Friends of Franbarnie International (FOFI) supports and works with community based organisations in Liberia to create awareness of and advocate for the rights of children, women and persons with disabilities, and supports local communities for peacebuilding and reconciliation. The objects of the organisation are to:
- Create recreation centres and peacebuilding committees in rural communities in Liberia, providing an avenue for residents to interact and connect with one another in productive and well established areas.
- Create awareness and advocate for the rights of children, disabled persons and women, and education for the younger, in safe and highly motivated environments.
- Promote and rekindle local communities’ interest in the sustainable management of their natural resources and protection of biodiversity.
FOFI’s geographic focus is rural communities in Liberia. Presently it operates in Grand Kru County, Liberia.
FOFI works with local communities in the following ways:
- Establishes community peace committees and organises inter/intra -ethnic community dialogues
- Organises women's peacebuilding committees
- Encourages and advocates for local communities to get involved in the management and conservation of natural resources including forest resources, protection and management of wildlife’s habitats.
- Promotes and encourages sustainable land use by training small scale farmers and female farmers in sustainable agriculture techniques to protect land and increase agriculture production.
- Organises farmers’ cooperatives.
FOFI in collaboration with Grand Kru Youth Development Association, Grand Kru Women Association, Grand Kru Disable Association and Grand Kru Development Initiative established a project called Enhancing Peace and Reconciliation through Community Engagement (EPRCE).
To create awareness of the role of economic and human rights projects in relation to conflict mitigation and peacebuilding, other projects were led including the Grand Kru County Forest Forum, Sustainable Land Management, and World Bank Civil Society Fund projects.
- Established 6 women's peacebuilding and reconciliation committees in 6 inter-ethnic communities including Pinnic-cess, Graandcess, Wedabo, Trehn, Barclayville and Garraway communities.
- 60 women and youths trained for leadership and advocacy (30 youths and 30 women)
- 18 youths and women hired to carry out project activities as volunteers (10 boy and girls and 8 women)
- The women and the youths are now carrying out advocacy for themselves and their communities.
- 480 forest stakeholders have been identified during FOFI’s forest stakeholder identification and analysis. Grand Kru County Forest Forum has been formed with 35 members (15 men and 20 women). The Grand Kru County Forest Forum is now functioning and resolved two forest land related disputes between Barclaville and Buah on one hand and Bolloh and Buah on the other.
- 80 youths have been trained for budget analysis and advocacy (45 boys and 35 girls).
- 3 cooperative societies are established in 3 ethnic communities including Pinnic-cess, Barclayville and Buah with a membership of 180, 200 and 210 people respectively. The cooperative societies are providing soft loans to their members which are helping to improve their business activities including farming.
- 250 small farmers were trained in sustainable agriculture techniques (100 men and 150 women) and now using improved farming methods.
Additionally, prior to the Liberian civil war, the Pinnic-cess community and the Barclayville community were trading with one another but because of the animosity created due to the war, they stopped trading with each other after the war. However, due to the intervention of the two community peace and reconciliation committees established by FOFI in Barclayville and Pinnic-cess, the two communities are now trading with one another.