilitation and reintegration programmes (SDRR) with a sustainable Model (PRI).

Why are we doing this?

We are doing this because: i) We are victims of war and do not want other children to be mismanagement like how they did us in past, ii) To create a safe and an enabling environment for our future generation, iii) We want to be an example for former child soldiers to have the confidence to make a comeback in our society, and iv) We feel we are the right people to do this because we part of this community.

Objectives

  • To organize and coordinate the activities of former Child Soldiers and other vulnerable groups and promote reconciliation among the citizens of Liberia based on the need to cooperate for the common good;
  • To foster the development of FCS, WAFF, and WAY, primarily by instilling in them the virtues of dedication to positive change as a sense of social and moral responsibility to society;
  • To educate youth that is associated with violence on the danger of Atrocity.
  • To seek, defend and protect the rights of FCS, WAFF, and WAY particularly their rights to organize themselves and partake in decision making and policy implementation process on all issues affecting them;
  • To cooperate and work with other agencies and national youth groups, which are interested in the activities of IDEFOCS and with regional and international organizations that subscribe to similar objectives as those of IDEFOCS.

Core values

  • FCS, WAFF, and WAY participation in policy implementation
  • Active promotion of rights, inclusion, and respect for all
  • Commitment to information sharing, honesty, transparency, and accountability
  • Decentralization of activities

IDEFOCS management 2020

Manager: Morris MATADI
Deputy Manager: J. Forkay HORRIS
Accountant: Rubin GUNGAR
Communication Director: Tarr GARNETT

Road map 2020

By IDEFOCS, March 2020
The BRV rehabilitation programme implementation Road Map

PHASE ONE. Preparation of the BRV

  1. Renovation of the building at the BRV.
  2. Placement of beds in the five rooms.
  3. Sustainable Electricity (maybe SolarCity)
  4. Cooking utensils and materials to use at the camp.
  5. Water (groundwater preparation).
  6. Preparation of farmland and agriculture activities.

PHASE TWO. The arrival of the TP at the BRV

  • IDEFOCS will offer 20 youth from the Ghettos in Buchanan to come to the BRV in Little Bassa for 9 months and benefit from our rehabilitation and reintegration programme.
  • 1,5 months are set aside to provide medical care, PTSD counselling and other counselling. Thereafter our Target partners (TP) are expected to be prepared for the rest of the BRV programme.
    IDEFOCS will collaborate with the local health clinic in Little Bassa for the purpose of providing medical care. Possibly one nurse from the local health clinic will specifically be targeting the BRV. The medicine has to be provided for by the BRV.
    IDEFOCS will collaborate with local counselling institution for the counselling activities.
  • The BRV will provide two major vocational and technical courses, AGRICULTURE and GENERAL CONSTRUCTION.
    Our TPs, farm managers and agriculture trainer with invest 1 month to fence the farm and be introduce to Agriculture in parallel with the counselling programme
  • Our TPs and trainers will invest 0,5 months to build the Construction and Agriculture training venue.
  • IDEFOCS will invest five months in providing TPs with intensive Agriculture and general Construction skills in parallel with counselling.
    The agricultural training will target cultivation and harvesting cassava and the production of Garri.

PHASE THREE. The completion of the first set of TP rehabilitation.

  • IDEFOCS will invest 1 month to graduate the first 20 TP from the Botanical Reintegration Village (BRV).
    This will target a reintegration package and employment opportunities.

Strategy for change

Ambition

HR&S/A10

  • Social impact.
  • Sustainable economy.
  • Accountability.

IDEFOCS

  • IDEFOCS’ passion is to promote its post-reintegration investment plan by empowering and employing FCS, WAFFS and WAY in Liberia. What makes IDEFOCS unique is that the organisations as former child soldiers designed own rehabilitation and reintegration programmes (SDRR) with a sustainable Model (PRI).
  • Provide strategic direction for Former Child Soldiers (FCS), Women Associated with Fighting Forces (WAFF) and War-Affected Youths (WAY), also refered to as Zogos, in the country.
  • Cooperating and working with relevant agencies, international partners and groups to promote the advancement of FCS, WAFF and WAY in the country.

Outcome challenges

  1. Trauma.
  2. Stigma.
  3. Reading and writing.
  4. Accountability.
  5. Source of income – TP 1,2,3
    Employment or run their own business.
    Earn enough to sustain their families, with the funds they earn they can buy and do things they like, including quality health care and university education.
  6. Training in a profession – TP 1,2,3.
  7. Live in a home with their families – TP 1,2,3.
  8. Basic education and thereafter the education of their choice – TP4.
  9. A good relation with their families and live with their parents in a good home – TP4.
  10. Parents have a loving and caring relation with the TPs and they are are welcome in their homes.

Activities

  • Organize and coordinate the activities of the target partners.
  • Foster the development of FCS, WAFF and WAY, primarily by instilling in them the virtues of dedication to positive change as a sense of social and moral responsibility to society.
  • Educate youths that are associated with violence on the danger of Atrocity.
  • Survey: Identify former child soldiers FCS from communities’ ghetto and other desisted areas. After identifying them we take them to the Botanical Reintegration Village (BRV). The BRV is a training community for former child soldiers. Projects implemented under the Survey are Ghetto Forums, Ghetto Outreach, Trauma Counselling.
  • De-traumatization & Rehabilitation: Provide difference kind of trauma counselling for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), PTSD Counselling, One on one Counselling, Group Counselling, Career Counselling, Behaviour Change workshop, Vocational and Technical Educations: Agriculture, Sanitation, Peacebuilding, Non-violence workshops, Relationship workshops. Medical treatment. Drug abuse treatment.
  • Reintegration: Training & education. Provide jobs placement and social entrepreneurship (social reintegration): Provides employment into the Post Reintegration Investment designed by IDEFOCS. Provides Jobs opportunities for them to other companies and organizations.
  • Connect with their childhood families. Own homes for their own families. Promote reconciliation among the citizens of Liberia based on the need to cooperate for the common good.
  • To seek, defend and protect the rights of FCS, WAFF and WAY particularly their rights to organize themselves and take part in decision making and policy implementation process on all issues affecting them.
  • To cooperate and work with other agencies and national youth groups, which are interested in the activities of IDEFOCS and with regional and international organisations that subscribe to similar objectives as those of IDEFOCS.
  • Accountability management packages with local HR&S coaches and Auditor. Coaches addresses evaluation planning, survey management, accounting and branding & public relations.
  • Coordinate with strategic partners including the Swedish embassy in Monrovia.

