After her 2 year campaign and advocacy helped formally legislatively end girl marriage in Mozambique in July this year, 17 year old girl education advocate Zuriel Oduwole, has turned her focus to another African country – Sierra Leone.
Once the pride of freed slaves rescued by the British Colony, and a thriving hub of advanced education in the early 20th century, Sierra Leone fell victim a slue of catastrophic downturns in the last 20 years – a brutal civil war, and the Ebola epidemic.
But building the country’s social and civil fabric one thread at a time has been the focus of successive leaders, and this is made more pronounced currently by the President H.E. Julius Maada Bio and the First Lady – H.E. Fatima Maada Bio. Her ‘Hands Off Our Girls” campaign launched in December 2018 in Freetown received major boost this weekend, when global girl education advocate Zuriel Oduwole, lent her voice to the initiative.
“How can I not be here to support, when I know the difference it always makes, for kids to hear from someone who looks like them, and is about the same age as well”, she said on arrival at Lungi airport.
She addressed 20,000 students and several regional chiefs at the Freetown stadium on Friday, to talk about the power of education in a girl slife, uing herelf as an examle. She was formally welcomed yesterday to the country by President Bio at a gala reception to help 650,000 school girls basic femicare needs. He thanked her for recognizing the initiatives and efforts of the country, in the area of addressing the issues of teen pregnancy, rape and, out of school children, especially teenage girls.
President Julius Maada Bio, is the 31st world leader the 17 year old Zuriel would meet personally, in line with her global girls education advocacy work. She continually shares her simple ideas of getting more girls on the continent, into a school environment.