By Edward Kabba Sesay and Chief Abdul Hassan Fackie, Freetown, Sierra Leone. February 4th, 2024.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Women Empowerment Foundation (WEF), Mrs Bintu N’jai (pictured), has in an exclusive interview with this medium pointed out that all human beings come from women and hence the reason a collaborative approach is needed to address the huge amount of human rights abuses on women and girls.
Mrs. N'jai disclosed that the organization started in December of 2021 after coming to the realization that women in Sierra Leone are suffering to make a living while men abuse them in many ways.
” Some women wake up as early as five o'clock in the morning, ready the children for school and after that jump on the streets or markets to labour and bring money home," she observed.
She confessed that she seriously admires women who work hard to take care of their families, noting that such women needed to be empowered.
She lamented that it is heart rending to see girls of tender ages who are supposed to be in school being engaged in prostitution, drug abuse and crime.
“When I see these these girls destroying their lives it breaks my heart because I am also a mother that has a daughter,” she noted.
Mrs. N'jai stressed that women face too many abuses from the men especially in Sierra Leone and most parts of Africa which makes her whether it is an African thing, maintaining that it is wrong and as a nation we shouldn’t allow such bad things to be to happening with impunity.
Lending her voice to the issue of rape in the country, Mrs. Bintu N’jai alluded to the fact that rape cases are visible in Sierra Leone but appreciated the First Lady madam Fatima Bio for her project "Hands off our girls," which has seriously addressed and reduced the rape incidents in the country.
She disclosed that since the inception of the foundation she had and continues to financially sponsor the foundation.
Recounting some of the interventions of the foundation, Mrs. N’jai outlined the provision of shelter for women that are victims of abuse in the Kissy community and it’s environs.
She also spoke about a female football gala that she has revived and sponsors in the Kissy community at the end of every year.
Speaking about future projects, Mrs. N'jai revealed that the foundation intends to create and equip a workshop or a training center for women in various skills as well as teaching them basic first aid skills.
Responding to a question on whether her foundation is also warning the girls to hands off the boys, she said that they are doing that but that they are facing a lot of challenges as most girls think that they only way to survive is to engage in commercial sex.
"We also have plans to engage on street rallies to sensitive people HIV and AIDS in the country and to encourage them to go for tests so that they can know their status.
She also disclosed that they officially lunched the foundation on the 27th December, 2023 with a fund raising dinner at the St. Michael Primary School at the Low Coat Housing Estate in Kissy.
Taking into consideration the role of that women play in society, she appealed for support from individuals and organisations.
Justifying her request for donor funding she revealed she receives a lot of requests from for support every day and as an individual, she does not have the financial capacity to address all of the requests unless she gets assistance from well meaning individuals and organisations.
"Since every human being comes from women, we all should rally around them and address the issues that negatively affect them," she concluded.
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