Commit and Act Foundation (CAF) was established in 2013 in Sierra Leone to bring psychosocial support to people in conflict areas. The psychotherapeutic approach is
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an evidence based behavioural method that has shown to be efficacious in dealing with mental problems (such as depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder, addiction, chronic pain, obesity and many others) in different cultural contexts in more than 100 randomized control studies (for more information please see www.contextualscience.org).
The CAF office in Bo was opened in 2014 short before the outbreak of the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD), to provide ongoing psychosocial support from local counselors in the area. CAF is the leading organization in Bo district that offers training and development programmes for service providers, including legal and medical practitioners, educators, counsellors, law enforcement agents, and community-based counsellors.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare, CAF started outreach programs on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in schools and communities. During the Ebola outbreak 50 teachers and 25 psychosocial assistants were trained in psychosocial skills. The effort of CAF was crucial in breaking the chain of transmission of EVD in Sierra Leone. Most of the trainees are in on-going training now. Through the interactive sessions, students learn to recognize and appropriately respond to violence in their homes, schools, and communities. This has also helped to reduce the high rate of violence in homes, schools and communities.
Reasons for its Establishment:
The consequences of the country's civil war were very severe on the population, and not least on the youths, women, children and the elderly. Very stressful and traumatic events lead to the mental impairment of those target groups. And just as those scars were about the heal, the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic, and lately, flooding and mudslides, coupled with the prevailing current economic situation have created serious mental and psychological health problems on many Sierra Leoneans.
Against this backdrop, Commit and Act Foundation was established to provide psychosocial support to Sierra Leoneans so as to be able to cope with their stressful situations through the use of the "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy," (ACT). This is done through individual and group counseling, training, community empowerment programmes, drama, research and awareness raising sensitization.
Commit and Act Foundation is operating in 15 chiefdoms in the Bo District and in addition, provide support in various forms for children in Kenema, Pujehun, Kono, Moyamba, Bonthe, Bombali, Tonkolili, and Koinadugu District, and the Western Area. Moreover, the Foundation is currently working with volunteers in Makeni and Freetown.
The Foundation's primary targets are girls below the age of 18 and women that have experienced gender-based-violence. The Foundation therefore targets about 200 young girls and 150 women annually also Offer Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Trainings to minimize Violence in Sierra Leone.
The Foundation's secondary targets are individuals and couples that are experiencing day-to-day stress, cumulative stress, and traumatic stress with the object of creating hope in them and to transform their lives for the better.
Organization Thematic Areas:
The Foundation focuses on the following thematic areas
To achieve our objectives and outcomes, the Foundation embarks on the following strategies
- Advocacy for better policies and the implementation of applicable laws
- Capacity building through trainings
- Community mobilization
- Organizing fundraising drive
The Foundation has embarked on a number of activities in partnership with different partners and under several themes as indicated below:
In partnership with Kindermissionwerk, the Foundation has provided temporal shelter for sexually abused girls from January, 2016 to December, 2017.
2. Activities - One Day
3. Activities - DARE to Connect
4. Activities Desert Flower
Provided monthly incentive of Le 170,000 each to 32 teenage girls that have not gone through the FGM rite of passage; and
Provided virginity assessment services to 32 girls.
The Foundation currently has a strength of 24 core staff, with 50 volunteers Teachers in Bo District, 35 volunteers in Makeni and 24 in Freetown
The Foundation has worked/is working in close collaboration with the following institutions and organizations:
Commit and Act Foundation is legally registered with the following bodies: