• Please note: this report is also posted under the Psychosocial Care and Protection of Children group as I feel it is relevant to both groups. This is a report of a study designed to include girl mothers, both formerly associated with armed groups and other vulnerable young girls who became pregnant or gave birth when they were under 18 years of age over a three year period.
    The report describes a community-based participatory action research (PAR) project involving approximately 658 young mothers and over 1200 of their children living in the three war-torn countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Northern Uganda. The report seeks to understand reintegration from the young mothers’ perspectives, learning from them about what constitutes successful reintegration for themselves and their children. The project supported the young mothers in implementing actions that they thought would assist them in achieving their notion of successful reintegration. The young mothers were actively involved in leadership roles in program development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, working to reduce the powerful stigma they face through their garnering of local resources. The project works to develop organizational capacity to implement programs using highly participatory approaches.

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    • Program designers in community reintegration processes will find this report very useful as it explains a step by step engagement with the young mothers with the girls leading the decision-making on how the project should run. The girls decided on what projects to implement based on their knowledge and experience of their environment. Many community projects do not have sustainability in-built into the project design but this report explains in the girls own thinking and words how they planned to sustain their projects after the organizations’ exit. Project designers should always follow up with the beneficiaries throughout the life of the project and even after completion to monitor impact.