By Haja Gbla & Roxanne Tibbert
In the wake of International Women’s Day, EducAid Sierra Leone want to celebrate the many women working to make quality education accessible to the most vulnerable students in Sierra Leone. These #WomenofEducAid often work behind the scenes and are unknown to many of our supporters. We want to take this opportunity to introduce these leaders to you, to make real the work that they do, and to support and encourage them.
The first woman that we are celebrating is Haja Gbla, she is a Women’s Project teacher as well as a home parent in Lumley to our female students.
Why do you love EducAid?
One major reason why I love EducAid is the unity experienced by all the staff, we do things in common such as sharing of food, and show concern for each other while living together as a family in our various sites. Furthermore, I love EducAid because of the quality of education the school provides to their students and the learning opportunities provided for teachers to develop their teaching skills.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of how much I have improved in terms of my professional capacity and approach to work. I am proud to be working with a group of committed girls and women, strengthening their effort to improve their performance during exams, presentations, debates, etc. I am proud of the quality of results we are getting in our external exams. I am also proud of the competition the girls are putting up with the boys, breaking gender stereotypes and striving to fulfil their potential. As testament to this, we have noticed that female students come out top in our class unit tests, we have had female students come out as the best speaker on a consecutive basis in our weekly debate competition between male and female students. Our girls are becoming more vocal and not afraid to take up leadership positions. All these make me happy and are some of the reasons why I love EducAid.
What would you like to accomplish?
I would like to become a strong and resilient woman celebrated in my community for supporting young girls to access education. I want to serve as a role model to other women in my community who desire to acquire quality education. I would like to see more girls become educated and be part of decision-making processes at all levels.
What is your next challenge to tackle?
It is difficult to get the women and girls to come to school, especially in difficult-to-reach areas. Also some communities do not have a passion for girls education. I hope to persuade such communities to stop early marriage and send their girls to school.
What do you think about EducAid’s Equality Programme?
The Equality Programme by EducAid is very important and has improved since the arrival of the Education Programme Officer. More girls are participating in academic activities and their participation in all academic activities within and outside the school is a plus for the quality of education in EducAid.
What makes women leaders special?
Women leaders are role models and inspirational to other young women because it is very difficult to see women in leadership. I believe that educating the girl child is educating the whole nation. So having women in leadership will make a big difference. And that is what makes women leaders special.
What do you do in your free time?
Reading novels, helping girls with their school work for them to improve in their unit tests and speaking to community members against harmful cultural practices such as FGM, early marriage and rape.
What is your favourite book?
My favourite book is titled: How to win friends and influence people.
What women do you admire?
I admire my mum and Chimamanda Adichie the writer and feminist.
Celebrate the #WomenofEducAid with us and share Haja’s story now!