Trauma counselling – HR&S

  • Identify local trainees.
  • Agree on the training programme.
  • Include cultural aspect of the training programme.
  • Do online training.
  • Follow-up on-site training.

Impact assessment – HR&S

  • Develop survey manual

Expected Output

  1. Ghetto outreach
    Achieved: Ghetto Outreach Forums, on-going since 2013.
  2. Ghetto survey
    Achieved: Ghetto survey, 2013 and 2014.
  3. Support programme  outside the ghetto
    Support programme has to be offered outside the ghetto. As long as they live inside the ghetto, any sustainable changes of lifestyles are impossible.
    Achieved:
    HR&S/A10 and IDEFOCS  have, in 2014, procured a piece of land in a peaceful village by the sea, the Little Bassa, one-hour drive from Monrovia. This site is since one of the the location for our “Re-integration of former child soldiers’ programme”.
    IDEFOCS has constructed a home where ghetto dwellers can stay and benefit from a rehabilitation programme. 
    IDEFOCS has also actively involved the community, to ensure a loving and caring environment.
    Expected:
    The home shall eventually have twenty rooms.
    Those coming out from the programme shall find employment and a home of their own.
  4. Training in a profession.
    Achieved: IDEFOCS has cleared the land from trees, dug a water well, planted cassava.
    Expected: Training in farming
  5. Source of income:  employment or own business.
  6. Treatment
    Trauma counselling. Medical treatment. Drug abuse treatment.
  7. Homes.
    Expected:
    The home shall eventually have twenty rooms.
    Those coming out from the programme shall find employment and a home of their own.
  8. Accountability.
    Achieved: HR&S/Action10 has provided coaching to IDEFOCS since the beginning of the programme, and has empowered the coaching with local representatives since 2020.
  9. National policies proposal
    Expected: Rehabilitation programmes for the prevention of recruiting children as child soldiers, the redrafting of FCS and the migration of war. 
  10. Literacy
    Children (TP4) are provided six months’ primary education (After School Programme). During classes they: eat one time a day, are provided with first aid medical assistance, are supplied with clotheschildren are provided six months’ primary education (After School Programme), are supplied with school book, pen, pencil, note book, sharpener, eraser, colour pencil.

Milestones 2020-21

BRV accomodation and support programme

  1. Move 20 Target partners to the BRV in Little Bassa, two times.
  2. Identify the exact reintegration programme for each of the TPs.
    Run the reintegration programme for the TPs in BRV.

BRV farm

  1. Involve TPs, train in farming
  2. Plant and harvest cassava.
  3. Set up a fence.
  4. Add value to the crop when appropriate.
  5. Sell the crop, , identify the size of the income.

Water business

  1. Involve TPs
  2. Run the water business.
  3. Identify the size of the income.

Trauma counselling

  1. Agree on the structure
  2. Give counselling

Survey

  1.  HR&S and Action10 has transferred 10,000,000 Liberia dollars since the beginning of the collaboration up till 2020, and all need to be accounted for.
  2. To survey who has bennefitted form the previous efforts and how they benefitted.  What is the ouput, outcome and the impact? What has been sustainable?

Expected Outcome

  1. Drugs, violence and crime are not part of their lives.
  2. All Liberians lives in a home with their families.
  3. They have the training of profession they wish for.
  4. They can all read and write.
  5. They have employment or run their own business.
  6. They earn enough to sustain their families.
  7. With the funds they earn can they have quality health care.
  8. With the funds they earn can they have university education, if they wish.

Progress markers

Drugs, violence, and crime are not part of the lives of TP1,2,3.                                                  

  1. Participate actively in Ghetto Outreach programmes                        
  2. Gives an interview during the Ghetto Outreach programme.       
  3. Participate actively in one workshop on human rights.     
  4. Encamp in an IDEFOCS home for certain stipulated period of time.  

TP are all in good health.                                                         

  1. Participate actively in three months basic trauma counselling.                        
  2. Participate actively in three months medical treatment.    
  3. Arrange with life-long access to medical care.

TP1,2,3 can all read and write.                                                                             

TP1,2,3 have the training in a profession they wish for.                                                                     

  1. Participate actively in a training in a profession.       

TP1,2,3 generate an income that sustains them and their families.

  1. Employed and/or run a business.     
  2. With the funds they earn can they have quality health care.
  3. With the funds they earn can they have university education, if they wish.
    1. Start higher education. 
    2. Manage the education and get the diploma.

TPs lives in a home with their families.                                                                     

  1.  Arranges to live in a home of their own of good standard.
  2. Live with their family in harmony.                 

TPs are all part of the society as equal Liberians

  1. Are safe in terms of social and physical security.
  2. FCS, WAFF and WAY participation in policy implementation.
  3.  Active promotion of rights, inclusion and respect for all. 
  4. Commitment to information sharing, honesty, transparency and accountability.
  5.                                                                  

TP4 Children have access to school.

Possible Impact

IDEFOCS aims to provide a safe and enabling environment for Former Child Soldiers (FCS). Former child soldiers to have the confidence to make a comeback into the Liberian society.  Children are not mismanaged during war times in Liberia. Future generations live in a safe and an enabling environment. The BRV will provide the opportunity for IDEFOCS to reduce violence in our Communities; stop the re-recruitment of FCS; help to work towards the goal to stop the migration of war in West Africa; and it will promote peace and security.

Expected Impact

The BRV will provide the opportunity for IDEFOCS to reduce violence in our Communities and stop the re-recruitment of FCS. The BRV will provide the opportunity for IDEFOCS to reduce violence in our Communities. The BRV will provide the opportunity for IDEFOCS to place those FCS in to the Post Reintegration Investment (PRI) according to their skills they had learned. This will grow our impact with income revenue for sustainability.

Ghetto Outreach Forums are continuously taking place in the Turtle Ghetto, Du Pont Road Ghetto and Kink Grey Ghetto, all in Monrovia. The forums bring the Ghetto stakeholders together in interactive sessions. The sessions aim at informing as well as collecting information about the danger of illicit substances, violence and crime. The sessions also included surveys where ghetto boys and girls explain in which way they would like to regain their lives.

The counseling program is designed to guide our Target partners while building their individual goal and career. The project will also help them fight stigmatization, discrimination and drug dependence syndrome amongst other traumatic memory. The counseling will be conducted once in every month, it can be one to one counseling exercise, groups counseling and practical demonstration. The counseling program will be in collaboration with the organisation Lutheran World Service.

In relation to the counselling programme will we offer a variety of related workshops: Behaviour Change workshops, Non-violence workshops, and Relationship workshops.

