Vulnerable women: Rose Kamara, the DUCHASC director, received training from Tearfund to become their focal point and lead-trainer in Liberia for their work on Sexual and Gender Based Violence. Rose has in turn trained facilitators to run women groups based on the “Journey to Healing” method and run training for community leaders “Transforming Masculinities”.
The many women groups support women holistically;
Emotionally and Spiritually: during the monthly meetings women receive healing as they share their stories, dreams and hopes in a safe space as they discuss different topics
Economically: in the DUCHASC soap factory women work together to produce various soaps and sell it in their own communities. Training is given on techniques such as tie-dye, weaving and crafts.
Educational support: Over 40% of the school aged children in Liberia don’t attend school. Those who do go to school are often in grades lower than they should be age-wise, 80% of the kindergarten students are over 6 years old.
The school system suffered tremendously under the war and is only slowly climbing back up. Lack of classrooms, qualified teachers, teaching materials and equipment are huge obstacles to the education system.
Government schools are free however uniforms, books, shoes, bags and support for teachers continue to make it expensive. In general families prefer to send their children to private schools run by churches, communities or individually, at least they are assured to have teachers coming each day.
A student needs to pay anywhere between 100-500 US$ a year depending on the school and grade they are in. HAMIN supports students through DUCHASC to be able to attend and finish school.
“Education is the key to eliminating gender inequality, to reducing poverty, to creating a sustainable planet, to preventing needless deaths and illness, and to fostering peace.” Nelson Mandela
Prison work: The overcrowded prisons, where inmates are often waiting for months if not years for their legal trials, are a venue of much desperation and shortages from sleeping places to clean water, from food to materials to pass the day. It is no surprise that there is a lot of violence in these places.
DUCHASC works in the prisons in Monrovia and Bong, a 3 hour drive outside of the city, organizing AVP activities, Bible studies, supporting necessary repairs such as fixing water pumps and bringing additional food. AVP, Alternative to VIolence Program originates from the Quakers in the US and has grown into a worldwide program run in prisons, it has proven successful to curb prison violence. The Bible studies are those used in both Thai and US prisons, specially designed for prison work.
Health Care: The healthcare system is broken down, lack of medication, medical personnel and facilities make it difficult for the sick to get treatment. Often the only option is to attend a private clinic/hospital which can be costly.
HIV medication is free thanks to the Global Fund, all other medication needs to be paid for.
DUCHASC supports the most vulnerable families with healthcare costs and prevention education/equipment for some of the most common diseases such as Malaria, Typhoid and other common illnesses.
Vulnerable youth: Poverty and broken families cause many youth to have to fend on their own. DUCHASC offers shelter to some of these vulnerable youths, they have their own room and share a communal kitchen with food supplies for their daily needs.
Together with local churches DUCHASC organizes activity days for children living in vulnerable communities, offering a Bible lesson, crafts and games as well as a healthy meal.