Sierra Leone & Liberia
Church & Community Mobilization Process (CCMP) | Inaugural Graduation Event in Sierra Leone
A profile of Sierra Leone
The Republic of Sierra Leone, West Africa, is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic ocean to the west and southwest and has an estimated population of 6.5 million. The country is rich in mineral resources, possessing most of the known mineral types - many of which are found in significant quantities. Yet despite this, the vast majority of its people live in poverty.
Between 1991 and 2001, about 50,000 people were killed in Sierra Leone's civil war. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced from their homes, and many became refugees in Guinea and Liberia. Although the country is now stable, there are numerous economic challenges including high unemployment.
Sierra Leone is the third-lowest-ranked country in the UN’s Human Development Index and seventh-lowest on the Human Poverty Index. Adult literacy is estimated at 38.1% and life expectancy is just 41 years. Two-thirds of the population engages in subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 52.5% of national income.
(Right) Freetown, the country’s capital is home to more than 1 million people, many of whom live in make- shift accommodation.
Church & Community Mobilization in Sierra Leone
Tearfund UK has been implementing CCMP with its partners in Sierra Leone and Liberia since 2008. Each partner and one other organization* nominated participants for the CCMP programme managed by Francis Wahome, Tearfund’s Country Representative and facilitated by Francis Njoroge. The inaugural CCMP group graduated 13 participants from seven organizations based in Sierra Leone and Liberia:
- Association of Evangelicals in Liberia;
- Baptist Convention of Sierra Leone;
- Christians in Action, Sierra Leone;
- Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone;
- Equip Liberia;
- New Harvest Ministries, Sierra Leone;
- Scripture Union, Sierra Leone.
Prior to graduating, the participants had to awaken and mobilize church and community organizations and train co-facilitators. It is a long, demanding process and the initial group has already played a significant role in facilitating change that is helping to transform many churches and their communities.
(Above) Francis Njoroge leads an exercise in observation skills with the inaugural CCMP group in Freetown.
Goderich Baptist Church, Freetown: CCMP impacts
Goderich is one of many churches that has been mobilized by the inaugural CCMP group. It now has its own co-facilitators and key resource persons so that the key principles of CCMP – creating an environment where people discover for themselves how to make improvements – can flourish.
(Left) Goderich Baptist Church, Freetown has become known in its community as the ‘Solution Centre’ because of the remarkable advances it is making with few resources.
(Right) Goderich has dramatically expanded its engagement with the community via its nursery and primary school provision.
Prior to CCMP the church had its own small school, with just 23 pupils but in the past two years it has expanded to more than 300 pupils.
Goderich uses the Government’s curriculum and despite the cramped conditions in its packed classrooms, the school has a perfect record (100%) of pupils who have passed the examinations required for entry to secondary school. Now Goderich would like to start its own secondary school too so that the community’s children do not have to commute long distances to central Freetown.
Goderich is serving the whole community as the children of Muslim families attend the school and church services too. Prayers are said for the sick every morning at the church and many attend – Christians, Muslims and those with other faiths.
(Left) Goderich pupils pictured with Richard Teare, GULL President (left) and Martin Jennings, Head of Region, West Africa, Tearfund.
Among other initiatives, the church operates a micro finance scheme for women (now with more than 40 beneficiaries) to start small business enterprises. These initiatives are managed by the CCMP co-facilitators and church and community key resource persons who were trained by members of the inaugural CCMP group. In these and other ways, Goderich is improving life for its community – hence it’s nickname – ‘The solution centre’.
Cascading and multiplying the CCMP
CCMP draws on biblical principles to facilitate change in the participants, the church and the wider community. To recognize this, the outcomes criteria at each stage of CCMP are aligned with GULL certification and when these outcomes are met, GULL awards are made:
- ‘Church awakening’ outcomes criteria – GULL Professional Bachelor (B) Level (L) 2 Certificate (Church & Community Mobilization (CCM));
- ‘Church & community mobilization’ outcomes criteria – GULL BL3 Diploma (CCM);
- ‘Implementation with co-facilitators’ – GULL BL5 Bachelor of Professional Studies (CCM)
Prior to the completion of the third stage, CCMP participants must have trained their own team of co- facilitators and church and community resources persons (CCREPs) so as to assist with cascading the CCM process to yet more churches and their communities. The action planning (right) illustrates the approach – this portion of a chart illustrates a CCMP participant’s objective to cascade and extend the process to 39 churches with a projected 117 co-facilitators over a 6 year period.
