Our strategic principles
MADAM applies certain principles to the way in which it carries out its work.
We strive to work in partnership with all our stakeholders, including target participants, staff, local and central government, national and international NGOs. This means always listening to and complementing the efforts of our partners in a participatory manner.
We are committed to achieving genuine partnership through empowerment of all the actors, through capacity building, understanding power relations and a rights based approach. We know that people can only take the lead if they are empowered.
We believe it is critical to achieve sustainabilityof project outcomes to ensure that the benefits can continue and are replicated, and so that people can take the lead themselves. This can only be achieved if the first two principles are adhered to.
Background of Mohamed Conteh, founder of MADAM
Mr. Mohamed Conteh in Makorgba village, where the little grassroot organization was founded. Makorgba village is located 5km off the Freetown Kono highway in the Kunike Barina Chiefdom, Tonkolili District in the north of the country. It is a typical African village in a remotely located in the rural Sierra Leone. The nearest school to the village is at Wonkibor, 4km away.
In 1977 at the age of 11 Mr. Conteh was “contributed” (by the orders of the then paramount) to go to school.
He therefore had to walk 8km to and from every day for 7 years ehen he graduated to the the secondary school in the chiefdom headquarters town, Makali. “Mr. Conteh had always said that he did not only see poverty, but was brought up in it and had the bitter taste of what it is” Therefore from childhood he had set himself the goal of “supporting people in their efforts to move out of poverty”. This is his motivation for founding the organization.
At the end of 1995 the staff was also drawn into the war. Rebels destroyed the offices and MADAM staff had to flee. “My village was burnt down,” said Mohamed Conteh the head of MADAM. When they fled, his father stayed behind, because he was too weak to walk. Conteh and the rest of his family spent two years in a refugee camp. When returning in 1997, the village no longer existed. His father had been killed by the rebels. The villagers built a new village some kilometers away.
In 1999, the Conteh’s were again forced to leave their home. Although a new government had been formed in Freetown in 1998, the war against the rebels (RUF) and parts of the former army continued. Under the protection of the troops of the new government, the Conteh family fled to Mile 91 where other MADAM members were also stranded.
The group did not want to wait aimlessly for the end of the war and decided to set up a training centre. They received some land from the local authority and Mohamed Conteh asked for support from “Bread for the World”. In 2001, the first donations flowed in.
Mr. Conteh has grown from a sad, poor and (almost not to be educated boy) to being the Director of MADAM, one of the 50 heroes of Bread for the World, Board member of the projects award committee of the DFID funded national Justice Sector Development Programme (JSDP) etc.
Accountant Abu Bakarr Kamara
Programmes officer, John S.Koroma
Kadiatu Kamara, Finance- and Admin. assistant
Samuel Fenti Conteh, Project officer