Meet the Sierra Leonean girls’ and young women led groups who received the Karo Kura Resilience Fund.
Karo Kura Resilience Fund is part of the Purposeful led Global Resilience Fund — a crisis response funding partnership between social justice funders who are committed to supporting girls and young women through the COVID-19 crisis.
Gbortima Ladies In Development
Gbortima Ladies in Development was established in 2019 in Moyamba District to respond to the needs of girls in the community. A group of 30 girls between the ages of 10–24 came together to support teenage mothers and their babies, orphans and children living with disabilities. Group members also put their resources together to support another member of the group to start a business that supports more girls. They supply girls with pads, school materials, baby things and foodstuffs. They also have mentoring sessions for teen mothers. The Fund is strengthening their support for girls.
Taminihun Tonbogai was established by BRAC in 2017 in Moyamba District. BRAC gave the group everything it needed to run a safe space — a beautiful space where 25 girls gathered for weekly mentoring sessions. When the BRAC project ended, girls continued to meet, but they were kicked out of the space because they could no longer afford the rent. They had to move their safe space to their mentor’s house. The group used the Fund it received from Purposeful to purchase essential items for their safe space
Salina Club House
The club was created in Moyamba District in 2017 for girls between the ages of 10–27. BRAC rented a room for them to use for their sessions. BRAC paid for a safe space and provided items that helped girls study together, play games, discuss issues affecting them, sing and dance together. The girls were kicked out of the space when the programme ended and they left the safe space to their mentor’s house. However, when Covid19 hit, the girls stopped attending the safe space because their mentor’s house was too small for social distancing. The Girls in school used their award to purchase school materials and those who are out of school used theirs to start a business.
Never Give Up
The group was created in 2020 by girls who used to work on farms to cater for their needs and help their families. Since they were making a very small amount of money individually, they began to put their money together to benefit one person per day’s work. There are currently six girls in the group — one out-of-school and five in-school. With help from the Girl Collective Fund, they are now farming for themselves. They also bought school materials for the five in-school girls and paid for a livelihood training for the out-of-school girl.
TAMARANEH GROUPS OF PORT LOKO
These groups were set up by a former Purposeful partner that implemented safe space programmes for girls in Port Loko. There are eight groups of 25 girls and a mentor. The girls went through several challenges due to lack of support from community members and other organizations. The eight groups received the Girls Collective Fund for each group. The girls bought school supplies, started businesses, and some offered money to their parents to start family businesses.
Red Clad Movement
Red Clad Movement is a feminist movement that empowers and supports girls by training them to do arts and crafts like bead-making and Ankara craftwork in order to help them obtain financial independence. They aim to tackle the issue of girls dropping out of school by giving them a line of business in creative arts. The movement also sensitises girls about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation.
Miracle Children Foundation
Miracle Children Foundation was created to help build the confidence of girls by engaging them in inter-community quiz and spelling bee competitions. The foundation also sensitises communities about rape and sexual assault. They have also set up mothers’ clubs where moms are trained to monitor and report Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases, detect abuse and do referrals.
Resilience in Girls
Resilience in Girls is an innovative group of secondary school girls and young women who are huge friends of the environment — they practise I-Waste, I-Tailoring, I-Catering and I-Farming. They have combined their passion for the environment with their passion for gender equality to support girls by offering them training in Agribusiness and DIY projects such as recycling skills and making reusable sanitary pads, eco-friendly charcoal from coconut shells, flower pots from old tyres, kitchen gloves, and more.
Shika Gold is a group of young feminists who were motivated to create a group to tackle issues of inequality such as unemployment, workplace abuse and unequal pay of women in Sierra Leone. They offer girls modern livelihood skills such as making modern hair products, skin care products, and makeup artistry in order to help them obtain financial freedom and independence. After training, Shika Gold provides start-up kits for trainees to get them on their feet.
One Heart Foundation
One Heart Foundation is a group of young women who teach other young people and teenage mothers how to make local products like ogiri, benni, roasted groundnut and tiger nut meal. They also offer them marketing skills to help them obtain financial independence. The group was created to help teenage mothers, young girls who drop out of school, and girls who are financially dependent on men for their livelihoods.
