Saturday Youth Debates
Saturdays at the iEARN Centre is a melting pot of a scintillating
display of talents. Debating and public speaking has been quite
to the Saturday activities, and it is an initiative that helps to
transform our youth into good public speakers.
Additionally, it helps to air and express views on topics that
affect everyday life in Sierra Leone. The topics for the debates
are diverse. They include but are not limited to: “Guns are
Better Than Rice: Do You Agree?” “Is Education Better
Than Silver and Gold?” and “HIV/AIDS: Is it Real?”
of our youth debaters.
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Music Project with ActALIVE
HIV/AIDS is one of the most serious issues in Sierra Leone today,
and iEARN SL youths are speaking up and making a difference. iEARN
SL members have found kindred spirits in
ActALIVE, an international coalition whose members use the arts
to address HIV/AIDS.
Together with ActAlive, iEARN SL is embarking upon
a project consisting of fundraising and partnership towards production
of a CD of songs with HIV/AIDS themes written and/or sung by the
youth affiliated with iEARN. The project is slated to begin in June
2005 and continue into the following year. This vibrant and necessary
partnership breathes new life into the struggle to educate the public
about HIV/AIDS, and the collaboration will bring many new skills
to our young people.
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YPM Film Project
In 2004, the Young Peace Makers of iEARN Sierra Leone completed
the video, The Passage of Grief to Healing. This video
illustrates a poignant process of reconciliation in post-war Sierra
During Sierra Leones brutal decade-long civil war, hundreds
of children were systematically kidnapped and indoctrinated into
soldiering through tactics of torture, fear, and brainwashing.
In The Passage of Grief to Healing, former child soldiers
translate their own personal firsthand experiences and stories of
war into dramatic scenes of recovery and reconciliation.
These former soldiers must face reprisals and lack of forgiveness
as they attempt to reintegrate into a society terrorized and debilitated
by rebel soldiers who used children as their henchmen. Now rejoined
with society, many of these youths have become the subject of blatant
attacks and victimization or bullying at school, the playground,
and at leisure. Yet, there do exist some who believe that forgiveness,
reconciliation, tolerance, and understanding have the power to create
a new glimmer of hope in this country recovering from a dreadful
period of violence.
The Positive Music Project & Rap 4
Peters is the brain behind the Positive Music Project, which
is "Music to make a positive change." Rashid's music and
inspiration help youth to heal the trauma of war by creating, sharing,
and interacting in musical interests.
As part of this project In March 2004, i*EARN invited Rap4Rights
Rappers from the Netherlands to meet with i*Earn youths to create
music, and explore themes of human rights and peace building.
From the tender age of 14, Rashid's sparkling talents in the art
of music have caught many in his community. Rashid composed Child
Soldiers Have Suffered So Much, the song that led i*EARN SL's
Soldiers campaign. Through his music and creativity, he has
made several contributions which were the subject of national broadcast
in the local Voice of Democracy radio in Sierra Leone for many months
following the restoration of democracy.
The world of Sierra Leonean music is rich, deep, and multi-hued.
Our students are researching and learning about Sierra Leonean Music,
which includes forays into their own musical ventures as well as
research and interviews of today's musicians. As our students research
and interview, they nurture their interests in music while building
interaction and communication skills. In this way, music can truly
heal and promote growth and positivity.
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iEARN Sierra Leone HIV AIDS Campaign:
"Using Tele-Communication Technology to Break the Silence
on HIV and AIDS"This project is a strategy of Youth/Teachers
and educators of iEARN Sierra Leone in its War on HIV/AIDS to stimulate
all-around excellence among youths in the country through openly
interacting with their peers around the world on this sensitive
Alimamy Sekou Bangura organizes on-line network of students to
contribute their thoughts on the impact of the killer disease (HIV/AIDS)
amongst secondary school students. He is part of several other educational
campaigns on this health hazards, promote discussions, symposia
and quizzes amongst Junior Secondary School Students, (JSSS) and
Senior Secondary School Students (SSSS), in many schools within
the country. He does this together with his teaching colleagues
of iEARN Sierra Leone, including Mr. Jusu M. Gogra of the Ahmadiyah
Muslim Secondary School, Freetown.
|Does Sierra Leone have
a problem with HIV/AIDS? Read
|Read remarks from US
president Bush on the committment
of funding to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.
|Read a report
from i*EARN SL's attendance of the HIV/AIDS Workshop at the
American Embassy in Freetown.
i*EARN Sierra Leone Anti Drug Abuse Campaign Project
The Anti Drug Abuse Campaign (ADAC) Project is coordinated by
Dauda Sandy and is both an educational and a rehabilitational
project targeting youths involved with drugs, children recovering
from forced drug use, and youths whose efforts in research and outreach
help to make a difference in our Sierra Leone community.
ADAC is in its infancy now and hopes to develop a comprehensive
program that offers an online education component as well as an
offline rehabilitational aspect.
