In the realm of transformative development communication and championing women and girls’ empowerment in Sierra Leone, one name shines brightly as a true trailblazer – Mariatu Kabba. With a decade of experience, she has been instrumental in shaping the narrative of gender equality in the country, leading transformative projects and founding a nonprofit initiative. This blog sheds light on her exceptional achievements, highlighting her unwavering commitment to empowering women and girls in rural communities.
At the heart of Kabba’s impressive portfolio is her pivotal role in transformative development communication projects. She played a crucial part in the renowned BBC 50/50 Equality and BBC Media Action Girls’ Education and Empowerment (EAGER) Project, where she trained over 200 local journalists on gender-sensitive radio programming. Through her expertise, media content was reshaped, and the discourse on women’s rights and gender equality in Sierra Leone underwent a positive transformation.
In 2021, Kabba’s relentless dedication to her work earned her the esteemed ‘Fifty Most Influential Sierra Leonean Women’ Award, a testament to her profound impact on the lives of women and girls in the country. As a visionary leader, her efforts have inspired a generation of young women to dream big and pursue their aspirations.
But her commitment to empowering young women and girls transcends her transformative projects. In 2018, she founded the nonprofit initiative ‘Strong Women, Strong Girls Sierra Leone,’ offering mentorship to under-served young women in rural communities, empowering them to overcome barriers and reach their full potential.
The impact of ‘Strong Women, Strong Girls Sierra Leone’ has been remarkable, reaching over 1000 girls across the nation. More than 200 girls have become champions of menstrual hygiene, sexual and reproductive health, and rights, thanks to the organization’s efforts. Kabba and her team are planting the seeds of positive change in the hearts of the next generation.
“One of the most fulfilling aspects of my journey has been my involvement in serving the community, with a particular focus on aiding vulnerable women and girls. Given my challenging upbringing, this work feels like a way of addressing and healing the wounds of my past. It has become a life-long mission for me to create safe and nurturing spaces for these individuals, utilizing any available resources and means at my disposal”, she told SwitSalone.
Kabba’s journey as a changemaker is a testament to her dedication to personal growth and continuous learning. With a BA degree in Mass Communications from Fourah Bay College, she further honed her leadership skills as a Mandela Washington Fellow from Rutgers, State University of New Jersey. Additionally, her expertise in Conflict Transformation from the Global Unites Academy, Sri Lanka, positions her as an adept mediator and facilitator for change.
“The combination of divine guidance, supportive relationships, personal dedication, and a profound sense of purpose has driven me to make a positive impact in the lives of others. As I continue on this path, I am committed to leaving a lasting and meaningful mark in the world, particularly in the lives of those who are most in need. With each step I take, I am reminded of the transformative power of compassion and the potential to turn adversities into opportunities for growth and empowerment”, she ended.