Movement to Educate Children in Work Situation (MECWS)
This is the continuation of the MECWS project started in May 2006
Duration of the project
period is thirty six (36) months
Geographic Area and Profile of intended target group
project is being
implemented in the Tonkolili district, northern Sierra Leone. The project
headquarters town is Mile 91, located 146 km east of the capital Freetown.
is in the centre of the country, Sierra Leone. The district population is
are 300 (60% female, 40% male) children in work situations and those at risk
of being in work situations in villages and towns in the Tonkolili District.
children between the ages 6 to 17 years that are being used or at risk of
being used purely for labor and income generation in the project areas. These
are children found working as domestics, in cookery shops, bars, farms,
trading in the streets, leading blind begging parents with no opportunities or
plans for their education.
Why is the proposed project needed?
The ten years civil
war in Sierra Leone exacerbated child labor considerably. It devastated
social and economic activities. Schools were destroyed, social behavior
degenerated. The low level of understanding regarding HIV/AIDS and its
transmission and prevention further compounds the problem. Most of the women
and young girls suffered sexual violence exposing them to HIV/AIDS infection
and some even ended up being single parents.
social and economic situation in Sierra Leone is an excuse most parents,
guardians and adults rely heavily on the children for farm work, trading
foodstuff and other economic activities that include prostitution for family
upkeep, and most of these children do not go to school. The war also created
thousands of orphans and unaccompanied children who have found themselves in
work situations in rural and urban communities. The illegal trafficking of
especially the orphans is now on the increase.
the right to grow in an environment that protects them from violence,
exploitation, abuse and discrimination. The physical and intellectual
immaturity of children makes them particularly vulnerable to human right
abuse. Their ill treatment calls for special attention because children
cannot speak for themselves.
Despite the near
universal ratification of the rights of the child, children in Sierra Leone
are still denied their basic rights. There is very little or no documentation
on child labor, trafficking and even street children in the relevant
government institutions in the country. The country has suffered serious
economic and social devastation such that the rights of children are hardly
considered in the government’s recovery process. In effect, most of the
children continue to suffer appalling abuses.
Too often street children just disappear. Some are recruited to work
in narcotics, quarry, gold and diamond mines under extremely difficult
Goal and Key Objectives
of the project:
lives of 300
children in work situation would have been improved after they have been removed
from work situations and acquired basic formal primary education.
objectives of the project are:
- A total of 300 children in work situations and
those at risk are enrolled for primary school education in Mile 91 and
surrounding towns and communities in the Tonkolili district in 3 years
of project operations.
- All 300 targeted children and 300
parents/guardians, employers, custodians of the children in the program
(total 600 persons) will have increased knowledge on children’s rights
issues and HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention as a result of the yearly
workshops organized by the project
- The income generation capacity of the 300
custodians of the targeted children would be improved so that they can sustain
the education of the children when the project support ceases.
Main activities of the project.
activities will include:
Continue the enrollment of the
remaining 300 (180 female, 120 male) children found in work situations.
Monitoring the school and home
activities of the children in towns and villages in the district to determine
the level of exploitation in work situations.
workshop, meetings for children and parents, guardians on children protection
and labour and HIV/AIDS.
Conduct small business management
training for parents, guardians, custodians of the children to improve the
income generation capacity.
Monitoring, Evaluation and reporting on the
Short-term outcomes and long-term impacts expected of
for labour purposes are the target of this MECWS project. Children happen to
be the most marginalized when it comes to development activities in rural
Sierra Leone even though their development and proper upbringing is a major
catalyst for nation building.
the short term,
All 300 children in the MECWS will receive
three years of basic primary education, know their basic rights and
The MECWS outreach and sensitisation
exercises will discourage parents, guardians, custodians of children from
using them purely for labor. It will also encourage them to continue
supporting the education of the children after the MECWS support ceases.
the long term,
The three years of MECWS support and staff interaction
with parents, guardians, custodians and the children will strengthen their resolve
to either continue with higher formal education or acquire quality survival
skills training for a better chance to improve their lives and that of their