YoMSuD-SL Launches Empowering Girls Through Technology Project to Benefit 1,000 Girls and 15,000 Indirectly in Bo

Youth Movement for Sustainable Development Sierra Leone (YoMSuD-SL).jpg

By Foday Moriba Conteh

The Youth Movement for Sustainable Development Sierra Leone (YoMSuD-SL), with funding from Purposeful and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), commenced the implementation of the project: “Empowering Girls Through Technology: Bridging the Gender Gap in Digital Literacy in Kakua Chiefdom, Bo District” in May 2024. The project operates under the theme: “Using technology to end sexual and gender-based violence in Bo District.”

Mamoud Balla Kamara, Founder and Executive Director of YoMSuD-SL, stated that the initiative aims to tackle Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) through three main objectives. The first objective is the provision of computer training programs, including basic computer literacy courses covering Microsoft Office applications, internet usage, responsible social media usage, email communication and advanced training in graphic design, web development and programming languages.

The second objective is community engagement to combat SGBV, involving the empowerment of marginalized girls and young women with digital literacy skills to enhance their access to information, education and communication (IEC) materials, enabling them to seek support and report incidents of SGBV.

He noted that the project is being implemented in underserved communities in Bo Town, where girls face significant barriers to accessing education and technology resources. By targeting these communities, YoMSuD-SL aims to empower girls with valuable skills and knowledge while addressing the root causes of SGBV through digital literacy and awareness-raising efforts.

Mamoud Balla Kamara underscored the strategic actions of the project, stating that it will create significant progress in ending SGBV through the “Empowering Girls Through Technology” project. The project includes community-wide awareness campaigns and advocacy events to educate members about the prevalence and impact of SGBV, the importance of gender equality and the harmful effects of violence against girls and women.

Capacity building involves training sessions and workshops on SGBV prevention, response and support mechanisms for community leaders, educators, marginalized adolescent girls and healthcare professionals. Collaboration with local organizations, Government agencies and stakeholders working on SGBV prevention and response will amplify impact and reach more individuals and communities.

The project will also advocate for the implementation and enforcement of policies and legislation aimed at addressing SGBV and promoting gender equality. Empowerment of girls through comprehensive sexuality education, self-defense training and access to support services will build the resilience and agency of marginalized girls.

It targets marginalized adolescent girls and young women aged 10-30, including SGBV survivors and vulnerable individuals. The digital hub aims to train 1,000 girls in digital literacy over a three-year period, with an additional 15,000 indirect beneficiaries reached through SGBV awareness campaigns. YoMSuD-SL’s project emphasizes community engagement and involvement through conducting thorough assessments to understand specific challenges, barriers, and opportunities, organizing meetings to discuss project goals, objectives, and activities, allowing community members to voice their opinions and actively participate. The project approaches these activities with respect for local customs, traditions, and norms to ensure accessibility, relevance, and inclusivity, regularly seeking feedback to assess the impact of activities and identify areas for improvement.

On strengthening response to SGBV, Mamoud Balla Kamara said they will incorporate SGBV awareness and prevention modules into the training curriculum, empower participants to advocate for SGBV prevention and gender equality, engage community leaders, parents, and other stakeholders in conversations about SGBV prevention, establish partnerships with local SGBV support organizations to ensure appropriate referrals and support for survivors, and regularly monitor and evaluate the project’s impact to refine and improve the approach.

“By actively engaging with the community and implementing these strategic actions, YoMSuD-SL aims to empower girls, bridge the gender gap in digital literacy, and contribute to the broader movement against SGBV in Kakua Chiefdom, Bo District,” he concluded.


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