Dear commit and act Supporters,
This letter is in reference to your upcoming trip to Africa. National director of Commit and Act Foundation Hannah Bockarie (pictured below) works tirelessly to end gender-based violence in Sierra Leone. Not only does she serve abused girls at our shelter, Hannah works to bring about justice through legal means, reunite families, and heal communities. Currently, Hannah is working with a UN Women’s consortium on national policy reform initiatives. Part of a government-appointed committee, Hannah is tasked with drafting an amendment to existing Sierra Leonean Gender Laws. Work of this kind is challenging and costly. Through online fundraising efforts, Commit and Act has raised money to support the counseling center and girls shelter, increase security for our beloved Director, and continue to sponsor local programs for couples and children.
We would like to invite you to visit us and learn more about commit and act’s work in Sierra Leone. Your support and encouragement would make a difference and bring hope to the people in the country. During the past years we have built a shelter for abused girls in Sierra Leone and helped recover women and girls with mental health issues who were and continually subjected to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. To date, we have been able to increase our bed capacity from 12 beds to 32 beds, and continue to grow and expand. Below are listed some of our accomplishments from the past 2 years:
DARE to Connect program for Couples expanded to a Train the Trainers model that was launched in 2 separate chiefdoms, fully endorsed by Paramount Chiefs
This program began in 2016/17 as a pilot research initiative with Florida Institute of Technology
DARE to Connect for Boys Anti-Violence project began in several schools
This began as an initiative started by a 10-year-old boy that participated in an ACT workshop for kids that Tom Szabo & Hannah Bockarie led in 2016
We finished the new shelter and helped reduce the incidence of sexual abuse among girls. Cases reduced from 312 in 2016, 230 in 2017 and 201 in 2018
Improved the nutritional status of abused girls through regular feeding at the shelter and at home
Did flood prevention work at the shelter by building a culvert, shelving for perishables, and reinforced the well
Opened a nursery in concert with another NGO (OneDay) to allow those girls who are pregnant, can give birth and the Center and learn pre and post-natal care.
To increase communication with international organizations, we built a router tower and got working internet at the shelter. This was important since the shelter is located outside the central town of Bo
Local trainers are now conducting ongoing PROSOCIAL anti-violence trainings in Makeni, where violence traditionally occurs at high rates
Conviction and imprisonment of 179 perpetrators
Identification of root causes of violence in the chiefdoms through research
Some parents and caregivers now take responsibility about the wellbeing of the children
Installed solar panels as a way for the shelter to have reliable electricity
Some of our goals for 2019 are:
Raise the funds to support our girls’ shelter throughout 2019 and continue providing trainings locally in Sierra Leone
Buy farming equipment such as seeds, gardening tools, cassava grater and refrigerators
Continue growing and expanding our programs: DARE to Connect for Couples will implement the Train the Trainers model and DARE to Connect for Boys Anti-Violence project will be formally evaluated in a research study
Multiply ACT, PROSOCIAL, and DARE workshops in other districts in Sierra Leone
We need $20.000.00 to reach our goals this year. 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. So far, our experience has shown us that through our generous donor and our committed action, we can make a difference. On behalf of the commit and act Board, we would be grateful for whatever contribution you can give us and help us to move forward with our mission.
We thank you in advance for taking the time to read this letter, and we look forward to hearing from you soon. For more information about our organization, please vcontact us directly at EMAIL.
Commit and Act U.S. Chapter