Teneba’s Haven Vocational Institute
Teneba’s Haven Vocational Institute is a group of girls and young women from different villages in Kabala. As young women and girls aware of the constraints faced by other women and girls, they aim to serve as role models. The Institute focuses on agriculture. Cows are used for ploughing and are also rented to other groups. The income generated from renting the cows is used by the group to teach other women and girls skills like gara tie-dying, tailoring and hairdressing.
Lead Foundation is a group of fiery, ambitious schoolgirls who serve as peer educators or mentors to other girls. Their vision is to help other young girls grow positively in every aspect of their lives. They amplify the voices of girls and help build their confidence. As young mentors, other girls are more comfortable in confiding in them without fear of judgement, and they help resolve problems. The foundation also aims to develop the talents of young girls.
Girl’s Champion was created by three vibrant girls who joined forces to use music to advocate for girls that are victims of rape and sexual abuse or harassment. The group was founded in 2020 and has since composed a number of songs to advocate for girls. They aim to produce an album and launch their advocacy songs with video clips depicting the messages in their songs. They also seek to do a nation-wide advocacy school tour.
Feminist United Allies Sierra Leone
Feminist United is a social movement of young Sierra Leoneans with the collective goal of inspiring equality. They aim to achieve a society that makes gender equality and empowerment central. The movement consists of social change actors who recognise the vast gender inequality in Sierra Leone. As a revolutionary movement, Feminist United Allies has sparked conversations around feminism in Sierra Leone through social-media sensitisations highlighting sexism and its enduring hindrance to equality. Psychosocial support and mental health awareness are integral to their work and they seek to target community stakeholders as well as parents in relation to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). They also aim to create a safe platform for victims to freely speak up and share their experiences within communities in the Western Area of Sierra Leone.
Girls Parliament was formed by members of the Kambia Adolescent Girls Chapter as an advocacy network for girls’ rights, policy review and law reform, and to address child abuse cases in Kambia District. The network has a Mock Parliament where issues affecting girls are discussed. They also educate other girls about their rights. Girls Parliament has also been involved in community sensitisation and radio discussions and talk shows raising awareness about child abuse and related child protection concerns in the district. Their vision is to empower girls to influence policy reviews addressing girls’ issues across the nation.
Advocacy for Girls Progress
Advocacy for Girls Progress was formed in 2018 by eleven zealous high school girls who teamed up to create a platform for girls to express their abilities and intentions of becoming future women of substance. They raise awareness about gender inequality faced by girls in Sierra Leone by influencing and educating adolescent girls from communities in Kenema on crucial topics like menstrual hygiene, teenage pregnancy, and early marriage.
Pan African Female Youth Leaders
Pan African Female Youth Leaders is a nonprofit that seeks to eliminate all oppressive tendencies, unfriendly policies and harmful practices against women and girls in Sierra Leone. They feel a deep sense of duty towards girls, bringing into focus challenges facing girls that deserve attention and urgent action.
Palafrika Online TV
Palafrika Online TV is a female and youth-led initiative that seeks to empower, inform and educate women and girls in Sierra Leone through the media. The online platform has 95% female representation and focuses on creating a pathway for girls to thrive on. The platform promotes feminist conversation, advocacy, and community engagement through online programmes and training for girls who have the passion for journalism. Additionally, girls from rural areas have the opportunity to showcase their creativity and tell their unheard and unseen stories.
Girl You Can Academy
Girl You Can Academy supports young girls by building their skills, strengthening their voices to create more impact, and supporting them to achieve their goals. The academy has tailor-made schemes geared towards understanding the needs of girls, particularly those in their care. They work with both in-school and out-of-school girls in a safe space where girls are free to talk about the challenges they face without fear of judgement or being misunderstood. Girl You Can Academy also provides girls with a platform for learning life skills, enhancing their leadership skills and working towards their goals through one-on-one mentorship, public speaking training, open discussions about sexuality, how to protect themselves against gender-based violence, and peer to peer experience sharing.