UniMak’s Futures Literacy Projects explores the diversity of women’s futures in Sierra Leone, through action research and is being conducted in collaboration with the University of Makeni and the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs. Exploring the Future of Women in Sierra Leone is an 18-month, action-research project with three main objectives. First to conduct research into the anticipatory systems and processes that shape the images of the future of women in Sierra Leone. Second to enhance the capacity to understand and deploy Futures Literacy in Sierra Leone, particularly at the University of Makeni (UniMak) and in the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs. Third to gain a deeper appreciation of the nature and role of anticipation in shaping both gender relations, as dynamics of power and identity, and societal development, as a broad concept of well-being and transformational resilience. On completion it is expected that this project will have created the conditions for the establishment of i) a Futures Literacy Centre at the University of Makeni (UniMak), ii) a UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies/Futures Literacy at UniMak; and iii) local futures literate communities made up of practitioners and researchers.
The recent 10 days of training enabled the 10 research assistants, comprised of postgraduate students and staff from the University of Makeni and members of the Dankawalie community, to develop their research skills and theoretical understanding of anticipatory systems. The training was led by Ms Kwamou Eva Feukeu and Dr. Jess Marah-Jones – Coordinator of Futures Research at UniMak. The project is directed by Prof Kewulay Kamara and managed by Ms. Mercy Mwaura.
Two Future Literacy Labs were held over two days with approximately 50 women from different walks of life from Makeni City and its surrounding communities. This was the third set of labs that the team has conducted in the last 12 months. Each set of labs has been designed to explore a different aspect of women’s images of the future. The labs that were held on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th March were developed and facilitated by the 10 research assistants. These labs were designed to explore the future of women in formal and informal leadership roles in Sierra Leone.
The team is looking forward to conducting their fourth and fifth set of labs at the end of April/beginning of May in Dankawalie village and with the Ministry of gender and Children’s Affairs in Freetown.