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Education is a human right.

Without inclusive and accessible education that provide lifelong opportunities, the cycle of poverty leaves many children and adults around the world at a great disadvantage.

January 24th, the International Day of Education aims to recognise the importance of quality education for peace and development. According to the United Nations... about 265 million children and adolescents around the world do not have the opportunity to enter or complete school’ and “less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school.”

Education is Sierra Leone

Africa, Sierra Leone, maternal health, Freetown, health, Sydney, charity, Aminata Maternal Foundation, Aberdeen Women’s Centre, Freedom from Fistula Foundation, women’s health, fistula patients making textiles, African women

A Demographic and Health Survey - DHS conducted in Sierra Leone in 2019, showed strong correlations between a woman’s education and the likeliness for the health and survival for her and her child. 

The report indicated that “children of women with no education are more likely to be underweight than children whose mothers have more than secondary education.” Education attainment is linked to the ability to access work opportunities, have financial independence and therefore her level of wealth. Thus, affecting access to healthcare, likelihood to vaccinate their baby, and access to family planning. 

In 2015 the Sierra Leonean government banned pregnant girls from attending school after the spike of teenage pregnancies during the Ebola outbreak. The DHS found 44.9% of the girls have started childbearing by the age of 19. As a result, almost half of them are deprived of education. Since then, many organisations have fought against the ban recently challenging it in a Nigerian court in December 2019 which found barring pregnant girls from attending school was a violation of human rights. This ruling represents a landmark decision for the thousands of young women who have had to face discrimination, unable to attend lessons and exams, to continue their education. However, pregnant girls are still discouraged to attend school in SL.

The mission of the AMF Foundation is to support short-term, mid-term and long-term goals with the aim of improving maternal mortality outcomes for women and girls in Sierra Leone. The Foundation works in partnership with the Freedom From Fistula Foundation which runs the Aberdeen Women’s Centre (AWC) in Freetown.

The Aminata Maternal Foundation funds the 'Dream Team Project’. The project's educational programs provide numeracy and literacy classes, teach art and crafts and other skills to help the girls to gain financial independence. The young women also receive pre and post-natal education.

Pregnant young girls are extremely vulnerable, some even find themselves homeless. The Training Hostel houses and educates them.

Aminata’s life from poverty

Aminata, the house manager for the ‘Training Hostel’ has an inspirational story of the empowerment education can bring to a woman’s life. 

At 16 she was already married, pregnant, malnourished and living in grinding poverty, little education.

Now at 31, she is fluent in Mandarin, has two university degrees, including a Masters in Hospitality and Tourism from a Beijing University, she’s financially independent and unlike an estimated 65% of graduates, she has a well paying full-time job which she loves.

Aminata knows education helps girls to fulfil their potential.

Read more about the Dream Team Project.

Read more about this topic:

Sierra Leone ordered to revoke ban on pregnant schoolgirls

A Sierra Leone school has defied the country’s ban on having pregnant girls in class

READ MORE ABOUT WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO

Wellbeing Magazine

October 21, 2021

Aminata Conteh-Biger – Power for Good Thinkers and Doers – Aminata Conteh-Biger Interview by Shevonne Hunt for Wellbeing Magazine  In this interview, Aminata shared how she found light in the darkness, how she rebuilt a life far from her hometown Sierra Leone. She shared the power of forgiveness in her life and how she found […]

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Ovaries: Talk About Them

August 4, 2021

Camilla and Marc OVARIES. TALK ABOUT THEM. AMINATA CONTEH-BIGER – Author, Mother and Former Refugee Author, mother, and former refugee turned CEO Aminata Conteh-Biger, along with her children Serafina and Matisse to the conversation. Learn about why Aminata is a fierce advocate for women: “It is important for me to support ovarian cancer simply because […]

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Poda-Poda Stories

June 8, 2021

HEALING THROUGH MEMOIR Interviewed by: Kam Insay In her interview with Poda-Poda Stories, Aminata Maternal Foundation’s Founder and CEO, Aminata Conteh-Biger shared her background, what inspired her to write her memoire the     “Rising Heart” and conveyed her thoughts about the commemoration of the “National Day of Reconciliation in Sierra Leone”, Aminata detailed what she had […]

