The Women's Project started in Lumley, Freetown in March 2006. Its target beneficiaries were girls who wanted to go to secondary school but, for whatever reason, were not at an appropriate academic standard. The project started with 18 girls and Henrietta Sandi [lead women's project teacher] and her colleagues went looking for more every afternoon, until the class was full and overfull.
For many of these girls, school was a discipline that was a complete shock. It was also counter to so many of the expectations surrounding them. In Sierra Leone, horribly, there are many girls who see education as a backwards step for women, as the men will not want you if you think you are smart etc etc.
We are extremely proud, therefore, of Kadiatu Tholley, Mabinty S Bangura and Hassanatu Sheriff [pictured below] who have battled against the prejudices and the difficult home circumstances, and have successfully moved from the Women's Project into the main stream school and on into the examination class. They sat the BECE [Basic Education Certificate Examination] in July and having just gained their results, are pushing on into the senior secondary classes.
We wish them every success and all courage in their on-going studies.