Co-facilitators and CCREPs are also eligible to receive GULL Bachelor pathway awards as and when they demonstrate that they have met the related outcomes criteria.
CCMP participants and the nature of the challenge
John G Troseh, one of the inaugural group participants from Liberia talks about his challenges and his prayer requests as he leads CCMP in his organization in Liberia:
- For his wife and family and for God’s protection;
- For the Church and wisdom in leadership – especially as they embrace change;
- For a Para-church organization – Constant Community Concern (CCC) which offers counselling and prayer to children, youth and adults in his community (The CCC ministry is also available through the Liberty Christian Institute, run by John.)
- Liberty Christian Institute is seeking and is praying for volunteer teachers and administrators and for counsellors for youth who are struggling to come to terms with their experiences during Liberia’s civil war and the post war situation;
- John also needs a CCC project coordinator and other volunteers for its children’s ministry in Liberia; transport (two vehicles for field work); Educational support for orphans and Partnerships to help him run the ministry.
(Above) John G Troseh CCMP participant from Liberia.
GULL and CCMP: Wider engagement in Sierra Leone
On Tuesday 12 October, we presented some of the outcomes of CCMP and the wider possibilities for applying the GULL system in Sierra Leone to an invited group of church and Christian leaders. We also aim to establish a GULL Doctor of Professional Studies leadership group to explore ways of widening access to GULL in Sierra Leone.
(Left) Francis Wahome, Tearfund Country Representative, Sierra Leone, Richard Teare and Francis Njoroge, CCMP facilitator extraordinaire!
(Right) Invited audience of church and Christian organization leaders at the GULL briefing session.
CCMP-GULL Graduation: 13 October 2010
Central Christians In Action Church, Freetown, Sierra Leone
The first GULL graduation event in Sierra Leone took place on Wed 13 Oct 10 in Freetown. The event was attended by 13 CCMP facilitators from Liberia and Sierra Leone – each of whom had completed the entire CCMP training process and were therefore eligible to receive GULL’s Bachelor of Professional Studies (Church & Community Mobilization) degree. The event was also attended by family, friends, partner organizations, church leaders, Sierra Leone Broadcasting Services (national television & radio) and the press.
(Above left) Wed 13 Oct, CCMP-GULL graduation day in Freetown! Graduands at the church entrance.
(Left) Central Christians in Action Church – a perfect venue to celebrate change and transformation!
The graduation guests and speakers included: Bishop Jonathan Achibald Cole, Overseer, New Life Ministries; Siaka Charles, Director, Christian Development Association of Sierra Leone; Martin Jennings, Head of Region, West Africa, Tearfund; Reverend Solomon Kampbell, General Secretary, Baptist Convention of Sierra Leone; Donald Manley, National Director, Scripture Union of Sierra Leone and Reverend Titus Williams, General Secretary, Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone.
(Above right) Bishop Jonathan Achibald Cole, Overseer, New Life Ministries, Sierra Leone.
(Right) Siaka Charles, Director, Christian Development Association of Sierra Leone.
The graduation was a powerful affirmation of change and development and also a time of commissioning for wider service in scaling-up CCMP throughout Liberia and Sierra Leone.
(Above left) The CCMP graduation invitation citing the partner organizations from Liberia and Sierra Leone.
(Left) Some of the CCMP-GULL graduates pictured with Richard Teare.
GULL and CCMP: Next steps in Sierra Leone
On Thursday 14 October, we presented the GULL system to World Vision Sierra Leone who say that they are keen to use GULL in support of staff and volunteer development. We also hope that several of their senior leadership team will join the GULL D Prof group so that this group can envision and then provide wider access to GULL via different organizational applications.
(Above right) Francis Wahome, Country Representative and Andrea, Administrator, Tearfund Sierra Leone relax after the graduation event.
(Right) Richard and Francis discuss GULL with a group of staff from World Vision, Sierra Leone.
GULL is a not-for-profit foundation registered in California, USA. GULL is recognized by the Government of Papua New Guinea & endorsed by other Governments, Leaders & Institutions.