What We Do

certificates

FROM NOBODY TO SOMEBODY

We deliver programmes that initiate long term change for many of our students. This reduces crime and violence whilst creating safer communities. 

  • We educate. We have awarded over 1800 certificates to those who society had given up on.   
  • We have funded more than 60 inspirational projects and our work has directly involved more than 6,000 young people, with more than 500,000 others who have benefited. 
  • We fight injustice. We have empowered women in remote villages who saw themselves as worthless and voiceless. 

WAYout works  with street youth and disadvantaged people, offering them the opportunity to have a voice through creative expression and to learn skills that can lead to employment or re-engagement with education or simply open the door back home. We have an open door policy and no time limit on how long members stay with us. We find that it takes up to two years for someone who has been on the streets for years to realise that they are capable of learning skills and to start to change their lives. 

We are embedded in our local community and many of the youth we work with sleep nearby. We hold regular screenings of films we make to local communities with great success. We have a presence at local events- marriages, funerals, birthdays and are often asked to film them. It is important that we are seen as members of the community with a responsibility to it.

Approximately 20% of the 18-35 year olds we work with were combatants during the ten year conflict – a volatile and excluded minority who felt society had rejected them, who were unemployed and had nowhere to live.  But now, following the opportunities offered them by WAYout, they have other goals in life and people are no longer afraid of them. We are committed to continue working with ex combatants.

WAYout is running women’s projects in the provinces. Following Susan Kargbo’s making of a film about domestic abuse, the women involved asked us to teach them how to make films. We are doing just that and they have made several short dramas to raise awareness of fistula and sexually transmitted diseases and are part of an ongoing study to see if films with a local voice have more impact. They now want to start their own media centre. 

WAYout now has a mobile studio which visits hard to reach places with no recording facilities. Turning a bedroom or store room into a temporary studio, we record music for the many talented, forgotten youth in the provinces.

WAYout now has a small studio inside the male prison in Freetown, which has over 1,000 inmates. Following visits with the mobile studio, prison officials observed that those taking part were calmer and more sociable with each other and it also gives inmates something to work towards when they get out.

We also work in the female prison. The women learn DJing, photoshop, are working towards an exhibition of their work in drawing, design and beadwork .

WAYout also works with NGOs and other organisations working in similar areas or providing support to marginalised groups.

WAYout is not about statistics although we are proud to quote them-(see below). For us it is about knowing the individuals and not giving up on them. We are prepared to keep trying until we find what works for each young person.  We have had considerable success supporting youth to change their lives.

Alusine and Wilfred 2

WAYout girls in studio

 

 

 

 

 

WAYout’s flagship project is based in Sierra Leone using music, film and arts to enable disadvantaged and conflict affected young people to express themselves. We provide studio space, access to equipment, training and opportunities so that they can tell their stories or explore issues that matter to them. The young people benefit from the projects creatively, socially and economically. Creatively, providing an opportunity to produce work and explore their experiences and talents;  socially, providing an opportunity to voice their opinions and feelings and economically, providing them with job opportunities and security for their future.

WAYout hub offers:
 
Training- free media and music training by professionals
 
Studio space and equipment – free music recording studio available
 
Films and videos- training and we support users to promote their films into festivals and cinemas

Chill-out space- for those who just want somewhere safe to be or to exchange ideas

Editing and shooting facilities- free to our users

Support and advice- technical or personal

Rehearsal and work space-either to create a drama or to meet a client

Competitions- WAYout runs a variety of arts competitions.
 
WAYout provides music scholarships to students wanting to study at Ballanta, the only music academy in Sierra Leone.

STATISTICS IN 2024

TOTAL over 6000 young people have come to WAYout since we opened the studio in 2008

Total 1800 certificates given in filmmaking, script writing, song writing, editing, journalism, studio engineering and photoshop.

Over 500,000 in audience figures

140 street youth into homes