2008 Peace Workshop
During the civil war, many children who had been taken by the rebels and used as Child Soldiers escaped and lived in the bush. In 1996 there was a ceasefire and the children came out of hiding, only to be recaptured because the ceasefire only lasted for three weeks.
When the war did eventually end the children who had escaped did not believe the war had really ended, so they stayed in the bush. This meant that many of them missed the rehabilitation programmes that were put in place at that time. Some of these young people talked to KIK about their needs during a visit in 2007, and it is for these young people that the Peace Workshop described below was held.
In partnership with the Methodist Church, KIK hosted their first Peace Workshop in January 2008. A group of 50 young people from Kailahun District came together to learn and gain skills in building a culture of peace.
The workshop was a five day residential course led by Desmond Wiliam, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Freetown, and the Rev Arnold Archer-Campbell.
The 2011 Participatory Appraisal exercise carried out by KIK showed that – after education – the second most important need was community development, and especially business development.
Many of those who survived the ten-year civil war in Sierra Leone were left with their homes and businesses destroyed and their education incomplete. Both men and women asked for training or micro-loans to enable them to start small businesses to give them an income.
With this in mind, KIK staff are working on projects to help the people of Kailahun establish small businesses and also to encourage individuals to become involved in local voluntary projects that will benefit the whole community.
A grant from BFSS in late 2016 enabled KIK to introduce adult numeracy and literacy classes to 20–40 adults who have children on the KIK programme and who wish to be considered for a micro loan. This programme commenced in January 2017.
The development of the land around the KIK Academy is already providing employment for some beneficiaries and local people.
The intention is to be a grower of produce and livestock to help the KIK operation to be self-sustaining. Fruit, cassava, and rice are the main crops.
In addition, the KIK farm is a customer of a number of local businesses in Kailahun District.