We offer training to people in Sierra Leone who want to learn Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) and teach it to others.
Our aim is that local trainers and their participants can help others with efficient, modern therapy methods to deal better with the multiple distress in the country and to live healthier, values-based life.
THE STORY OF OUR PROJECT
Training professionals in Sierra Leone
When we started the work of Commit and Act in 2010, we came to Sierra Leone once a year and offered training 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 led 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.
“With the trainings from Commit and Act, we have been able to mobilize funds to pay college fees for their children, to build houses, and to engage in sustainable businesses”.