Learn more about our trainings and be inspired!
When we started the work of CAA in 2010, we came to Sierra Leone once a year and offered trainings for local health professionals, eg. Social workers, paramount chiefs, counselors, teachers, nurses etc. It was the first time that Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) was used in the context of a low-income country (LIC) and we had no idea if it would be applicable for our participants.
The feedback from participants was overwhelming; that they were able to use it for their own trauma from the civil war and that they were able to help their clients with ACT much better than before. They appreciated that the ACT-framework gave them space to adapt the content to their own culture and different contexts, like working with street kids, with HIV-patients, people with mental health problems with women and girls who had experienced violence etc.
In 2014, in the Ebola crisis, and 2020 in the Corona Pandemic we also adapted ACT and Prosocial to foster behavior change in big groups of people and reduce the number of new infections by community members doing things differently.
Since then a lot has happened. All our workshops are now lead by well-trained Sierra Leonean trainers who can lead in English, Krio and Mende and other local languages. The resonance to our local trainers is even much better, as participants relate to them in a natural way in their own local context.
Trainings are lead for all kinds of groups and professions now, like couples, women, communities, schoolchildren, motorbike-taxi-riders, market women, chiefs, etc. They all want to participate as they appreciate the framework to investigate what is valuable for them, which actions help them realize their values, what the obstacles and what unhelpful behaviors are. This framework encourages a new kind of perspective, to let actions be guided by values. The results are increased awareness, acceptance and connection to values, self-esteem, restoration of respect and dignity, reduction of aggression and violence, better communication skills, peaceful relationships among couples and community development initiatives.
Voices from people in the country:
The judge of the High Court in the South of Sierra Leone said a few years ago, “the work of CAA helped to change the culture of violence in the South of the country”.
In the Kandeh town community in Bo, Southern Sierra Leone, Mr. and Mrs. Koroma said that “CAA has helped changed the culture of silence which was a big gap in their relationship, that they have now wedded and live a happy life”.
The women’s groups in Bo city said that “with the trainings from CAA, they have been able to mobilize funds to pay college fees for their children, to build houses and to engage in sustainable businesses”.
By, Beate and Edmond