Africa has a growing population of girls who need constant support in terms of guidance and counseling. They need to be handed on the blueprint for leadership, confidence and self -esteem mostly through role modeling.
Our societies need to share our stories of our successes and failures so that our girls would be challenged to lead better lives. We are looking at changing the narrative to create a scene were girls will seek to accomplish their goals and aspire to be like the leading women in Africa, this can only be achieved through mentorship.The Aspire story showcases the beauty of mentorship and inspires women around the world to work together. Click To Tweet
In 2016/2017 a powerful collaboration between Power Women 232 and Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone was established.
Power Women 232 is a network for women professionals in Sierra Leone. The network aims to bring professional women and entrepreneurs together to promote career advancement and development in all fields, through networking, leadership development, social events and community service
On the other hand Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone nurtures and enhances the leadership skills of young girls to become effective advocates and social change agents in their communities.
In August 2016, they launched ‘ASPIRE’ to mentor secondary school girls from various schools in Freetown.
The program was in the form of large group workshops, small group mentorship and experiential field trips focusing on 3 C’s – Communication, Community Development, and Career Exploration.
The aim was to directly impact the lives of 30 young Sierra Leonean girls by providing them with the skills, resources, and networks to become leaders and change agents in their communities.
All 14 Power Women mentors were assigned to 3-4 girls each; they were matched by specialized questionnaires in hope to create best-fit relationships; each power woman played a big sister role spanning a yearlong of camaraderie.
Field trips to tourist monuments, spending the day at office and centers that were their career of choice. Trips to the bank, the airport, hairdressing saloon and early learning centers.
The girls had an opportunity to catch a glimpse of their real-life sheroes in their most vulnerable states behind closed doors, in the comfort of their homes and the rigidity of their corner offices.
The women shared their daily life struggles such as multi-tasking, fighting to succeed in male-dominated careers, handling a full day’s job when on their period. The discussions ranged from discussing boys, dancing, cooking, to books and music.
Most importantly the program allowed them the chance to learn new skills, ranging from topics such as:
- Utilizing journaling and writing as a means of telling our stories
- Utilizing resources to effect and change our future
- Budgeting & Fundraising
- Savings and investing for our future
- Conflict Resolution and effective communication
- Building and maintaining peer positive relationships
The focus on teambuilding, communication, and self-esteem helped develop positive behavior within the group of girls that were mentored. Mentor mentee relationships encouraged some of the girls to aspire to remain dedicated to their academics as well as seek further mentor relationships due to some of the strong relationships that were cultivated.
The partnership between Power Women232 and GESSL is a reminder of how powerful women are when they work together. This relationship has garnered more interest in girls and Power Women 232 has taken on education, health and empowerment for young girls as their community service project for 2017/2018.
The project was launched with a donation of 200 power hygiene packs and hygiene information booklets to adolescent girls at The Beheshti Islamic Secondary School in Freetown.
Their aim is to provide 500 more packs to young girls across Sierra Leone and introduce sustainable hygiene practices.
The group did their first fundraiser hosted by Ms. Anita Erskine on Saturday 18th November 2017 during their 2nd Annual Networth Ball an event that attracted the movers and shakers in Sierra Leone’s business environment with a good media coverage which includes been featured on Bella Naija.
One cannot deny that the Aspire story showcases the beauty of mentorship and inspire women around the world to work together.
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