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Sheridan

June 2, 2021

Mother’s Day with Aminata Conteh-Biger Aminata Conteh-Biger and her two beautiful children, Sarafina & Matisse celebrated Mother’s Day 2021 with  Sheridan, one of the biggest luxury homewares, beddings & room décor store in Australia. In the interview, Aminata shared that her difficult experience giving birth to her daughter was the catalyst for creating the Aminata […]

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Beauticate.com

May 27, 2021

AMINATA CONTEH-BIGER, THE ACTIVIST ON HOW TO DIAL UP THE JOY IN YOUR LIFE Interview & story by: Zoe Briggs Aminata sat for an interview with Zoe Briggs for Beauticate.com to talk about how to dial up joy in your life. Aminata shared her life story from her loving family life in Sierra Leone to […]

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The Grace Tales

May 27, 2021

Aminata Conteh-Biger is Inspiring Us to #ChooseToChallenge Interview by: Georgie Abay Aminata Conteh-Biger, Founder & CEO of Aminata Maternal Foundation sat in an interview with Georgie Abay of The Grace Tales to answer questions related to this year’s International Women’s Day theme #ChooseToChallenge. Aminata is the perfect embodiment of how challenges bring change. Aminata shared […]

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Let us virtually travel to Aberdeen Women's Centre during our 2019 visit - our CEO @aminata_conteh_biger with the Dream Team as pictured above

Here in Sydney as we find ourselves in an extended lockdown due to COVID-19, we can appreciate the access that Australians have to quality healthcare, warmth and shelter provided in our humble abodes (and the ability to stay connected via Zoom calls during periods of reduced face-to-face contact!).

In celebrating the 2021 United Nations World Population Day today, at the Aminata Maternal Foundation we are reflecting on how the rest of the world is managing with compromised health care systems. The area of sexual and reproductive health in particular is impacted as many countries are experiencing concern over changing fertility rates. United Nations Population Fund (formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA]), emphasises that educational, economic and political empowerment of women enables autonomy and control over choices regarding their body.

Did you know, only 55% of women have the power to make their own decisions about their bodies? The current pandemic has exacerbated gender-based inequities, notably in Sierra Leone as the teenage pregnancy rate continues to rise. During the Ebola crisis, teenage pregnancies in Sierra Leone saw a 66% increase and it is anticipated that another surge will result from the COVID-19 crisis. To combat this our Dream Team project collaborates with the Aberdeen Women's Centre located in Freetown, Sierra Leone to provide support to re-integrate teenage mothers into their communities post-birth.

References for further reading🌏:
https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-population-day

https://aminatamaternalfoundation.org/mission/our-projects/the-dream-team/
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@breakingglasspod New Episode Alert ⚡ Aminata Conteh Biger (@aminata_conteh_biger) grew up in a well-off family in the capital of Sierra Leone where her father prioritized education and opportunities for his six daughters. She had a happy and protected childhood until a truly devastating civil war broke out in her country resulting in the deaths of more than 50,000 individuals. She herself was kidnapped for seven months before fleeing as a refugee to Australia. Aminata’s own story of survival doesn’t end with the war. After rebuilding her life in Sydney, Aminata endured the traumatic birth of her first child which ignited a passion for maternal health. The founder of Aminata Maternal Foundation (@aminatafoundation), Aminata has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and changed thousands of women's lives in Sierra Leone, which has some of the worst child and maternal mortality rates in the world.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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#AminataContehBiger #SierraLeone #AminataMaternalFoundation #RisingHeartBook #MaternalMortality #InfantMortality #Healthcare #HumanRights #WestAfrica #WomenSupportingWomen #LiftEachOtherUp #ElevateWomensStories #GenderEquity #BreakingGlass #WomenLeadingTheWay #BreakingGlassPodcast #EvokeMedia #Womanhood #GlassBreakers #GlassCeiling #Global #WomensVoices #WomensStories #BreakingGlassCeilings #WomenEmpowerment
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NEW RELEASE ✨Episode 3️⃣
Aminata Conteh- Biger is a woman, is a voice, is a presence, that every human needs to know. She is sunshine , epitomising strength and transforming any darkness she encounters into light. She has endured things that no person, that no woman should ever have to endure, and consequently, her presence in society illustrates that love and truth and shining pure hearts filled with goodness can and do and forever will, conquer. She is love in human form; a beacon of hope for us all.

