Saturday Youth Debates
Music Project with ActALIVE
YPM Film Project
Positive Music Project & Rap 4 Rights
HIV/AIDS Campaign
Anti Drug Abuse Campaign
Child Soldiers Project
Planet Project
Generations CaN Connect
Youth CaN
Coloring Our Culture

Contact
iEARN Centre For
Education And Technology
Flat 1, National Stadium Hostel
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Phone: 00232-76-654282
Fax: 00232-22-224439
info@iearnsierraleone.org

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 central 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?” See photos of our youth debaters.

back to top

actalive

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.

back to top

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 Leone.

During Sierra Leone’s 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.

back to top

The Positive Music Project & Rap 4 Rights

Rashid 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 1999 Child 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.

back to top

 

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 issue.

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 this.
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.

back to top

 

i*EARN Sierra Leone Anti Drug Abuse Campaign Project

The Anti Drug Abuse Campaign (ADAC) Project is coordinated by Mr. 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 Secondary Schools.

ADAC is grateful for your support to help reintegrate these youths back into society and therefore strengthen Sierra Leone's future.

back to top

 

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 project, http://www.childsoldiers.org,with iEARN-Canada 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.

back to top

 

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.

back to top

 

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.

back to top

Click here to see IEARN Youth CaN participants in action!

Youth CaN

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 Planet’s 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.

back to top

 

Colouring Our Culture

iEARN Sierra Leone was co-facilitator in the iEARN project "Colouring Our Culture" put up by Ms. Jo Tate at http://www.papaink.org/gallery/home/artist/display/75.html 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

back to top