Our Target partners move to the BRV, where their dreams are fulfilled The BRV will be able to host 200 – 300 FCS for six months and give them all the necessary skills they need. The programme continues until everyone has moved out from the three ghettos and been reintegrated into the society through the IDEA10 programme.

Drugs, violence and crime are not part of their lives. All Liberians lives in a home with their families. They have the training of profession they wish, and they can all read and write. They have employment or run their own business and earn enough to sustain their families. With the funds they earn they can have quality health care and university education if they wish. They are safe in terms of social and physical security. They are all part of the society as equal Liberians.

The mission of the BRV is thus  programme has thus become to provide trauma counselling, medical treatment, homes, training and employment opportunity for former child soldiers, women associated with fighting and other war affected youth living in the ghetto.

Social business model

Expected costs USD 2013

Ghetto outreach survey in three ghettos in 2013:                                                    2,800
Programme partner and Strategic partner meeting in Liberia April 2014:  3,000
Procurement of two acres of farm-land:                                                                       4,000
Legal and logistic issues in relation to procurement of land:                              2,000
Ebola awareness and protection outreach in three ghettos:                              2,000
Ebola awareness and protection outreach in seven ghettos:                             3,000
Construct a simple shelter to initiate the re-integration programme:            8,000
Trauma counseling and medical care start up:                                                           5,000
Procure car for transporting between Monrovia and Little Bassa:                 4,000
Prepare the  land:                                                                                                                      5,000
Procure farming equipment:                                                                                               5,000
TOTAL                                                                                                                                            43,800

Expected costs USD 2014 – 2017

Construct a solid Re-integration Center with own labour:                                80,000
Three years of re-integration programme for 600 persons:                           90,000
Initiate farming:                                                                                                                       30,000
TOTAL                                                                                                                                          200,000

Expected income 2014 – 2017

Initiate and runs small scale social enterprises to generate a sustainable economy

Start-up capital 

  1. The Survey, De-traumatisation and Rehabilitation phase of the SDRR programme are dependent on external fundin for the start-up.
  2. The Reintegration phase of SDRR programme is based on social enterprising.The start up of the social enterprising is still dependent on external funding in terms of investment capital.

This dependency on external funding makes the programme vulnerable, but is expected to be an issue only in the beginning. As soon as an income can be generated through the social enterprises initiatives the income shall cover the cost for the S, D and the first R in SDRR, in the future programme. Then the programme is not vulnerable any longer in terms of programme costs.

  1. ActionInvest provides seed money loans for three ghetto outreaches and investment capital for the construction of the IDEFOCS home including buying the one acre land is stands on.
  2. ActionInvest provides investment capital loans for a few small scale businesses during 2014 and 2015.
  3. In total 2014 -2020 ActionInvest invests 10,000,000 Liberian Dollars.
  4. RISEinvest provides investment capital loans in July 2014 for a few small scale businesses and buying one acre beach land in Little Bassa. USD 7,000.
  5. RISEinvest provides six stationary computers equiped with soft-ware and external support and its transportation. USD 2,000.

Procurement of land

2,500 USD per acre was negotiated with Little Bassa 6 May 2014. Later one acre of land was negotiated from 2,500 USD to 2,000 USD.
Besides the one acre of farmland for the botanical village, HR&S is procuring one acre of beach for a social business.
2,000 was transferred as ActionInvest loan for the procurement of one acre in May 2014.  2,000 was transferred as RISEinvest in June 2014.
The procurement was concluded in June 2014.

Transfers, USD

Early

ActionInvest – 2013 – Ghetto Survey                                                                                      2,800
ActionInvest – Feb 2014  –  Start-up support                                                                       1,000
ActionInvest – March 2014 – BRV                                                                                             2,000
(RISEinvest – April 2014 – In kind Cecilia’s visit Travel, visa, local logistics          2,000)
RISEinvest – April 2014 – Start-up support  (in cash during visit)                             1,000
ActionInvest – May 2014- Procurement of one acre for the BRV                           2,000
RISEinvest – July 2014 – Procurement of one acre of beach land (in cash)         2,000
RISEinvest – July 2014 – Land legal documents both lands  (in cash)                    1,400 RISEinvest – July 2014-  Start-up support  (in cash)                                                       3,600
ActionInvest – July 2014 – BRV (Scott 5,000 A10 2,000)                                          7,000
ActionInvest – Aug  Sept 2014- Ebola awareness raising & protection              5,000
RISEinvest – Oct 2014 –  BRV                                                                                                    1,000        ActionInvest – Nov 2014 – BRV                                                                                                2,500
ActionInvest – Nov 2014 – BRV                                                                                                2,200
ActionInvest – Jan 2015 – BRV                                                                                                 2,700
ActionInvest – April 2015 – BRV                                                                                                 900
ActionInvest – Juni 2015 – BRV                                                                                                1,200
ActionInvest – Aug 2015 – BRV                                                                                                  550
ActionInvest – Sept 2015 – BRV                                                                                                800
ActionInvest – Oct 2015 – BRV (from Scott in USA through A10)                          1,881
ActionInvest – Feb 2016 – BRV                                                                                                2,200
ActionInvest – April 2016 – BRV Rotary (from Danielle through A10)                 2,128
ActionInvest – 2016 – Social support                                                                                       350
ActionInvest – 2016 – BRV                                                                                                         3,754
RISEinvest – 2016 – Start-up support                                                                                      285
ActionInvest – 2016 – BRV                                                                                                          1,118
ActionInvest – 2016 – BRV                                                                                                            297
ActionInvest – 2016 – BRV                                                                                                         1,495
RISEinvest – Six stationary computers with software & transportation           2,000
(RISEinvest – a car and a chain saw and its transportation, STOLEN!                4,000)
OTHER…

Income opportunity

  1. The social enterprising related to the rehabilitation phase, is not expected to generate salary for PPs staff early enough. Therefore, a desk-top publishing centre is created in parallel with the SDRR programme, together with HR&S
  2. Thus the programme will start with engaging into social enterprises within SDRR during 2014, to generate funds for the direct programme costs. The social enterprising programme will be supported by the Action10 investment programme
  3. In order to support the fundraising strategy a crowdfunding programme is launched. The host is decided on by the IDEFOCS and Action10 together. It was agreed to approach the Crowdfunding platform GlobalGiving. The IDEFOCS will provide videos and photos which can help Action10 share about the situation on the ground with members, donors and potential donors. The IDEFOCS is also active on the Action10 Facebook page.
  4. Provide employment in own companies. The BRV will provide the opportunity for IDEFOCS to place FCS in to the Post Reintegration Investment (PRI) according to their skills they had learned. This will grow our impact with income revenue for sustainability.