- Online Education:
ADAC coordinates essay-writing, music, poetry, interactive forums,
and research into the very real issue of drug abuse.
- Offline Reintegration/Rehabilitation:
ADAC coordinates community outreach, workshops, and donations
of reusable items. In addition, ADAC uses drama, film acting,
and performance styles to communicate the Anti Drug Abuse message
and to raise awareness of the issue.
ADAC is clearly meeting a need: a recent survey in Brookfields,
Freetown showed 62% of youths who want to enroll in training institutions
that enhance self-sustainability and 30% of youths, mainly children,
who were found to be in urgent need of rehabilitation. ADAC has
set its goal for a 90% reduction in drug use amongst its beneficiaries,
and has set another estimated goal of having 20 children/youths
undergo rehabilitation in preparation for reintegration into Junior
ADAC is grateful for your
support to help reintegrate these youths back into society and
therefore strengthen Sierra Leone's future.
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Although the stories told by the children in www.childsoldiers.org
are agonising, they are true and authentic, and not tainted by the
lens of mass media journalism. Through their compelling artwork,
drawings and music, our youth are bringing the seriousness of the
issue to the international community through the Internet.
Child Soldiers (www.childsoldiers.org)
iEARN Sierra Leone has made a number of significant accomplishments.
For the past three years, we have enabled over 200 youths and students
affected by war to develop ICT skills. Our ongoing tele-collaborative
is a multimedia showcase of essays, images and music that tells
of the human toll of our civil war -- a showcase all created with
the contributions of students and youth.
This project has touched the hearts of
many people. The UN's Office of Displaced Persons in New York is
considering it as a potential model for use in four additional parts
of the world that have been affected by war: Uganda, Sri Lanka,
Cambodia and Palestine. This focus on the human rights of children
used in armed conflict was the subject of a national broadcast in
Canada. In much the same way, our collaborative efforts have won
us laurels. We have been commended by the UK based 2002 'Cable And
Wireless ChildNet Awards' in the not-for-profit category. http://www.childnetacademy.org.
The www.childsoldiers.org tele-collaborative
project has moved into a new, wider and equally contemporary phase,
the 'Peace and Reconciliation stage.' The website for this new stage
has been awarded 2nd
prize by the 2003 'Cable and Wireless ChildNet Awards' - you
can visit it at http://peacereconcile.virtualactivism.net.
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Click to see photos
of our Digital Ambassadors in action!.
the Planet Project
In 2000, iEARN Sierra Leone participated in the Digital Ambassador's
project, commonly known as the Planet Poll. This was an initiative
of 3Com that was looking at new ways to cast light on the "digital
divide" between computer haves and have-nots.
With its "Planet Project," an
attempt was made to create "the first global interactive poll
of the human race," according to a statement issued by the
company. 3Com representatives and volunteers wielding handheld computers
asked residents from around the world about their religious beliefs
and how they sleep at night.
3Com was able to tap about 2,500 of its worldwide
employees and 500 "planet pollsters" from nongovernmental
aid and business organizations, arm them with Palm V handheld computers
fitted with modems, and present an online survey to people in remote
corners of the world who lacked internet access.
The poll was offered in eight languages and carried
out over four days from Nov. 15 to 18 of 2000. As well as being
offered to residents in remote areas like the Australian outback
and the jungles of the Amazon and Papua New Guinea, the poll also
opened to internet users in developed nations who could answer the
questionnaire using their own PC.
Generations CaN Connect
Generations CaN Connect is an initiative from Bill
Belsey (of iEARN Canada) and youths.
iEARN Sierra Leone also participated in this tele-collaborative
project that connects young people with their seniors or older folks
through the power of technology.
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here to see IEARN Youth CaN participants in action!
YouthCaN (Youth Communicating and Networking) is an
initiative of faculty and students of the NYU Program in Environmental
Conservation Education in cooperation with the H. Frank Carey High
School Ecology Council, iEARN, and the Education Department of the
American Museum of Natural History.
The mission of YouthCaN has been to develop sustainable computer
networks of youth groups for the coordination and expression of
youth concerns regarding environmental issues. The strategy of YouthCaN
has been to organize opportunities for young people, with computer
telecommunications skills, to teach other young people how to develop
such networking abilities and how to connect with like minded young
people around the world.
In 2002 iEARN Sierra Leone also participated in another
youth CaN event and submitted entries on the theme Help Our Planets
Environment : Our focus was on the area of deforestation.
This event can be found here www.youthcanworld.org
and click on Youth CaN Global reporters.
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iEARN Sierra Leone was co-facilitator in the iEARN
project "Colouring Our Culture" put up by Ms. Jo Tate
The project provides students and families with the opportunity
of participating in an international global art project crossing
cultural and language barriers through student art, writing and
the power of the internet. It is part of the larger global art project,
'Painting the Planet'.
Writing from iEARN Sierra Leone youths is featured
on this site at http://www.araratcc.vic.edu.au/users/web/culture/page7.htm
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