Sierra Leone Archives - One Girl

Category Archives: Sierra Leone


This week my youngest daughter starts school for the very first time

By | Blog, Sierra Leone | No Comments

I have two daughters, born two years apart. Depending on the mood, the moment, or the day – they can either be the best of friends, or duelling adversaries. The youngest worships her big sister, but she doesn’t always like being “the little sister”. Her older sister is bigger than her. Stronger than her. Seems smarter than her. She runs faster and climbs higher. But at some point, this difference evens out. Younger siblings eventually get their revenge. They grow. They learn. They find their own things that they’re better at. And when you’re a little sister, there’s nothing sweeter…

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Elephants and Evaluations

By | Blog, Our amazing team, Sierra Leone, Uganda | 4 Comments

Reflections on matriarchy, fierce females, and yes – elephants – from a three-week M & E trip in Sierra Leone and Uganda from our Programs Director, Erica. Just a few weeks ago, Micaela and I returned from a Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) trip to Sierra Leone and Uganda. As the name suggests, the purpose of M & E trips is to monitor and evaluate our current programs, develop and build relationships with implementing partner organisations, and seek new opportunities to strengthen and improve upon our work in both Sierra Leone and Uganda. During our three-week trip we completed…

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One girl is powerful. A movement of girls is unstoppable.

By | Blog, Events, Girl's story, Sierra Leone | No Comments

So often in our work we focus on the one girl. It’s an idea that inspired the founding of our organisation, and of course our name. Educate that one girl. Change her life and her future. Empower her to reach her potential. And it’s a powerful idea. Why? Because the problems we tackle are immense. The statistics are grim. And the numbers are staggering – to the point where it can be paralysing. Around the world over 60 million girls are denied an education. Every year more than 15 million girls around the world are forced into child marriage. Of…

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Putting periods on the air and shining the spotlight on sanitary pads

By | Blog, LaunchPad, Sierra Leone | No Comments

Menstruation isn’t likely to be a go-to conversation topic for your next dinner party. Talking about periods out in the open is just not the done thing. In big and small ways, periods are often politely kept private, or else completely prevented from entering the public view. Author and artist, Rupi Kaur, made headlines when an Instagram photo which showed menstrual blood leaking through her clothes was taken down (twice) for “violating community standards”. And yet, women and girls are finding creative ways to celebrate their periods in empowering ways, sometimes with hilarious results. But in other parts of the world,…

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16 and a mother of two: how Fatu chose freedom over fear

By | Blog, Girl's story, Sierra Leone | No Comments

Fatu’s story started out like so many of the girls we work with. Her parents were poor, and living in a rural Sierra Leone community. They wanted more for Fatu than they could offer her themselves, so they sent her to Freetown to live with her aunt. There she was able to be enrolled in school, and she thrived. She was in grade six at primary school and was just about to make the big move to high school. But tragedy struck. Fatu’s aunt passed away. With no other family in Freetown, she was forced to go back to her…

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Head and shoulders image of Sierra Leonean girl, aged around 18, wearing yellow and green patterned v-neck dress and white and blue head scarf

Last year we gave this girl the best birthday present. EVER!

By | Blog, Girl's story, Sierra Leone | No Comments

Mariama’s grandmother cries every morning. She has five children living with her – and they all have to get by on the money that comes from selling oranges and donuts. It’s hard. Really hard. Most of the time there isn’t even enough money for food, let alone any ‘luxuries’. Mariama had been a bright, young student but with no money for the tuition fees, she was forced to drop out of school. She kept dreaming that someday there’d be enough money to get her back into the classroom – but there never was. So Mariama had become another of the…

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What happens when women support each other?

By | Blog, Girl's story, LaunchPad, Sierra Leone | One Comment

“When women support each other, incredible things happen.” It’s a cute saying we’d be inclined to double-tap when it comes up in our feed, especially today on International Womens’ Day. But it’s more than a ‘grammable quote. It’s a fundamental truth that we see play out in our work each and every day. About a year ago we learned about an amazing group of women doing just that. Supporting each other. Working together. Joining forces, and creating something truly incredible. And this is one of the women at the heart of this story. Her name is N’Mah. And she is…

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Losing luggage and finding hope: my first trip to Sierra Leone & Uganda

By | Blog, Our amazing team, Setting up a non-profit, Sierra Leone, Uganda | No Comments

Stepping off the plane at 4 AM in Lungi, Sierra Leone, two things hit me immediately. First was the heat – the air is so heavy that it feels like you’re breathing through a warm, wet towel. The second thing was the emptiness – while Freetown is surrounded by large mountains, Lungi is very flat and I could see far, far into the distance without the glow of electricity to obscure the view. Travelling to Sierra Leone and Uganda for a Monitoring and Evaluation trip, I knew I was going to be busy – really busy. Our Programs Manager, Anita,…

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