Business ideas include

  • Cassava farm (more information below)
  • PumpAid and pit latrin follow-up with Mathew (more information below)
  • Solar panel phone charges and light (Solar panel can also promote the relation between community and BRV. )
  • Petrol station (Francis). Needs 5000 USD
  • Construction company (BRV and more)
  • Car (Stolen in Sweden).
  • Chain Saw (Stolen in Sweden).
  • Innovation beach (HR&S)
  • Innovation city center (HR&S)
  • Other…      

Own income generating businesses

Cassava production

Background – Addressing the needs as expressed by the target partners, Growing cassava is one of the major sources of income for rural farmers in the Little Bassa community. They depend on this income to support their children to go to schools, to buy food and to build shelters for the family. There is a constraint in today’s production because the farmers lack tools to preserve the cassava tubes. At the same time we see an opportunity to increase the income; if a value adding step was considered as in producing other local food from the cassava tubes. Then the size of the farm could also be increased and the value added food could be sold on the market. 

The Little Bassa is a community located by the ocean, on the Buchanan Highway, compound one, branching into Edina. IDEFOCS and Action10 purchased two acres of farm land in Little Bassa in 2013. The log-term plan is to build the Botanical Reintegration Village (BRV), an institution that will provide de-traumatizing, rehabilitating and reintegrating for vulnerable youth identified by IDEFOCS in the 21st Century Former Child Soldiers Survey.  While fundraising for the construction and development of the BRV, the IDEFOCS Action10 programme also focuses on improving the social and economic development of the Little Bassa citizens and its surrounding villages. The direct opportunity for development of the community is through cassava farming. The aim of the project is thus to collaborate with the community and cassava farmers and to train them to increase their cassava production as well as how to preserve the cassava tubes into other local food for marketing. The project will later provide a platform in the vulnerable youth rehabilitation process by offering training in cassava farming as well as employment.

Farming and food production: – Activity plan, The IDEFOCS Action10 Botanical Reintegration Village Agriculture programme is growing cassava on the two acres of land bought in 2013. The programme is also collaborating with five local cassava farmers in the Little Bassa and its surrounding villages. 

IDEFOCS has already trained the five local farmers on cassava farming topics and has also supported them by brushing, cutting trees and clearing their farm lands. These farmers with now share the programme responsibility by planting cassava on their farms and maintaining it until harvest. The farmers will also be trained by IDEFOCS to preserve the cassava into other local Liberian food using the project cassava mill parching pan machine. The local Liberian foods that will be produced are gari, acherkeh and fufu. The machines will be installed under a canopy on the IDEFOCS Action10 farm land and all our collaborators will have free access to the machines. The farmers will pay back with 15 % of their cassava production yield. Five new farmers will be trained and introduced to the programme every year.

The business idea – Sustainable economy, The programme requires a start-up donation of $10,000 (ten thousand), and will thereafter be self-sustained as well as generate funds for the Reintegration programme. The start-up capital is required for the purchase of a stainless steel cassava mill with engine and a locally made parching pan machine, build a canopy with three rooms including, the machine room, packaging room and store room. The canopy will be constructed by cement blocks, zinc and cement. The investment capital will also be used for training purposes.  Local farmers will be trained on cassava farming and on how to preserve the cassava and produce other local Liberian food by using the project cassava mill and parching pan machine. These machines will be installed under a canopy on the IDEFOCS Action10 farm land and all our collaborators will have free access to the machines. The local farmers will then plant cassava on their farms and maintain it until harvest. After the harvest, 15% of each harvest is repaid to the IDEFOCS Action10 programme. And this fund will be used to support another five cassava farmers per year. The Little Bassa community offers ten laborers, most of whom are our targeted partners, who will construct the Canopy where the machines will be installed. Of the ten, five are skilled laborers and five are unskilled laborers.  The skilled laborers will be paid $10 per day and the unskilled laborers will be paid $5 per day. The construction of the canopy and installation of the machine is expected to take two weeks, including week-ends. Thus the five skilled laborers will be paid $700 and five unskilled laborers will be paid $350. After the construction of the canopy many of the laborers will be employed at the IDEFOCS Action10 Company. They will be trained and charged with the responsibility to produce, package and store our cassava products. Our gari product will be packaged into three sizes, 5 kg, 10 kg and 25 kg and will be sold with three percent discount as compared to the general market price.  As the project is fully implemented it shall generate revenue that will be used for the IDEFOCS Action10 Reintegration programme.  

Pump Aid

Pump Aid came to Liberia in 2009.  PumAid is a water providing institution specialized in the construction of the Elephant Toilet and Elephant Pump using a local technology. The founder of Pump Aid is Ian Throne. IDEFOCS met Mr. Throne in Ghana, where they discussed to build the capacity of former child soldiers while constructing the Elephant Pump and Toilet in rural Liberia. The collaboration was formed to support social reintegration, while providing groundwater for drinking and sanitation solutions to rural communities in Liberia. The PumAid thus collaborated with IDEFOCS and trained over 15 former child soldiers to build 300 Elephant Pumps and Toilets in Johnsonville. The  program has successfully improved the livelihood of over 3000 people. After Pump Aid’s mission had expired, the lack of quality planning to continue the program led some of our Target Partners (TP) to lose their employment and return to their previous lives and the service of drinking water in rural communities was abolished.  

The propose project:  In addressing this problem, IDEFOCS has reorganized a group of former child soldiers in order to benefit from the skills developed during the Pump Aid program. With this second phase of the PumpAid programme, we can have the opportunity to positively contribute to development, facilitate social reintegration and save lives. The project is called the Social Reintegration Water, and is committed to build a simple and sustainable water technology called the Elephant well. The projet will especially address rural communities. The technology can easily be managed for a long period of time and the maintenance and repair be provided by the IDEFOCS team. Thus, the local water technology will be borrowed from Pump Aid and be simplified for rural communities by IDEFOCS. This time though the project will not address the Elephant Pump but only the Elephant well. The project will target the District one, rural Grand Bassa, where many citizens suffer from similar diseases, like river blind disease, sore throat, skin diseases etc. The Reintegration Water project (REW) is specifically designed to address these problems, by promoting social reintegration through the employment REW will offer to former child soldiers. And these former child soldiers will avoid their past to move into rural communities to use their available skill as water service provider (WSP) for rural citizens.

Impact assessment

Survey manual

Trauma counselling

  1. PTSD Counselling, One on one Counselling, Group Counselling, Career Counselling, Spiritual Counselling
  2. Medical treatment.
  3. Drug abuse treatment

Goal & career Counseling

  1. The counseling program is designed to guide our Target partners while building their individual goal and career. The project will also help them fight stigmatization, discrimination and drug dependence syndrome amongst other traumatic memory. The counseling will be conducted once in every month, it can be one to one counseling exercise, groups counseling and practical demonstration. The counseling program will be in collaboration with the organisation Lutheran World Service.
  2. In relation to the counselling programme will we offer a variety of related workshops: Behaviour Change workshops, Non-violence workshops, and Relationship workshops

Vocational and Technical training

  1. The BRV will give IDEFOCS the opportunity to create a good training and learning environment for former child soldiers, and provide training. Vocational and Technical Educations: Agriculture, Sanitation, Peace building.
  2. The BRV will give IDEFOCS the opportunity to create a good training and learning environment also for national and international trainers (quantify). The BRV is going to collaborate with Government, NGOs, and other institutions to provide trainers for the BRV institution.

Employment in own companies

  1. Provide employment in own companies. The BRV will provide the opportunity for IDEFOCS to place those FCS in to the Post Reintegration Investment (PRI) according to their skills they had learned. This will grow our impact with income revenue for sustainability.
  2. Employment in other companies
  3. Provides employment in other companies and organizations.

Homes

  1. Connect with childhood families
  2. Connect with their childhood families and communities.
  3. Access to own homes
  4. Enable a safe and harmonic home.

Monitoring

  1. The BRV will give IDEFOCS the opportunity to monitor the FCS. The BRV will provide the opportunity for IDEFOCS to reduce violence in our Communities; stop the re-recruitment of FCS; help to work towards the goal to stop the migration of war in West Africa; and it will promote peace and security.

Little Bassa community

  1. Also included the community, to ensure a loving and caring environment. The home shall eventually have twenty rooms, and those coming out from the programme shall find employment and a home of their own.

Collaboration with formal institutions in Liberia

Vision 2030 is the Governmental document for LIBERIA. How do we relate to this document?

Reintegration

  1. Lives in an environment that enables them to have high quality life.
  2. They are part of the society as equal Liberians.
  3. They are safe in terms of social and physical security.

Trauma counseling & Medical treatment

  1. Drugs, violence, and crime are not part of their lives.

Homes

  1. Lives in a home with their families.

Training & employment opportunity

  1. They have the training of profession they wish
  2. They can all read and write.
  3. They have employment or run their own business and earn enough to sustain their families.
  4. With the funds, they earn they can have quality health care and education if they wish.

Training centre outside the ghetto.

  1. Little Bassa.

Programme is financially sustainable

  1. Ensure the programme is financially sustainable

RISE-Invest

Crowdfunding campaigns, Video required for Crowd-funding.

ActionInvest

  1. Text.

Trauma counseling programme

  1. Trauma coordinator locally.

TestE

  1. Identification of TP of the programme as per 1 Jan 2020.

Non-Attribution

Accountability

Control

The control is the situation among former child soldiers at the macro level.

Macro survey base-line

Vision 2030 is the Government document for LIBERIA.

Testimonies

IDEFOCS 2014: We feel we are the right people to do this because we part of this community.

HR&S 2020: How can we establish a Programme management partner in Liberia that ensures coaching, monitoring and auditing?

Survey questions

Relation to government

  1. Vision 2030 is the Government document for LIBERIA. How do we relate to this document?

Strategic partners

  1. Compile initiatives made by other stakeholders. We may want to collaborate

State-of-the-art

  1. What is the state of the art for our Target partners. Internationally. Nationally

Team

  1. Identification of Target partners who benefits directly from the BRV programme per 1 Jan 2020. Name, story
  2. Identification of management team and each person’s role and responsibility per 1 Jan 2020. Name and contacts
  3. Identification of operations team and each person’s role and responsibility per 1 Jan 2020. Name and contacts
  4. Trauma coordinator locally.
  5. Identify five trainees for Level ONE, Name, previous experience, contacts
  6. How can we establish a Programme management partner in Liberia that ensures coaching, monitoring and auditing? Auditor, name, experience, contacts.

IDEFOCS internal control

Board of trustees.

  • Names:
  • Frequency of meetings:
  • Filing of signed meeting minutes:
  • Sharing signed meeting minutes with HR&S:

Management team:

  • Names:
  • Frequency of meetings:
  • Filing of signed meeting minutes:
  • Sharing signed meeting minutes with HR&S:

Assignments

  • Finance administration and accounting manager:
  • Programme manager:
  • TestE Survey manager:
  • ROPE manager:
  • Marketing & sales manager:
  • Customer relations manager:

Related to Ghetto Outreach forums

After the Ghetto Outreach forums, the first 21 century FCS and WAFF surveys were conducted. The surveys were able to ascertain the driving force that will lead the boys and girls in the ghetto to a new life. The survey thus captured their dreams. It also captured the challenges that the ghetto dwellers face and which makes it impossible for them to change their lives without support from outside the ghetto. Addressing all these challenges now constitute the strategy map for the IDEFOCS-HR&S-Action10 collaboration programme. The dreams were expressed as the below. How far have we reached with our target partners? These are open-ended questions.

  • Lives in an environment that enables them to have high quality life.
  • Drugs, violence and crime are not part of their lives.
  • Lives in a home with their families.
  • They have the training of profession they wish
  • They can all read and write.
  • They have employment or run their own business and earn enough to sustain their families.
  • With the funds they earn they can have quality health care and education if they wish.
  • They are safe in terms of social and physical security.
  • They are part of the society as equal Liberians.

Expected Output

To which extent did the programme provide the below? The answers shall be quantified and then open ended.

  • Accommodation at the BRV.
  • Training in farming at the BRV.
  • Trauma counselling.
  • Medical treatment.
  • Drug abuse treatment.
  • Training in a profession or providing employment opportunity.
  • Annual programme reports

Expected outcome

To which extent did the programme enable the below? The answers shall be quantified and then open ended.

  • The participants live in a home that they have arranged, with their family, and they have an income that sustains them.

Sustainable economy

To which extent did the programme achieve the below? The answers shall be quantified and then open ended.

Business model agreed on by IDEFOCS and HR&S together.

  • Which are the Customer segments and value propositions?
  • How do we handle Customer relation & distribution channels?
  • What does our Revenue model look like?
  • Key activities & resources?
  • Costs? The costs cannot exceed the revenue.

Annual audited financial reports with bank account statements and related management reports.

Financial sustainability.

  • Profit was generated to some degree.
  • Profit was generated to cover the running costs.
  • Action Investment loan was repaid to the Action10 bank account.