@aminata_conteh_biger @gennachanelle

📸 @sarahfountainphotography @onelovefilmsbondi @zoltanfecso @jenna_pratt_ @innkeeperstudios @fujifilmx_au

🌟 In an effort to build connection and unify, @gennachanelle shares the voices of our earth angels - who are each deeply committed to healing our world. 🌟

🔗 https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/the-loving-podcast/id1564380858
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The former sex slave saving lives in Sierra Leone

She survived months as a sex slave and escaped to Australia as a refugee. Aminata Conteh-Biger can't change the past but now she's ready to help the future of her homeland, which has become the world's most dangerous place to give birth. (An SBS Production) CC #DaughterofSierraLeone #DatelineSBS #Documentary

*** SBS Dateline’s Daughter of Sierra Leone has won a New York Festivals International TV and film silver award in the Health/Medical Information category. ***

A must-see documentary. To watch the full-length episode, copy this link into your computer’s internet browser: https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/881784387906/dateline-s2017-ep4-daughter-of-sierra-leone
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We are very excited to announce the five contest winners of the poignant, humanistic memoir 'Rising Heart' & we wish you all a great read: @littlebisous @kirsty_brooke @uglyflatlaysx @lifewlinda @karthika.menon 💖💖💐

Congrats to everyone who participated! Let us express our gratitude, heartfelt thanks and appreciation to every one of you for the part you played and continue to play in fulfilling Aminata's vision and our organisation’s mission. Each day we are getting closer to our goals and by purchasing a copy of the book, you contribute to improving maternal and newborn healthcare in Sierra Leone.

We invite our winners to write to us by private and direct message on Instagram to provide us with their full name and delivery details x
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This is Alice’s hospital bag. Alice is a 30 year-old single mother living in poverty in Freetown. She came to the Aberdeen Women’s Centre to give birth. When she arrived she found out that she was expecting twins which made her labour more far more dangerous and complicated. Thankfully, Alice was able to safely deliver her two beautiful twins. However, we want to draw your attention to Alice’s hospital bag. She simply arrived with a plastic bag. Inside the bag was a single blanket, a plate and a shirt.
In Sierra Leone, 1 in 8 mother’s die from child birth. In Australia, this figure is 1 in 8700. This devastating statistic highlights the reality for so many mother’s and babies in Sierra Leone. With your help, we can start to put an end to infant mortality in Sierra Leone. Motherhood should mark a beginning, not an end.
#amfmumsofmay #aminatamaternalfoundation #mothersday #hospitalbag #sierraleone
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𝐆𝐈𝐕𝐄𝐀𝐖𝐀𝐘 𝐓𝐈𝐌𝐄!

For the month of May, we celebrate all mums 🤍 no matter what form they take, in all their care and nurturing of others or any form of terrestrial life.

We are giving away up to 5 copies of Rising Heart as a prize for both the winners and the winning tagged account(s).

To enter, tag anyone who is a supportive light in your life, like, share and follow our account @aminatafoundation.

Enter as many times as you like on each account’s posts this month. 1 tag per comment, 1 comment per entry.

Winners will be drawn and notified after Mother’s Day. This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Instagram. If you get contacted that you are the winner of this competition, please check to make sure the account contacting you is legitimate before giving out any personal details.

𝐏𝐚𝐧 𝐌𝐚𝐜𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐧 𝐀𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐚 𝐱 𝐀𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐚 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐅𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 @aminata_conteh_biger #AMFMumsofMay #mothersday #mumsofaustralia #motherhood #abcmyphoto

( Australian Book Designer: Debra Billson )
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