October 16, 2018
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
As a way of commemorating International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC), Girlz Empowered Sierra Leone, a non-profit organisation in the country, Friday, 12th October commemorated International Day of the Girl Child with a one day seminar at Sensi Tech Hub on Sir Samuel Lewis Road, Aberdeen, Freetown.
The one–day seminar was done in commemoration of IDGC, which was geared towards sensitising, educating school girls on the importance of the day and to highlight some of the challenges girls are going through in Sierra Leone and the world at large.
Speaking, Umu Alberta Kamara, the Programmes Officer who also doubles as communications officer of Girlz Empowered, said every year, October 11 is celebrated as International Day of the Girl Child and that as an organization it was necessary for them to commemorate the day, adding that the theme for this year is “with her a skilled work force.’’
‘’You need to know about issue in your community, in your school, that affects you from achieving or reaching your highest potential. We need to talk about issues like FGM, child marriage, Gender-Based Violence,’’ she said.
She added that based on the theme for this year, they decided to hold the one day seminar for girls because they believe when girls have skills they are given opportunity.
Umu said with those skills, they could cause massive impact in their community, thus urging them to take the training seriously and to take advantage of whatever they would learn during the seminar.
She urged the girls to share what they have learnt during the engagement with their families, friends, school and their communities so that others would benefit from what they have learnt.
Executive Director Girlz Empowered SL, Diaka Salena Koroma said her organisation was founded in 2016 and since then it has been operating in schools and communities about issues that affect women and girls.
She said her organisation’s mission was to work with girls, their families and communities through educational programmes targeting to raise awareness on FGM, Early Child Marriage and all forms of violence on women and the girl child in the country.
She urged participants to work hard and to take their work seriously as education was key to their success.
Ann Marie, a human rights and FGM Campaigner, said she was a victim of Sexual and Gender Based Violence at her early age, adding that her mother died as a result of SGBV.
She said she was forced into the Bondo society, which she referred to as a grave human rights violation.
‘’I just want to inspire you, as a girl you’re very important; if you want to succeed as a girl child in Sierra Leone you should be determined and hardworking,” she said, adding that girls are agents of change and that they need to work harder.