Accountability

Finance administration and accounting

  • Were all receipts collected and numbered?
  • Were bank account statements reconciled monthly?
  • Were all funds transferred from Action10 and HR&S accounted for?
  • Were bookkeeping managed properly
  • Were finances audited yearly?

Programme

  • Were measurable indicators identified?
  • Were progress markers set?
  • Were the indicators measured quarterly?
  • Were lessons learned compiled?
  • Were changes related to lessons learned implemented?

Strategy for change

Was a strategy for change developed and implemented to ensure:

  • Social impact?
  • Sustainable economy?
  • Transparency and accountability?

Activities & milestones

  • What are the activities and milestones?

Indicators & Surveys

  • Which are the measurable indicators?
    • Social impact?
    • Sustainable economy?
    • Transparency and accountability?
  • Which are the progress markers?
  • How do you collect monitoring data?
  • How do you compile and analyse monitoring data

Reports

How to you generate and share reports

  • Social impact?
  • Sustainable economy?
  • Transparency and accountability?

Questions for the future

  1. Impact – Social Good.
  2. Impact – Sustainable economy.
  3. Unexpected effects.
  4. External stakeholders’ interventions.
  5. External validation.
  6. State-of-the-art assessment.

Survey manual

Microdata

  • Quantitative & Scientific survey design
  • Qualitative survey design
  • Financial survey design
  • Accountability survey design

Identify survey sample, control and randomization method.

The state of the art national reports will be one control group.

Set sample size and ensure external validity.

  • Both in terms of how many individuals that shall be involved and how many “clusters”.
  • Both for the survey sample and for the control, and both as participants, and survey respondents. External validity; i) Ensure that the person asked is representative for the group, and that we would expect the same answer if we asked someone else, ii) reflect over if the results of our randomized evaluations is generalizable to other contexts.
  • Programme Clusters
  • Programme participants
  • Survey respondents
  • Representativeness

Include as many as possible.

Clusters

  1. The target partners: FCS and WAFF involved in the programme
    Names, id
  2. Control: FCS and WAFF NOT involved in the programme
    Names, id
  3. Morris
  4. Morris’ team

Names, id

  1. Little Bassa inhabitants

Names, id

  1. Others

N/A Reflect over Effects of being included, Spillover & Cross-over

Effects of being included: It can be assumed that in some cases, the mere knowledge that one has been put into the “targeted group,” receiving attention that is supposed to improve one’s life, could be partly or fully responsible for an observed effect.

Spillover: Spillovers occur when individuals in the control group are somehow affected by the programme.

Unbiased internal stories & visual material

Increase the number of unbiased stories and answers by not including the beneficiaries that has a wish for the programme to be successful. When interviewing people who are well-placed to understand how a particular change took place, it is important to assess what the person in question is and isn’t well-positioned to know, and whether they have incentive to paint one sort of picture or another. The same logic concerns visual evidence.

  1. Drug-dealers ?
  2. Authority representatives

Later – Estimate attrition

Attrition refers to how many of the people originally included in the study were successfully tracked for reporting final outcomes.

Reflect over causal attribution

  • The observations presented as evidence should be easier reconciled with the programme’s claims, than with other possible explanations.
  • Confounding variables: The possible cofounding variables shall be asked for and be compiled for the best possible assessment. It seems unlikely that it is possible to list “confounders” that could serve as alternative explanations for the observed effects, and “control” for each confounder using a regression.
  • Instrumental variables: An “instrumental variable” is a variable that affects the outcome of interest (for example income) only through its impact on programme of interest (for example access to schooling).
  • Regression discontinuity: Sometimes there is a relatively arbitrary “cutoff point” for participation in a programme, and a study may therefore compare people who “barely qualify” with people who “barely fail to qualify.”

Output prioritisation

  1. Assess if sustainable impact, and if scaling-up and copying opportunities. Impact is defined by HR&S as if the built structure persists after that the Programme management partners have withdrawn, and the process is managed by the Target partners themselves. Non sustainability equals showing results that will not remain after the coaching has been concluded. This refers to the HR&S definition of impact.  Scaling-up refers to that the programme can be increased, benefiting from the original initiative. Copying has links to the external validity / generalisation aspect. Copying means that the programme can be copied to other sites, still assuming the TAct is honoured, including the management of a local self-motivated leader. Copying and scaling-up can be in collaboration with A10/HR&S or not.
  2. Sustainable impact
  3. Scaling-up
  4. Copying opportunities

Relevant questions & reported effects.

  • Ensure questions and answers are relevant to the core of our programme, so that we are not measuring something else. Be careful not to slide to side-effects, no matter how important. Side-effects are labeled and presented as side effects, and are in no way less important.
  • Reported effects should be plausible as outcomes of the programme’s activities and consistent with the Strategy for Change. The reported effects should also get to the heart of the programme’s case for impact.

Unbiased reporting & reputation

Unbiased reporting and reputation concern this report that is under development, as well as how well we can trust the reports and reputation that we may want to benefit from when collecting data for this survey. Interpreting and presenting data usually involves a substantial degree of judgment on the part of the researcher; consciously or unconsciously, a researcher may present data in the most favorable light for his/her point of view. In addition, studies whose final conclusions aren’t what the researcher (or the study funder) hoped for may be less likely to be made public. We are cautious and highly context-sensitive in deciding how much weight to place on a stakeholder’s awards, endorsements, and reputation.

Consonance with other observations.

We don’t take studies in isolation: we ask about the extent to which their results are credible in light of everything else we know.  Ask when relevant “Why isn’t this intervention better known if its effects are as good as claimed?”

Technical, scientific, administrative & ethical aspects.

  • What technical issues could compromise the integrity of our study, and how can we mitigate these threats in the design?
  • Do literature review and consult the network and other experts to ensure we use the latest techniques. The latest pieces of equipment as well as the latest scientific findings in relation to our programme.
  • Do we experience ethical constraints? Do we honour all relevant ethical aspects? Are the objects of visual material comfortable with the situation, did they give permission, are names and locations respectfully announced when material is shared. How do we handle GDPR?
  • Do we experience political and/or administrative constraints? Do we honour all relevant aspects?
  • Be informed and aware, plan.

Quantitative Data Assessment method

Design a scientific Micro data assessment method for the programme. Always perform the F-test to assess precision and the t-test to assess the bias. Do correlation and regression analysis when possible and ANOVA when appropriate. Assess effect size and p-value. Benefit from the instructions in TestE.

