Setting up construction teams
One of the methods aidworkers use to help child soldiers in the early stages after their demobilization is teaching them basic vocational skills. In Sierra Leone a significant amount of ex-combatants received short courses, and upon completion were given a toolbox which should have made it easy for them to find work. Unfortunately, as a result of the minimalistic content of the courses, and their bad position in society, they remained unemployed. Many of them ended up selling their toolboxes and until this day remain without a job.
It would be a waste not to use the knowledge they already posess. The Construction-project therefore complements the training these people already received, as well as providing them with much-needed reading-, writing- and mathskills. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers etc. form small contracting-businesses. They get extra training to extend their skills, and when at the proper level can start doing business within their own company. Their first job: (re)constructing a school or communitycenter in the villages most affected by the war. By doing this they build a portfolio, while at the same time giving something back to the community.
How it works
The contractors license is provided as a loan. The participants remain part of the contracting-business until the debt is settled. Once the loan has been repaid, participants get the option of taking out further loans to expand their businesses.
What needs financing? Education (donation), license (loan), materials and tools (50% donation – 50% loan) and the building of the actual structure (completely funded from institutional or private funds). Costs may vary, depending on current economic trends.
Companies have the options of creating a partnership. You finance the project from start to finish, and could even join at the site to help build the kickoff project.