In 2012 the young adults in Majoe embarked on a mission to build a town barray, or meeting place, where their community could gather for planning sessions and celebrations. Two years into the project Ebola hit, difficulties arose, and the money set aside for the project was spent on other pressing needs.
When OVP partnered with Majoe, Community Action Group (CAG) member Hassan Kamara had an idea: perhaps the youth could raise the funds to complete their project themselves. They came together as a group and decided to help other villagers clear bush and farmland for a fair price. With all of them working hard, they were able to pool together a good sum of money.
Individual community members also contributed to the project by donating small amounts of money and providing local materials. With such determination the work has been completed. The barray is finished and will be open to the community after the rainy season. Because of the CAG’s approach to leadership in the community, the youth in Majoe no longer see themselves as a liability but as partners in development.
This is only one example of how local solutions to community problems are becoming the norm. OVP has facilitated this shift to local solutions by engaging community members in discussions on the importance self-reliance, uncovering leadership qualities in community members, and helping them to see how community action leads to greater ownership over projects and increased transparency within the community.
By encouraging and guiding communities through self-initiated projects, OVP is facilitating sustainable solutions that our village partners will be able to maintain and expand far into the future.