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Questions


Why should I support or join FARDA?
The most terrible thing that happened in Sierra Leone during the bloody civil war was the coercion by warring factions of children – the seeds and future of the country’s most valuable resource – into taking up arms. It is incumbent on any government and country to educate and protect its children, but the contrary obtained in Sierra Leone. Tens of thousands of children were separated from families and coerced into fighting; many grew to know neither love nor family member. The 11-year old insurgence added to the grinding hardship in the country in a very terrible way. Today, many basic facilities and services are yet to be fully restored to many parts of the country. During much of the war and even afterwards, international Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) played vital roles in providing basic services in the country. However, many of the INGOs have already left the country, and many are in the process of leaving. Also donor interest in the country is dwindling, perhaps because the international community thinks the emergency situation in the country has subsided or is subsiding. International focus also now seems to be diverted to other regions whose conflicts seem, for various reasons, to overshadow those in the West African sub region. top


Is FARDA a political or religious organization?
FARDA is neither a political nor religious organization. However, FARDA can seek, and accept, partnership with religious groups with similar interests and activities as those of FARDA.
What are some of the challenges that FARDA faces in carrying out its programs?
The communities we serve need any- and every-thing. So that it can continue to provide service to regions in which it operates, FARDA appeals for help – in cash or in kind – especially in the areas of transportation equipment: truck, school bus, motor bikes or bicycles, books and other school materials, office equipment (computers, printers, photocopiers, etc.), furniture (for school, office, and home); clothing and building materials; and seeds and farm tools and equipment. Used but still usable forms of these materials would be most appreciated. Finally, FARDA needs resources to organize capacity-building workshops, to train its volunteers. top

Does FARDA charge any fees on my donation to a community, project, or organization?
Yes, 15% of gifts and/or donations go to offset FARDA’s programmatic and administrative costs. top

How else can I help if I do not have money, or want to support other than donate money?
You can get involved in several ways, including but not limited to:
- Telling individuals and organizations about FARDA and its work and mission
- Educating your friends, family, individuals and organizations about the status of women and children in post-war Sierra Leone
- Do administrative tasks for FARDA, as well as field tasks (if you live in a region where FARDA is carrying out a project).
- Bring innovations or your new ideas to enhance or improve FARDA's programs and operations top

How does FARDA pick the communities/groups to support?
Members of FARDA’s general membership and Board of Directors are very dynamic. They are teachers, scholars, health care workers, community leaders, and other professionals who, in addition to their official jobs, are highly interested in the improvement of the lives of women, children, and youth in rural communities of developing countries. FARDA also works with local community leaders and target groups in identifying felt needs for any region where the organization directs its efforts and resources. FARDA’s Board of Directors is ever willing to review and advise any programs and activities we undertake, and would make follow-ups on all programs we implement. top

How do you monitor the programs you implement?

Communities or groups that we work with have spokespersons on FARDA’s Monitoring and Evaluation Committee. Together with the respective spokespersons, project officials of FARDA prepare reports during and after the implementation of a program. Such reports must highlight and outline successes and challenges faced during program implementation, as well as any steps that were taken to reduce, prevent, or overcome difficulties. The reports are then sent to FARDA’s Board of Directors for review and then, finally, to FARDA’s Central Committee. top

Is my donation to FARDA tax-exempt? Do I get any tax rebate on donations to FARDA?

Yes. FARDA USA is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code and FARDA Canada Inc. is registered with the Manitoba Companies Office (BN 85082 2545 MC 0001). Your contributions are deductible for computing home and estate taxes. This deduction is only available for US and Canadian residents. When projects receive more money than is needed for a specific project, FARDA will transfer the funds to another project to meet the needs of the communities we serve. top

Why is FARDA focused on women and children?
There is a saying that “when you educate a man, you educate an individual; but when you educate a woman, you educate a village”. Also the future of a country depends on the future of the children of that country. You may also believe that women and children bear the brunt of almost all the wars, diseases, and other problems in developing countries. In Sierra Leone particularly, and very likely in all of Africa and many parts of the world, we have seen that women would circulate their earnings (be it from the farm, office, or other business) within the family. In rural communities, where job opportunities are generally non-existent, women are the breadwinners, and the care providers. Children are more fond of women, because the latter bring them up. Yet women and children occupy lower positions in these communities: their opinions seldom count, they are generally expected to only listen to their male counterparts. Therefore, we believe that improving the lives of women and children is perhaps the single most effective way to combating the problems faced by members of many communities today, especially in the poorer countries. We must not underestimate the progress that would be made in health decision making processes in rural communities if the women of those communities are empowered to work as equals to their male counterparts, and if the children of those communities are taught to grow and develop as respected and responsible members in their respective communities.
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