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Commit & Act is dedicated to helping health care workers in Sierra Leone support people struggling with trauma following the war, as well as with other issues (e.g. domestic and gender-based violence) and mental health health difficulties. Health care workers are provided with training in an evidence-based therapeutic approach (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy; or ACT) and are given ongoing supervision and support. We also conduct research on our projects so that we can refine and improve the services that we provide based on data and participants' evaluations.
Our vision is that in the face of all circumstances, people choose to create and live their lives according to their values and empower others to do the same.
Our mission is to empower vulnerable populations in crisis areas by providing science-based, culturally sensitive training for health workers and other professionals, shelter with medical and legal help to victims of violence, and doing scientific research to evaluate our services.
We are currently working toward our mission through three separate initiatives. We train professionals to apply Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and PROSOCIAL with individuals, groups, and families. We provide temporary shelter for girls who have experienced sexual violence or domestic abuse. And we are developing and delivering a DARE to Connect program that aims to provide couples and boys alternatives to violence in solving problems.
In Bo, Sierra Leone, we have provided a secure place for girls who have experienced violence since August 2015. At our 'girl's shelter' they receive competent medical and psychotherapeutic support, clothing and food. It is a safe, loving community where they can live life less restricted and work through their experiences with the support of professionals.
Some of our services include:
Collaborate to care for orphans as a result of violence and disease.
Train mental health care workers and community leaders in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy so they can help heal their communities and victims of violence.
Facilitate a women’s group and microfinance businesses so people have new beginnings.
Run a girls’ shelter for females who have suffered abuse, meeting their basic needs and helping them heal and thrive through psychological, medical, and legal care.
Facilitate DARE to Connect ACT workshops that teach partnership skills to couples and peaceful collaboration skills to violent kids in schools.
COMMIT AND ACT'S STORY
Commit & Act's story began when Beate met Sarah Culberson, who inspired her to go to Sierra Leone, in a Landmark Worldwide seminar series about creating your own vision and contribution to the world. They became friends and she was deeply impressed by her talk to 2000 women about her life - how she met her Sierra Leonean family for the first time in her late 20ies, after she found out about her birth father who was the son of a Sierra Leonean Paramount family which means that Sarah could become a leader of her tribe with the status of a princess. Her tribe was devastated after a more than ten year long brutal civil war and she took it on to raise funds for her African people. Beate was touched by this power story, Sarah's commitment to help her people and the suffering that they were experiencing. She decided to create her vision of transformation by going to Sierra Leone and training local health workers. She asked her husband and friends to support her vision and they started the commit and act foundation with her. She also asked colleagues who did not hesitate to come to Sierra Leone with her and be trainers.
During her first visit to the country, she went with Sarah´s dad and a priest to look around and meet stakeholders and have conversations to see if psychotherapy would be something useful there. She found great support from many people, especially from Father Peter Konteh, the leader of the Caritas foundation in Freetown. He organized the first workshops for commit and act, and in the very first workshop they had 30 participants from different NGOs in the country, and Hannah Bockarie was one of them. She was a young social worker, well trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and very curious to learn this new method of therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She was extraordinary in her openness to apply the exercises to her own trauma from the civil war and in her passion to share what she had experienced which was helpful and transformative for all of her colleagues in Sierra Leone. Since then she has worked for CAA, first as a volunteer and later on in 2014 she registered Commit and Act Foundation Sierra Leone as an independent local NGO., She was the only staff member, with a little salary and a budget of a few thousand dollars per year. Now, in 2021, she is the Country Director with 40 staff members and a bigger budget from different partner NGOs. Hannah and Beate have been visionary partners since they met and they empower each other in a very unique way. Beate says: “I learn so much from Hannah's heart and thinking, from her caring spirit and bold vision.”