By Elkass I.L. Sannoh
A non-Governmental organization, Youth Dream Centre (YDC), founded in early 2011, yesterday certified 20 voluntarily teachers who had completed a three day training in psychosocial counseling, held at the Community Action for Psychosocial Services ( CAPS) building at Lumley in Freetown.
Addressing participants at the ceremony, the Executive Director of YDC, Captain J.F.S. Kaitibie of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, told beneficiaries to utilize the training by healing the traumatized people in society.
He observed that Sierra Leone is a post war country where many youths have dropped out of school or are marginalized and faced with traumatic stress, who he stressed need counseling.
He maintained that it was essential for the newly trained voluntarily teachers to quickly go into the communities and manifest their skills and experiences gained from the training.
The Executive Director noted that the aim of the seminar was to train teachers to give them the required skills to conduct counseling of traumatized youths and other people in their various communities.
He said as Military Officers, their institution was very versatile as they operate in both war and peace times. He noted that during the war, the fighting affected community people, across the country especially the youths.
He also observed that since the war ended they have continued to encounter problems with the youths who he said are involved in the abuse of drugs and alcohol.
He noted that it was very timely for him to apply what he learnt from the university in peace, conflict and advocacy in order to change the bad behaviours of youths who have psychological problems.
He also noted that it was paramount for other stakeholders to complement Government efforts by providing services that would improve the conditions of the youths in the society so that they would become good citizens.
In his statement, one of the facilitators who also doubles as Field Coordinator, Mr. Frederick Sam-Kubaka, said he was sure that the participants have gained a vast wealth of experiences in mental health and coping techniques of traumatized youths. He said they should now go into the communities and do their work with confidence.
In his remarks, one of the participants, Mr. Jonathan Alleeu Farboi, said the three day training has empowered them to give courage and counseling to traumatized and marginalized youths.
He said they were now ready to go into the communities and conduct psychosocial and behavioral change campaigns among the young people of this country.
The training, which was held under the purview of a project titled, “The Dream Town Project,” started since 2011 and is being sponsored by Voluntary Innovative Aid (VIAID), a Danish institution that receives funding from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).