I had the wonderful opportunity of spending some time earlier in the year leading engaging workshops with the nonprofit organizations Girls Empowerment Summit Sierra Leone (GESSL) and Visão Foundation as well as leading a successful RDCares package drop off!
Girls Empowerment Summit Sierra Leone, held at the Freetown Secondary School for Girls (FSSG), was an enriched, jam-packed program from December 20th to 21st. The major goals of the program were to accomplish the following:
1. Build relationships with sisters through workshops and activities
2. Enhance self awareness through self development activities
3. Develop relationships with young women mentors
4. Engage in community development activities
I was able to embrace the program values as I taught workshops on “Sisterhood” and “The Power of My Voice” to more than 25 adolescent young women in Sierra Leone. As the young women fully embraced each other from all different backgrounds, it reminded me of why we as sisters need to stick together in order to progress as a society. I also learned that not having a voice is not an option in any situation, but often that freedom is taken for granted in Sierra Leone (especially for me having been raised in the states). The girls learned the two types of communication, passive versus assertive, and the importance of using one’s voice.
After GESSL, I went on to work with Visão Foundation at Camp Visão also located in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Camp Visão is a highly engaging enrichment program, currently serving underserved Junior Secondary (JSS1-JSS3) and Senior Secondary (SSS1- SSS3) school students between the ages of 12 and 18 years old. The program is designed to build key foundation skills in literacy and math, allow students to acquire and enhance vital social and life skills and discover new areas of interest. The camp was held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; each day providing lunch and snacks, transportation and staff support.
I taught an interactive class on “Achievers and Leaders” that was designed to teach students the steps to becoming successful and achieving their personal best. Attendees identified and learned about great leaders, past and present, and the leadership qualities they possessed in order to define their own leadership style.
When Camp Visão was over, myself along with the Visão founder Ms. Renner started to prepare for an RDCare package drop off! On January 6, 2014, the Visão Foundation and RDCares visited the Friends of Education Baptist Primary School in Freetown, Sierra Leone to distribute educational packages to disadvantaged children.
RDCares is a one-for-one give back program that we established in 2012, where for every Royal Dynamite t-shirt bought, the company donates an RD Educational Care (RDEC) package to a child in need. Each RDEC package contains the following items: a composition book, a pencil, an eraser and a sharpener. In 2012, the Visão Foundation became one of the RDCares giving partners to help distribute educational packages to children and school districts in dire need of essential school supplies. We were excited to deliver the packages to the children of Friends of Education Baptist Primary School, and the children were elated to have them.
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