In Sierra Leone, Restless Development used this year’s International Women’s Week to celebrate women who have been exceptional in their work and contributed to our successes over the years.
This was the first time we have held this type of Excellence Awards in Sierra Leone, which was held on the last day of a two-day all staff workshop. Before the award ceremony, staff cast their votes for their colleagues – a total of 66 staff voted out of 94, and the voting process lasted for one week. They voted for six awards:
- Gender Champion – Someone who has championed the cause of gender issues.
- Best Mentor – A woman you look up to, someone supporting women and girls within the organisation beyond their job description.
- Rising Star – A woman with high potential to excel within the next year.
- Best Speaker – An inspiring and motivational speaker.
- Best Coordinator – A woman who has gone above and beyond their job description as a coordinator.
- Best Officer – A woman who has gone above and beyond their job description as an officer.
These six award categories were won by four outstanding young women who were exceptionally outstanding in their work.
Princess joined Restless Development in 2012 as a volunteer, and was later employed as a Field Officer and an Assistant Programme Coordinator for the Social Mobilization Action Consortium (SMAC) project in Moyamba District during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in the country.
Over the years, Princess has supported women and girls to build their confidence. She has mentored and coached many young girls to acquire new skills and better position themselves to search for job opportunities.
She’s passionate about advocating for women and girls on rights-based issues such as sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence, girls education and women in leadership.
Princess has represented Restless Development in various international conferences in the UK, Benin, and Ethiopia.
She’s presently an Assistant Programme Coordinator on the Strengthening Accountability Building Inclusion (SABI) programme.
To the other women, you are great and doing well in your own ways, and we appreciate you so much and thank you for voting for me. We (women) are all champions.Princess
Princess volunteered with Restless Development in 2009, and was later employed in different roles, ranging from Intern, Community Social Mobiliser, Field Officer for the Social Mobilization Action Consortium (SMAC) project during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, to her present position as the Programme Coordinator for the Leave No Girl Behind/Every Adolescent Girl Empowered And Resilient programme.
Through her work, Princess has inspired many girls, women and young leaders to boost their self-esteem, support them with their personal goals, and help them to build their careers. She believes that serving humanity means working for a cause, and she has contributed to empowering young people to make informed decisions about their career development.
It is with great pleasure that I thank all the great men and women [at Restless Development] for giving me these two awards. As women, we feel honoured and appreciated for a job well done and on this note, we say thanks for the recognition and we will keep the banner high.Princess represented Restless Development in the 2013 World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey.
Hezina started her journey with Restless Development as a Volunteer Peer Educator in 2006, and went on to be employed as a Field Officer and Assistant Programme Coordinator for almost 6 years, before she left in 2012 to join Save the Children.
After working with Save the Children in Sierra Leone for three years, Hezina rejoined Restless Development in 2016 as an Assistant Programme Coordinator for the Strengthening Accountability Building Inclusion (SABI) programme. She’s now progressed to Programme Coordinator for the programme.
Through her involvement in volunteer recruitment and training, Hezina has mentored and inspired so many women and girls to realise their true potential in their communities and the country.
“Thank you for the trust and love you demonstrated to me, by recognizing my work with these two great awards. I must confess, I was taken off guard. The confidence you placed on me would not be taken for granted. It is a call for more work, and I would want to encourage others to keep doing the marvelous work they are doing so as to snatch the next award.Hezina
Sombo K Minah
Before joining Restless Development, Sombo had previously worked with CARE in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak.
Sombo joined Restless Development in 2016 as a Field Officer, after being part of our Student Action Group whilst she was at university.
As a Field Officer with Restless Development, she has built leaders with the people management skills she has learned whilst at Restless Development, and always encourages equal participation in the community engagement meetings she organises, encouraging women to take leadership roles in developing their communities, irrespective of their status.
I want to take this moment to extend my sincere thanks for the award. Receiving this award is a great honour. This award particularly recognizes my work and it gives me an amazing feeling of getting a reward for the efforts that I put in.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” with a hashtag of #EachforEqual, recognising all of the actions we can take as individuals to challenge stereotypes, fight prejudice and celebrate women’s achievements.
Because of this theme, we have taken the conscious decision to recognise the hard work of our women to motivate and inspire them, and to continue building leaders.