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Photo: Hawa at work

My name is Hawa Rosalyn Siafa and I am originally from Hill Top National Coordinator Jujuima Malema Chiefdom, Kailahun district. I am currently residing in Freetown. I am divorced and have one daughter, but also many other adopted children across the length and breadth of Sierra Leone and the United States.

I am also the National Coordinator for the Development Initiative Programme (DIP), a non-governmental organization with head office in Freetown and sub offices in different regions.

DIP was an off shoot of Camp Women, a vocational institute I owned and managed to train women and young girls in life skills, such as hair dressing, soap making, batik, dyeing, catering and tailoring just to name a few.

I lost my mother at the age of four. My father, who made a wealthy business, had it all to give me the best of everything. But sadly, after my mother’s death, my father became a polygamous man and married four wives. My life became very miserable, as my father paid no attention to how we fared at home and my struggle for success started. My father was not doing anything to solve the problems I was facing and as a result my aunty took me over and I became a child of their family. I must confess that life was not always perfect, but it was way better than where I came from. I grew up with her sons, whom till today I call my brothers. Growing in a male dominated world, I became very brave and frisky, too. I learnt most of the arts of living like a boy, such as hunting, fishing, climbing trees, playing football, go swimming and so on. I climbed any tree, even though in our culture that was a taboo. I was also going to school, as that family was very educated. My father there was a medical doctor and my mother an administrative person who later became a member of the parliament of Sierra Leone. When the war broke out in 1996 everything was in disarray. I was able to get to Freetown where life became hellish. No one cared for me and also no one payed my fees to go to school.  

However, fortune smiled on me, when a young man from the Christian Association took up my educational needs and so I resumed school in Freetown. As I am looking back to the challenges I was facing, my passion and ambition to help vulnerable women, people in need and children, grew alone with me. After many years of suffering I was able to graduate from university; an achievement I am still very proud off. I am holding a master’s degree as well and I cannot be more grateful to God for bringing me this far. I married and it was my matrimonial home in that I developed my baby movement called Camp Women, a local community based organization. Our focus was to provide skill training for commercial sex workers, rehabilitating them into normal livelihood. This programme became that big that I had to extend the programme to other young women and girls, who were in need of the said trainings.

However, after the bitter separation with my husband, I was robbed of my baby investment and deprived of everything I worked for - including the school itself. This was a major throwback at that time.

Further links:

Patricia - Mexiko

 


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Please support our work


Accounts for donation:

Sparkasse Marburg-Biedenkopf
IBAN: DE46 5335 0000 0000 0444 40
BIC: HELADEF1MAR

Volksbank Mittelhessen
IBAN: DE58 5139 0000 0016 4090 06
BIC: VBMHDE5F


or conveniently online:

button-spende-english