100 Strong Women' visit Sierra Leone, interact with ending child marriage champions, First Lady and Chief Minister

Wednesday 14 February 2024


A cross section of the '100 Strong Women' and participants of the Ending Child Marriage Project pose for a photo in Mamboma, Kailahun
On February 4th, Save the Children Sierra Leone hosted a team of members from one of our donors, the 100 Strong Women in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This group visited to witness and engage with participants at Mamboma, Kailahun district, a community supported through the Ending Child Marriage Project, spanning from 2020 to 2022.

Upon their arrival in Freetown, the Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Isata Mahoi, welcomed and accompanied the team to the community in Kailahun. Before reaching their destination, they made a brief stop at the EOF-supported Kenema District Education Committee Primary School in Kenema District.

During this stop, the team listened to heart-warming stories of children traveling great distances in the hope of finding a teacher at school, only to be disappointed at times. The challenges faced by the school, as shared by teachers, parents, and students, impacted the visiting team. In response, discussions ensued on how they could contribute to fulfilling some of the basic needs identified by the school.

The team's visit was a source of inspiration for the local community. A mother of the School Management Committee expressed her gratitude, stating, "We are glad and inspired because of your coming here. I have never seen a group of white women like this. Seeing you is an inspiration to our children because it will make them dream bigger and want to become like you.”

After their visit to the school, the team proceeded to Mamboma in Kailahun, where they engaged with community participants, Community Action Group members, district stakeholders, and Paramount Chief Henry H. Baion. Participants shared stories of the remarkable impact the project had on their lives, citing transformations that occurred during its implementation.

Aminata, one of the participants, shared a touching personal journey. She was forced out of her parents' house at 17 due to pregnancy from a boy who couldn't provide support. Through the program, Aminata found a supportive community that embraced her, provided education, and helped reconcile with her family. She has since returned home, resumed schooling, and aspires to become a nurse to serve her community.

Leaving Kailahun inspired, the team engaged in discussions about mobilizing additional funding for the continued implementation of the Ending Child Marriage Project.

Returning to Freetown, they had a quick stop at the Songo Community Health Centre, where they witnessed how we are supporting the government with the Quality Improvement in health initiative

The team met with Chief Minister Dr. David Moinina Sengeh to share their impressions of the project's implementation and the resilience of the Sierra Leonean people. Subsequently, they met with the First Lady, Madam Fatima Bio, to discuss ways to further protect Sierra Leone's children and support the Hands of Our Girls campaign initiated by the First Lady.