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Washington Network on Children and Armed Conflict An informal network for practitioner and scholars Washington Network on Children and Armed Conflict An informal network for practitioner and scholars convened by Search for Common Ground and the Displaced Children and Orphans Fund of USAID with the broad aim of improving the protection of children affected by armed conflict.

Agenda 10 am-12 pm q q Welcome & Introduction- 2 minutes Presentations - 1: Agenda 10 am-12 pm q q Welcome & Introduction- 2 minutes Presentations - 1: 30 minutes Q&A – 20 minutes Announcements – 8 minutes

 Background: I am 23 years old and I am single. I am a Background: I am 23 years old and I am single. I am a (West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Exam) drop out. My father, a security officer, and my mother, a coconut cake seller, supported me. There are eight children in our family. I am the third child and the eldest girl. Currently I do nothing. Coping Strategy: I survive by magic. At times I wake up in the morning without having something to eat. I drink water and move on. It’s very common with me. Sometimes, I get food, that is, if somebody is preparing food in the compound and I assist the person with washing dishes or a bucket of water, she would dish a plate for me. I just have to do that to survive that morning as I cannot go to my mother and ask her food. It is very shameful. Identity: I see myself as a youth because others are still supporting me. I am not independent. I cannot give advice to someone and expect that he or she will listen to me. I cannot help somebody who is in need. Apart from that, I see myself as nobody because I have nothing to be somebody Future: I hope for a brighter future if God gives me longer years, because I have just been diagnosed with an enlargement of the heart. The doctor says too much worrying causes it. I don’t know how long God is going to keep me suffering, but if at all it’s His will and He wants to change things for me, I will want to continue my education and end up earning a living from “book and pen” (doing an office work) as it s the only thing that I can stand. With faith, everything is possible.

Background: My name is ( …. . ) I am single and currently living Background: My name is ( …. . ) I am single and currently living with my aunt and her two children in Freetown. I was born and raised in Bo Town where I completed my primary and secondary school education Coping Strategy: I lost my father at 16, and my mother is now the chief provider and main pillar of our family. My mother is a teacher at the Bo District Council Primary School. She lives in Bo with my other siblings. I use to trade in fish and palm oil before I moved to Freetown. I would buy fish on Fridays and proceed to Mbama, my mother’s village, about 12 miles from Bo Identity: I was a member of St. Theresa’s Parish in Bo and an active member of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). CYO members helped each other financially. My current church in Freetown has not helped me financially because I just joined the church. The government has not helped me in any way Future: I want to be a very successful accountant. In the next ten years, I envisage that I will have a degree in business management and will be working in a bank or big company. But, if I do not have my dream job in the bank or company, I plan on being a big business woman with my own store. I will be buying and selling goods internationally. I am very optimistic, and I plan on succeeding in life.

 Background: My name is (……. ) I am thirty years and single. My Background: My name is (……. ) I am thirty years and single. My mother and father Paul are at Mano Dasseh. My father is a retired schoolteacher; he taught for about 46 years at different Roman Catholic primary schools in the country before retiring due to illness. My mother is not educated. Coping Strategy: I am responsible for my own welfare and education. I make a living as a security guard, working mainly at night. I work for the Group 4 Securicorp Company and my pay is 150, 000 Leones for a 12 -hour, five-days a week job. I also do housekeeping during the day to supplement my income. I use the money I earn for my upkeep, school fees, books and transportation, and to help my parents and siblings. Identity: I am matured and more aware and conscious of things that are happening in my country and around the world. I consider myself responsible and more focused than many other young people. Nonetheless, I see myself as a youth because of my age, and life circumstances. I am yet to finish college or settle down with a family Future: My dream is to be an accountant and work for a big company. I want to get a good job. I want to be able to make money, have my own home, a car, and a family that I can take care of. I should have finished college and be amongst the learned people in this country. If possible or if there is the opportunity for me to pursue further education in a different country that would be the best thing that would ever happen to me.