Simple ratios

Survey questions

Information to be gathered

Simple comparison of means and standard deviations between i) villages and control and ii) between villages

We measure the average outcome of the targeted group and compare it to the average outcome of the control group. The difference represents the programme’s impact. To determine whether this impact is statistically significant, we test the equality of precision, using a F-test and we test the equality of means, using a t-test.

Qualitative Data Assessment method

Qualitative impact evaluation includes assessing the contribution made by a particular intervention in achieving one or more outcomes, commonly referred to as a ‘contribution claim’. The survey is not designed to compare the survey sample with a control. TestE benefits from Contribution tracing, an improved version of Process tracing, to assess our Strategy for Change and to examine the contribution by external stakeholders. We also address Team operations, Cost- benefit, Needs driven, Equal partnership and Unexpected effects.

How a specific cause, led to a given outcome

Analysing a case means analysing how a specific cause, led to a given outcome within a case. The method explains the causal mechanism; the drive that causes event A to give rise to outcome B. Mechanisms are underpinned by a generative model of causal inference, mechanisms are conceptualised as being made up of a number of ‘parts’, composed of entities (for example, people, organisations, systems – nouns) that engage in activities (for example, researching, innovating, campaigning – verbs). Mechanisms must be framed correctly, that is at an appropriate level of abstraction from the particular case. A case includes: i) an outcome or an impact under investigation (the effect), ii) the hypothesised cause and iii) the processes or events that link the hypothesised cause and the effect.  The approach includes unpacking the causal mechanism that explains what it is that linked cause A to impact B. The investigator establishes a causal chain linking A to B and tests the strength of the evidence at each step in the chain by applying a number of probability tests (‘straw in the wind’, ‘hoop, ‘smoking gun’ and ‘doubly decisive’ tests) underpinned by Bayesian logic.

Benefit from the hypothesis and the Strategy for change to formulate the programme specific survey questions. Then investigator looks for evidence to increase confidence that an outcome and an impact was caused in a particular way.

Strategy for Change – Outcome

Contribution tracing or Process tracing.

Single case outcome relations / Outcome hypotheses:
Compile the activities defined through quantified inputs and outputs implemented and link to the related quantified expected outcome. Benefit from the SfC table and word single case relations /hypotheses, so that the strength of the evidence at each step can be tested by applying a number of probability tests (‘straw in the wind’, ‘hoop, ‘smoking gun’ and ‘doubly decisive’ tests) underpinned by Bayesian logic.

Programme specific questions: Collect information on whether the quantified expected outcome was achieved as a result of the implemented activities defined as quantified outputs.

Strategy for Change – Impact

Single case impact relations / Impact hypotheses:
Compile the activities defined through quantified inputs and outputs implemented and link to the related quantified expected Impact. Benefit from the SfC table and word single case relations /hypotheses, so that the strength of the evidence at each step can be tested by applying a number of probability tests (‘straw in the wind’, ‘hoop, ‘smoking gun’ and ‘doubly decisive’ tests) underpinned by Bayesian logic.

Programme specific questions: Collect information on whether the quantified expected impact was achieved as a result of the implemented activities defined as quantified outputs.

External stakeholder’s contribution & alternative internal causal explanations.

We work with the qualitative assessment tool Contribution Tracing (CT) to assess external stakeholders’ contribution & alternative causal explanations. CT allows us to gather evidence that supports (or is against) our contribution claim. In parallel with testing the Programme Strategy for Change designed for the programme, we include hypotheses representing alternative causal explanations, in order to examine if factors external to the intervention may have contributed to the outcome more than if more than one causal chain may contribute.

Compile empirical observations of evidence: 

  1. Compile information about other stakeholders and what they do; ask questions to learn more, visit them, check their websites, benefit from interviews, visual material, and reports.
  2. Compile information about other internal but related activities.

Test alternative causal explanations.

Develop and test hypotheses representing alternative causal explanations.

 

Macro data survey

When we develop the survey method, we distinguish between the microdata and the macrodata surveys. The microdata survey targets question 1-6; impact, effectiveness, efficiency, unexpected effects and external stakeholder’s interventions and the Macrodata survey targets question number 7 and 8; external validation and state-of-the-art assessment.

 

Observations on site

Compile observations on site that has meaning as comparision for the Macrodata survey

  •  

 

Broad trend Stories & Broad trend data

Compile Broad trend Stories & broad trend data that has some links to the implemented programme and the survey questions.

  1. Music, films, drama, social media stories, journal articles.
  2. National and international surveys.
  3. Scientific and technical literature review.

 

Macro data assessment method

External validity – Generalisation

The results from any programme evaluation are subject to the same contextual realities when used to draw inferences for similar programmes or policies implemented elsewhere. External validity is a function of the programme design, the service providers, the beneficiaries, and the environment in which the programme evaluation was conducted. 
Observations on site compared with Broad trend Stories & broad trend data; music, films, drama, social media stories, journal articles. National and international surveys.

State-of-the-art assessment

Consider technical, scientific, administrative and ethical considerations state-of-the-art level of the programme intervention.
Observations on site compared with Scientific and technical literature review.

About Mr. Morris MATADI
CEO and co-founder of IDEFOCS

Morris MATADI was a child soldier in the Liberian civil war for ten years. He was captured at the age of eleven; he survived when his family was killed. Before the capturing his family lived a good life and his father had a high position in the Liberian army. During the war he was forced to commit crimes of war.  During this time he was blessed with two children, one boy and one girl. As a result of the cruelly of the war, their mother was raped and killed by another Liberian rebel army. After ten years of suffering, Mr. Matadi gave his two children to a lady, asked her to care for them, and managed to escape the rebel army. He fled to Ghana, and stayed in a refugee camp where he taught himself to read and write, by borrowing books in a library. In the Ghana ghetto, a special section was established with former child soldiers. There he initiated Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS), as the only means he could think of to improve the situation for all those who had suffered immensely the Liberian civil war. Mr. Matadi went back to Liberia as soon as he could, went to get his son and daughter from the elderly woman to give them a home and the opportunity to start school. Mr. Matadi is now working actively in the ghettos of Monrovia where former child soldiers still live and without any support or recognition from the Liberia Government. He also support the women who went with the rebels as sex slaves, as well as their children and other youth who in different way have suffered from the war and ended up in the ghettos. Without any means, Mr. Matadi started the operations of IDEFOCS. He has appointed other volunteer workers and they together work in the ghettos. IDEFOCS arranges trauma counselling events. They appoint professionals to talk with the youths, to give them strength and hope. They give out food, if they find a donor, and arrange social events. They try as much as possible to coordinate with other stakeholders, as high up in the Government as possible. The aim includes preventing drug abuse and providing a home, education and employment. Mr. Matadi represents the future for many youths in these ghettos. If Mr. Matadi can be recognized and supported, many in desperate need can be given hope and a future. It must be acknowledged that foreign organisations can never achieve what Mr. Matadi has potential to achieve, as it is he and his team who have the experience, the knowledge and the understanding of what needs to be done and how programmes have to be implemented. We have already seen impressive outcome from IDEFOCS, and we wish to just scale-up what is already on the ground to have a larger impact. Morris wishes to reach more youths, provide more solid counselling, constructed houses to be homes, enrol the target group in education and help start social enterprises where the youths can earn revenue or have an employment.

