The National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) through the Sierra Leone Community Driven Development Project Phase Two (SLCDDll-Gietrenk), in Partnership with its Value-Chain and Livelihood Development Service Provider, Partners in Relief and Development Sierra Leone (PaRD) has concluded a 9 day Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop on Micro Enterprise Group Formation. The training which was held in Kenema City from 11th – 19th March, 2019, targeted NaCSA field staff and other partners implementing the Livelihood and Small, Medium Enterprise Development component of the Project
In his key note address, while declaring the session open, the NaCSA Senior Director Programmes, Mohamed Rashid Bah disclosed that the GIETRENK project is one of the biggest projects in the Commission, which encompasses all eight policy clusters in the new Medium Term National Development Plan of the New Direction Government. The importance of the training, he noted, is to equip participants with the relevant skills to ensure effective targeting/selection of Micro Enterprise Groups (MEGs). He assured participants that with the current leadership of NaCSA and the overarching policy environment created by the New Direction National Development Plan launched by H.E. President Julius Maada Bio, NaCSA has the appropriate political will and environment to perform in the upcoming years. Senior Director Bah reiterated the need for staff to be committed and attentive throughout the session and encouraged them to demonstrate high level of diligence during the training.
Speaking on the purpose of the training, the Director Field Operations, Sainku Fofanah, disclosed that the training is geared towards giving NaCSA field staff the requisite skills in the formation of Micro Enterprise Groups in communities across the country as well as to engage Stakeholders in community sensitization. Director Fofanah highlighted the key criteria involved in forming MEGs and implored all to take cognizance of these in the training.
In his address, the Resident Minister East, Andrew Fatorma, commended NaCSA, describing it as one of the few institutions in the country working in line with the New Direction Policy of the Government. He specially cited the area of youth capacity building and development in agriculture through the provision of direct support in the form of finance, market information, technology and technical advice to youths to engage in commercial agriculture and agro-processing activities, which are all central to the Government`s recently launched Mid Term Development Plan.
Making the opening remarks, the Chairman Kenema District Council, Mohamed O’level Sesay, registered his appreciation for being part of the event, especially at the opening session of the training. He implored participants to take the training seriously and to replicate it in their various communities. NaCSA, he said, is a credible institution that delivers on its mandate and expectations. He further wished all well in the deliberations.
In his statement, the Honorable Member of Parliament, Mohamed Festus Lansana, of constituency 015 gave a brief overview of the SLCDD project, noting that it is geared towards reducing poverty in Sierra Leone. Hon. Lansana commended NaCSA for complimenting the work of Local Councils with specific reference to Lower Bambara Chiefdom, which he represents in Parliament.
Civil Society members at the occasion expressed satisfaction over the rationale for the training and commended NaCSA for involving them, and encouraged other development agencies to do the same. Civil Society activist, Augustine Sannoh assured NaCSA of their commitment in monitoring as well as in providing follow-up on the various NaCSA projects and activities within the Kenema District.
Women’s Leader Doris Lansana expressed similar sentiments about NaCSA, especially in the area of female representation in its projects. She commended NaCSA and expressed the need for NaCSA management to empower more women.
Forming part of the training were field exercises aimed at sensitizing community stakeholders and potential group members on the targeting criteria and identifying prominent Micro Enterprise Groups along the value chain. The Director of Programmes, Obi Buya-Kamara, distributed certificates of participation to participants, forming the highlight of the event.