Story of Jendie Lappia – A Youth Accountability Volunteer.

After completing her West African Senior Secondary Certificate Exams (WASSCE), like other young people in Mokanji Village, Jendie would spend most of her time supporting her parents on their farm, which is around 2km away from her house. When her day on the farm was over, the rest of the evening would be spent taking care of her younger siblings and had no time for social activities. In January 2019, Restless Development was recruiting Community Volunteers for the SABI programme and Jendie placed in an application, went through the selection processes, and was successfully recruited to represent her community.

During foundation training, a capacity assessment done for her showed she needed to improve on her communication skills (public speaking), the ability to collect data, and generate monthly reports. Jendie was supported by staff and her colleague Volunteers during different capacity-building training and other opportunities designed to help Volunteers better deliver the SABI program. On top of this, her Field Officer provided hands on support and mentoring sessions to enhance her growth. During monthly team meetings, Jendie started representing her placement and did present reports on activities completed for that reporting period. This helped in building her self confidence in addressing gatherings. The Field Officer provided constructive feedback which further motivated her to continue putting her skills to use.

At the end of her placement, Jendie had demonstrated improvement in her capacity to mobilise communities, participate in discussions, lead in the delivery of activities, and compile a good report. Her interaction with the data collection tools and the use of the android phone to collect data had also been bolstered. She had developed temerity that was required for her to interact and synergize with her colleagues and staff in a congenial way.

“I am grateful for the change that has taken place in my life as a result of my participation in the SABI programme as a Youth Accountability Volunteer. I was shy to face strangers and particularly to talk in a public gathering. When I joined the SABI training, the most upsetting times were when a Facilitator would ask me to lead a session. Difficult as it was for me, but the support accorded to me by the training team helped me muster some boldness. In communities, I started putting myself out there to lead on the community engagement meetings, and it was bumpy at the start but that is where my breakthrough finally started. I appreciate the monthly team meetings and the mentoring support provided by my Field Officer, Sombo Minah. Today, I am proud to have contributed to leading social change in Sierra Leone.” Jendie Lappia