On May 20, 2017 I had my first (but 2nd annual) Take Back The Power (TBTP) workshop in Freetown, Sierra Leone (for girls). Preparing for this trip was draining emotionally, physically, and financially. At the end of it all however, it was a success and God showed up. The participants were encouraged to discover their purpose and prepare for the challenges they’ll face in life, particularly the professional world. They received empowering tools to help them regain their power and stop living as victims of violence… Seeing these girls weep silently caused me much pain. All I could do was hug those who welcomed my hugs and assured them that things will get better one day.
Three girls were awarded scholarships for the 2018/2019 school year and at the end of the workshop, we awarded every participant a “Certificate of Participation”.
A few people donated their time, money, and prayers as I embarked on this very emotional assignment.
I won’t lie, when God told me to go home I was a bit scared because I wasn’t sure of what awaits me but God proved Himself and He had everything ready for my arrival. He connected me with people who work in the media thus giving me multiple platforms to talk about my work as an activist as well as a survivor of sexual violence.
I met girls who’ve been raped by men as well as the government of Sierra Leone, and this angered me. It saddened me to learn that the handful of women who are working with these girls get zero help from the government. Discovering that there are laws in place to protect children but these laws are not implemented left me livid. What is the purpose of having laws if no one cares enough to implement them? This trip was inspired by an article I read about some girls missing school during their menses because they could not afford the cost of a box of sanitary napkins. Looking in hindsight, I was one of those girls and the “giver” in me refused to shut up until I went on a sanitary napkin drive…
Many thanks to our donors without whom we would not have had a successful workshop.
We ask for your prayers and donations (monetary) as we prepare for our 2018 TBTP Workshop to be held in two cities in Sierra Leone – Freetown and Bo.
Tired of survivors of female genital mutilation being portrayed as broken women, campaigner Leyla Hussein curated an exhibition of portraits at the first FGM summit in the US. While she was there she interviewed her hero F.A. Cole, her Sierra-Leone-American counterpart.
F.A. Cole shares her story of overcoming tragedies while empowering young girls to live a life of PURPOSE on purpose.
Saturday July 23, 2016 at 2:15 P.M.
Greenbelt Library Auditorium