News from the WAYout Hub

“Thank you WAYout. Your brought our nephew back to us. He was lost to us and now he is back”
It’s been another busy few months at WAYout, and a lot has been happening both during the Ebola crisis and after.
– The end of ebola – The country was declared officially Ebola free and we did a report on WAYout during Ebola – see here:
– Certificates – We held the first certificate giving since Ebola and 89 certificates were given for photoshop, editing- beginners and advanced, logic
– WAYout produced 5 films and an album by five traditional musicians with kind support from the Prince Clause Foundation. These covered subjects such as disability in Sierra Leone, FGM,  live as an ex-child soldier, and the musicians we worked with.
– WAYout Grants – 8 new people have been provided grants to set up their own homes, and 2 more in education – one literacy (a young woman, quite rare in Sierra Leone) and one WASSCE (the equivalent of a UK A level). WAYout also funded and supported several visits to long lost family, and funded 2 new business start ups.
– BBC Broadcast – “After the Jungle”, about Mash P, an ex-child soldier trying to rebuild his life through music at WAYout, was broadcast on BBC News and many partner broadcasters and was shared a lot via social networks. Following on from making the film, Mash P is now on the path to being accepted back by his family. His uncle came in to thank us – “he was lost to us and now he is back”. His music videos and tracks have also had a surge in support and airplay.
– Computers and Women’s Room – New computers arrived, thanks to ‘Computers for Africa’. One was specifically for our Womens’ Room. We still need more, as demand is still very high!
– We also secured some funding from the Mercers Guild to equip the women’s room which has begun.
– The Writers group shot their first half hour drama about rape called “Damaged Heart”. This was a big thing, a massive learning exercise and a sensitive approach to rape. The result is looking really good.
– WAYout Celebration event for The Way Group –  the group of street youth-turned-film-makers held a celebration of their work. The attitude of the community and family had changed towards them since they joined The Way Film group. However, their communities didnt really know what they did – so the event invited the community down, and we showed films and played the music they have made over the last 3 years. We had great attendance, including family members that hadn’t seen them in years. The Way group really enjoyed it too.
There have been 257 Way members and about 50 are regular attendees.
– ‘Freedom’ design competition – We ran another photoshop competition on the theme of Freedom.
– On the radio – We’ve recorded the 30 minute radio show for Share Radio here in London.  More news on that soon.
We are recording for an organisation working with young offenders. For this we have been invited to make a presentation to Sierra Leonean ministers about our work.
– In the studio – Black Street Family and Wanted getting lots of radio play and videos on TV and feeling famous but still no money. Will probably do a show in March if Africell support us. Also Fisherman on the radio a lot and planning a launch in March.
– UK Collaborations – between Black Street, Wanted, Che and Mash P with UK producers and singers are producing some great results. Thanks to producer Jay and singer Shelly.
– Live reggae album – It took a while, but WAYout has produced our first live reggae album, by Jahman. We hope it gets some good attention.
– Volunteers – we continue to benefit from volunteers. Hannah McInerny is currently out there teaching keyboards and music productions – but we could always benefit from more. Please get in touch if you’re interested! 

WAYout has a new home!

wayout home

Check out these first photo for WAYout’s brand new centre in Freetown.

Building works are underway on the studio and the new Centre is shaping up nicely.

More photos are coming soon!