Connecting local responses around the world
Sierra Leone Community Life Competence was formed four years after the WHO funded international training on the Competence Approach in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2005 in which Sierra Leone participated. Initially, the Malaria Competence Process (MCP) was introduced in Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS). Three participants represented Sierra Leone in the Kenya training namely Wani Lahai of MOHS, Ibrahim Kamara of Plan Sierra Leone and Joseph Senesie of World Vision Sierra Leone.
Following their participation in the Kenya training, World Vision Sierra Leone and Plan Sierra Leone Programme pioneered the Malaria Competence Process in their various operational areas in Sierra Leone. For instance, through the Competence strategy, World Vision successfully facilitated the distribution of 28,000 insecticide treated mosquito nets in Bonthe district. To date, the competence approach is nationally and internationally recognized as an intervention that facilitates Community Systems Strengthening (CSS).
Having participated in international facilitation assignments and through the network of Competence Coaches facilitated by the Constellation, Sierra Leone has experienced international Coaches on Malaria and AIDS Competence Approaches, an approach now known as Community Life Competence which builds the Human Capacity Development (HCD). There is growing membership of the Sierra Leone Community Life Competence and members are based in Bonthe, Moyamba, Kono, Port Loko, Bo, Kailahun and Freetown working for various agencies
As the Chairman of the Sierra Leone Community Life Competence, I have heard and experienced the changes in communities attributed to the Life Competence Approach whereby local communities take the issues of development into their own hands. “We were asleep but this process has woke us up” (translated from mende tribe) said a Community Leader in Momaligie village, Imperi Chiefdom. Finally, as we (Sierra Leone Community Life Competence members) continue to learn so are we prepared to share our experiences using the local community response through the competence approach to malaria, HIV, nutrition, child health and development programmes implemented in Sierra Leone.
From Chairman of the Sierra Leone Community Life Competence – Joseph Senesie, August 2011