Restless Development alumni in action.
Every year, Restless Development recruits hundreds of volunteers (young leaders) from across Sierra Leone to live and work with communities on 10-month placements and lead development. Restless Development began working in Sierra Leone in 2005, three years after the eleven-year civil war.
The agency has supported more than 2,000 changemakers, and over time these young people have gone on to effect change and achieve great things for themselves, the country, and the world.
These highly trained, enthusiastic and professional young people hold a diverse range of professional skills, with many now in formal employment or studying in Sierra Leone and overseas.
On the 21st September 2006, after the first cycle of volunteers in 2005 finished their placements, they came together and launched a group called ‘SPW Ex-Volunteer Network’, with a mission to build a better society for all.
The network is run under three fundamental principles:
- Sustainable leadership: They seek to develop a committed and dedicated youth network that takes on leadership and serves as an expert in leading development in all sectors, ranging from the public, private and non-profit sectors.
- Alumni-led with a shared vision: They want to strengthen the alumni structures to enable them to develop strategic initiatives and innovative approaches to development that can be used by them in their pursuit to influence national and global development strategies.
- Transformative Change: They make sure young people have careers that will enable them to occupy strategic space in communities and national development platforms, in order to influence policies that reflect their needs.
When Restless Development rebranded in 2010 from Students Partnership Worldwide, the group also change their name to Restless Alumni Network Sierra Leone (RANSiL) and their members were now called Young Leaders, instead of Ex-Volunteers.
In order to be more independent from their parent body, and to seek for opportunities as a local NGO; the alumni changed their name to Network of Youth for Development Sierra Leone (NYD-SL).
The Network envisages a society with empowered young people, who are allowed space for participation, holding their leaders accountable.
The Network is democratic, with an election happening every two years at their General Alumni Assembly to elect new leadership, which is called the National Alumni Council or National Executive.
From the 15th – 17th November 2019, 250 members of the Network met in Makeni, the third biggest city in Sierra Leone, for their ‘General Alumni Assembly’, where they elected a new executive of six members who will run the affairs of the Network for the next 2 years.
At the General Alumni Assembly, Fanta Daboh, who works at Christian Aid as their Head of Programme for the Strengthening Accountability Sustainability Inclusion (SABI) programme was elected the new National President.
Fanta joined Restless Development as a Volunteer Peer Educator in 2007, and then went on to be employed by the organisation in many different capacities for almost 10 years, ranging from Drama Intern, Field Officer, Assistant Finance and Admin Coordinator, Finance and Accountability Coordinator, Regional Coordinator, and Programme Manager, before she left in 2017. She was also the Restless Development Values Champion for Sierra Leone in 2013.
My vision for NYD is to make it the biggest and most effective and efficient organisation for development in Sierra Leone, and this executive will work toward getting the right foundation.Fanta Daboh, President-elect, Restless Development alumni network, Sierra Leone
Other National Executive roles elected during the General Alumni Assembly include:
Mohamed Yusuf, a lecturer at Njala University and Every Nation College was elected National Secretary-General. Mohamed volunteered with Restless Development in 2013 and later served as Community Social Mobiliser, and then worked as a Programme Support Intern, and then Field Officer for the Social Mobilization Action Consortium (SMAC) during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. He has also worked with Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission, One Village Partners, and the Sierra Leone Youth Leadership Federation.
Alpha Umaru Jalloh, is the Finance and Operations Manager for Christian Aid in Sierra Leone. He was elected to the position of Finance Controller.
Alpha became an alumni three months after joining Restless Development in 2014 as Assistant Finance and Admin Coordinator for the Social Mobilization Action Consortium (SMAC) project and later served as Finance Coordinator. Alpha had previously worked with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), First International Bank and the Sierra Leone National Power Authority.
Idrissa Cole was elected as the National Fundraiser. He joined Restless Development as a volunteer Peer Educator in 2006, where he would later be employed in different capacities, ranging from Intern, Field Officer, Assistant Programme Coordinator and to his present position as the Regional Operations Manager in the south-east region of Sierra Leone. Idrissa has also worked with Leonard Cheshire Disability and Youth Participation in Peace and Development.
Amadu Kamara was elected National Communications Officer.
He joined Restless Development in 2010 as a volunteer Peer Educator and was later employed as a Drama Intern and District Liaison Officer for the Social Mobilization Action Consortium (SMAC) project in Tonkolili District.
Johanes Davies was elected National Organizing Secretary. Johanes joined Restless Development in 2007 as a Volunteer Peer Educator, where he would later serve as a Training Support Intern, Drama Intern, Community Social Mobilizer, and U-Report Ambassador.
He’s currently working with Restless Development as a Field Officer on the Public Financial Management programme.
Before now, he had worked with the Campaign for Collective Development Sierra Leone (CCD-SL), Nova Scotia Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Amnesty International Sierra Leone, and Craig Bellamy Foundation.
To follow the progress of the Network of Youth for Development Sierra Leone (NYD-SL) you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.