 

My story as a child soldier

I am Morris Y. Matadi, a Liberian born unto the union of Mr. and Mrs. Wilmot Matadi on December 1, 1981. Prior to the Liberian civil war, I, along with my younger sister and my two older brothers, lived with our parents in a happy family.  My father served in the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as an engineer. My mother was a business woman; she was loving and kind to her children and people living in our community. We all attended school like most children those days and were well-fed. It was such a good and happy life, and we couldn’t have wished for more.  I remember one day at dinner, my father asked each of us what we wanted to be when we grew up. My two older brothers wanted to take after our father and become engineers. My little sister wanted to be a medical doctor. My father looked pleased when I told him that I would be a pilot. He immediately encouraged me to be an air force pilot, which to him would give me vast experience before becoming a commercial pilot. I had such high hopes of attaining my dream and nothing was going to deter me. However, this dream was soon shattered during the Liberian civil war. On December 24, 1989 my nightmare suddenly began. The Liberian civil war was launched by the notorious warlord, Charles G. Taylor. I was 11 years old. I had not the slightest idea of what was happening then. Military officials were under constant danger and my father, being one, was no exception. On June 3, 1990 he reluctantly decided to take us to his farm in Grand Bassa County for safety. By this time the war had spread through all of Liberia, and there were rebel checkpoints in every corner of the country. On our way to his farm, we came to a checkpoint called “God bless you gate” (which meant if you made it through that checkpoint alive then God was with you). There was a long line of people waiting to cross the fearsome checkpoint. Constantly, gunshots rang out and people were killed for no apparent reason, such as not standing straight in the line. The rebels at the main gate were picking out men, women and children they identified as government supporters. Those unlucky enough to be picked out were killed instantly with knives and guns. We spent about 8 hours at this checkpoint, as we couldn’t turn around for fear of being shot for breaking out of the line. And it was here that my life changed forever and my future was destroyed. My father was identified along with the rest of our family except me (through some disturbances that broke out after the shooting of a man close to me, I had shifted to a different position in the line) and they were immediately taken and killed. After the death of my family that fateful day, I lost all hope. I was alone. I had no security. Nobody was there to care for me, and my dream for a better future was shattered. I was alone for more than a month, moving from one deserted house to another. Some of the houses I slept in contained dead bodies and I had to endure the awful smell of rotting corpses. For many days I went without food and water.

On July 27, 1991, I awoke very early in the morning in a deserted house to the sound of cars arriving. When I peeped out I was surprised to see that the cars contained several armed men who had come to loot the house. I tried to hide but was caught by them. Some wanted to kill me, but their commander, known as General Butterfly, told them he wanted to use me as his Radio Transmission Operator (RTO), which was basically an errand boy. From that day forward, I became a child soldier. I carried ammunition, killed people I was ordered to kill, and was introduced to all kinds of dangerous drugs. For seven years, my sense of direction in life changed from wanting to become a commercial pilot to survival as a child soldier in the Liberian civil war. I grew into one of most feared child soldiers among my peers and gained the respect of my commanders.  Later, in the 1997 Liberian election, the NPFL’s rebel leader, Charles G. Taylor, won. I was selected among many to be trained for the Executive Mansion Special Security Unit (EMSSU). Later I was again selected for V.I.P. training at the Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) base in Gbatala where I obtained the position of operations man (third-in-command) in President Taylor’s motorcade. I served in this position for three years.  The situation in Monrovia began to change gradually as people started to pick up the broken pieces of their lives, and education became a priority. I wanted to go to school again but was threatened by my chief. If I left the force I would be charged with desertion of my post and executed. And the difficulty of living in my community as a private citizen again was something that greatly frightened me. I was feared by former friends and neighbours because of the things I did as a child soldier. I was afraid that their anger and resentment toward me would make my life miserable, or worse, they would kill me. Finally, in 2000 I decided to escape to Ghana. I gathered some money and managed to travel to Ghana to the Buduburam refugee camp to rebuild my life. But life in the camp was very hard for me. Most of the people that my commander had forced me to kill had family members who also lived in the camp. There were many other daily challenges like finding a place to sleep, food to eat and water to drink. But the main challenge was living with those whom I treated badly and whose families I had killed. They wanted to take revenge on me. Due to this I was totally ostracized from society, as all former child soldiers were. And this went on for three years. In 2003 we faced our biggest challenge: the re-recruitment of former child soldiers in the refugee camp to go and fight in other war-ravished countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Almost 3,600 former child soldiers were recruited to go fight in other countries like Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sudan, and in the new conflict arising in Liberia. Inspired by my desire to change my life for the better, I decided to rally those former child soldiers who had refused to go. We vehemently protested against our re-recruitment. Soon, the UN and other human rights groups recognized our plight and came to our aid. Advised by these international groups, we decided to form an organization to improve the welfare of all former child soldiers. The new organization was called the Veteran Child Soldier Association of Liberia (VECSAOL) which was later changed to the Initiative for the Development of Former Child Soldiers (IDEFOCS). We received training and support from several UNDP staffs and post-traumatic stress counselling from trained doctors and psychologists from several international universities. This gave us the strength to work along with several former child soldiers who were neglected after the war and ostracized. We set up several community projects for former child soldiers. We implemented several agricultural projects and showed Liberians in the camp that we could still contribute to society and become useful once more. Through these projects we were able to rehabilitate and reintegrate 450 former child soldiers back into society to live alongside their fellow Liberians again. I was unanimously selected to serve as Executive Director, a position which I held from 2003 and continue holding to the present day. In 2008, after the Child Soldier Reintegration Fund (CSRF) was raised by a group of international friends, I, along with my team was transported to Liberia to establish IDEFOCS. When we got to Liberia we experienced almost the same challenges we had experienced in Ghana, but because of the election of Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson Serlief, and with things rapidly proceeding to normalcy, we were able to launch several more projects in Monrovia. Today, I am in Liberia with my team, leading IDEFOCS and using the Survey, Development, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration (SDRR) and changing the lives of former child soldiers.

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