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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

We’ve done it!

November 26, 2020

And just like that, we’re finished! Over two weeks, hundreds of us have walked thousands of kilometres as we came together a community to walk side by side with mums and babies living in poverty in Sierra Leone. My heart is full thinking of Jakia who inspired this event. It is amazing to think that […]

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You’ve set the pace

November 2, 2020

We can’t believe how much support we’ve already received for our #AMFWalkingChallenge2020. So many people have been willing to help us fundraise for the much needed maternal health support during the COVID-19 crisis in Sierra Leone. I am so touched by everyone’s words of kindness and open hearts to a cause that is so close […]

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Aminata on BBC World Service

October 13, 2020

“A mother and a child dying, that never made sense to me. How can women still continue  to struggle for something that is preventable? No mother or their baby should die in childbirth just because of poverty” – Aminata Conteh-Biger In an in-depth interview with BBC Outlook, Aminata talks about her childhood in Sierra Leone, […]

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‘Rising Heart’ and raising spirits in the Women’s Weekly

August 14, 2020

Have you seen the September issue of Women’s Weekly yet? This month features a six-page special on the life & journey of Aminata. She talks about her life during the war in Sierra Leone, her settlement in Australia as a refugee, and what inspired her to start the Aminata Maternal Foundation. Having our Founder in […]

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Available to order

July 28, 2020

29 sleeps to go until my memoir, Rising Heart, will be released & in your hands! I feel so excited and humbled to share my story with you. Order now You know that my story is a message of hope and resilience despite experiencing extreme trauma. My dream is for every mother in Sierra Leone to […]

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Your help is vital in Sierra Leone

June 25, 2020

Donate today A special thank you to our supporters who have already generously donated to our emergency COVID-19 appeal. As we head into the end of the financial year, now is the perfect time to make a tax-deductible gift. We are only $20,000 short of our target for this Tax Appeal campaign – any gift […]

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Thanks @futurewomen for including AMF in the list of selected charities.
"Pay the salary of a midwife in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone has some of the highest rates of both maternal and infant mortality. Having a baby in Sierra Leone is more than 500 times more dangerous than having a child in Australia. Almost 3,000 women and 20,000 children die each year from preventable health-related issues. With the Aminata Maternal Foundation, for as little as $100AUD, you can pay the salary of a midwife to ensure women and children survive the pregnancy."

#giftsthatgiveback
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Beautiful article on @womensagenda featuring our CEO @aminata_conteh_biger
Thank you @womensagenda for your support.

#Repost @womensagenda
・・・
Meet Sydney-based Aminata Conteh-Biger, a remarkable woman who is dramatically improving maternal health in what is considered the most dangerous country in the world to have a baby, Sierra Leone. Aminata’s story is one of the most courageous we’ve ever heard, which she’s just shared in her new memoir, Rising Heart.
Read more about Aminata and her foundation on our homepage.
#leavenoonebehind #orangetheworld
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#orangetheworld
Today is the first day of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

Since 1991, the campaign that started at the inaugural Women's Global Leadership Institute invites the world to raise awareness and tackle violence against women.

With your support, the Aminata Foundation is taking action to ensure that more women in Sierra Leone can access a safe birth. At the Aberdeen Women Centre, skilled health practitioners provide mothers with antenatal and postnatal classes, family planning resources and psychological support to care for the women and girls victims of rape.

#unwomen #16daysofactivism #takeaction #maternalhealth #womensupportingwomen
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#WorldChildrensDay is celebrated to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. Please keep the children we safely deliver and support through health checks and immunisations, in your thoughts.
#protectthechildren
#repost @freedomfromfistula
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$60.210,00 and counting! It’s incredible what we can accomplish when we’re in it together!

We want to thank each and every one of you. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown towards the AMF Walking Challenge.

Motherhood should mark a beginning, not an end.

#amfwalkingchallenge2020 #aminatamaternalfoundation #walk #together #16days
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After finishing a lovely walk and maximising your support for mothers and babies in Sierra Leone, why not treat yourself to a nice shopping day?

We know that one of fundraisers will be delighted to shop at @Moya.sydney a Sydney based designer boutique with an exclusive edit of European and US labels with a $100 gift card!

Thank you @Moya.sydney for supporting our campaign! You can visit their website at https://moyasydney.com.au/

Don’t forget to share your link and spread the word!

**If you signed up as a fundraiser team and received at least one deposit, you have a chance to win one of the prizes we announced.

Aminata Conteh-Biger will draw the prize on Sunday 15 November. Stay tuned.

#Prize #amfwalkingchallenge2020 #reward #grateful #shoppingday @aminata_conteh_biger
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"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much" - Helen Keller.

The AMF Walk was an initiative of the nurses @parisfittler @rosie_kemp @stephdowsett @lilliecarolan. Last year they organised the fundraising walk to raise enough money to cover the cost of 10 cesarean operations at Aberdeen Women's Centre.

This year, we couldn't walk together, but the AMF family has grown stronger. The event had 187 fundraising teams who collectively raised over $55.000,00.

Thank you all for joining us in our mission to make birth safer for the most vulnerable women in Sierra Leone.

@aminata_conteh_biger #amfwalkingchallenge2020 #walk #elenkeller #humanitarian #together #leavenoonebehind #orangetheworld
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We’re grateful to announce another generous AMF Walking Challenge sponsor for 2020, @loccitaneaus who has given our team a luxurious set of goodies for one of our top fundraisers, as thanks!

L’Occitane uses traceable and natural ingredients that are as good for the planet and skin.

Thank you to all our fundraisers and donors so far, your efforts are truly astounding!

#amfwalkingchallenge2020 #prizes #sponsored #loccitane #celebration
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