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International Women’s Day celebrates women all over the world, highlighting women’s achievements in all professional fields and aspects of society. In doing so, the day raises awareness against bias and supports a gender-equal world. 

After taking its first steps towards rebuilding after an eleven year-long civil war, Sierra Leone was overwhelmed with the devastating Ebola outbreak which resulted in almost 4000 deaths and left over 12,000 children orphaned. 

The consequences for children in Sierra Leone continue to be dire, with young girls the ones that suffer the most with no one to care for them. Young girls were too often subjected to rape, forced into marriage and abandoned.

Mabinty (left) and Mary (right), both teenagers, were forced to leave their family homes and commence a life on the streets of Freetown after each was discovered to be pregnant.

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Although not an uncommon occurrence in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, there are little to no support structures in place for young girls in these situations. With little hope for their own futures, the girls’ focus is on the health and safety of their unborn babies. 

For Mabinty and Mary, hope is found at the Aberdeen Women’s Centre - a comprehensive maternity hospital that provides free healthcare to pregnant women and children along with skills and training to help women take control of their financial future after the birth of their baby. 

The Aminata Maternal Foundation helps fund the Aberdeen Women’s Centre and provides support to pregnant young women in vulnerable circumstances. At the Aberdeen Women’s Centre, professional health practitioners help the girls to restore their dignity and start planning for their future. 

Prior to coming to Aberdeen Women’s Centre, the future for Mabinty and Mary was bleak and frightening. Now with healthy, newborn babies, Mabinty and Mary are earning income-generating skills to become financially independent and have begun, for the first time in a long time, to dream of a better future.  Mabinty plans to one day become a doctor and hopes that her son will become a nurse.

The Aminata Maternal Foundation believes that all women should be allowed to deliver a baby in safety. We believe that teenage girls should be given an opportunity to dream big and build a plan for their future. We believe that each one among us has the power to transform lives for an equal and enabled world.

If you support these dreams, this International Women’s Day takes a step towards a more equal world and give to the Aminata Maternal Foundation. Making healthcare equal for women in Sierra Leone. #EachForEqual

Find out how you can continue to support more women and their babies future in Sierra Leone.

Do you want to hear more about Mary and Mabinty? 

READ THEIR STORIES

Blessing

March 5, 2020

On 9th January 2020, Blessing a 16-year-old girl delivered a beautiful baby girl. However, her story is one of sadness and shows the engrained misinformation around sexual and gender-based violence and the age of consent in Sierra Leone. Blessing from the slum area of Dwarzak in Freetown was happily attending school and studying hard, living […]

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Mabinty

March 5, 2020

Mabinty Conteh grew up in a village with her mother and father until her father abandoned the family when she was eight years old. When Mabinty was sixteen, a woman from Freetown came to her village on business and promised Mabinty and her mother a better life and a better education for Mabinty. After a […]

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Mary

March 5, 2020

Eighteen-year-old Mary Sesay was living with her older sister in Aberdeen when she became pregnant. Soon after she learned this she was told to leave her home because the space was too small for both mother and child. At this point, the father of her unborn baby became emotionally and physically abusive to Mary. Now […]

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Zainab (Aged 16)

May 24, 2018

We heard of Zainab before our trip to Sierra Leone in September 2016.  She was 15 years old and 37 weeks pregnant. She lives in one of the districts of Port Loko with her partner’s family. Six weeks later, when we arrived in Sierra Leone, Zainab had yet to go into labour, and had not […]

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Jakia (Aged 27)

May 24, 2018

We came across Jakia when we visited the Kroo Bay slum in Sierra Leone Freetown.  Jakia came running to us because she had heard that a midwife from the Aberdeen Women’s Centre was visiting. Jakia was five months pregnant, having lost her first two precious children.  Kroo is often described as the worst place in […]

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Zainab (Aged 37)

May 24, 2018

Zainab was brought to the Aberdeen Women’s Centre for fistula repair surgery by Aberdeen Women’s Centre outreach nurses, from her remote village in Moyamba District. She had been suffering with fistula for a couple of years. She explained to us when she went into labour her family was unable to take her to hospital and […]

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Last year we shared with you a story about Aminata, who is the House Manager of the Aberdeen Women's Centre Hostel Girls programme. Today, the International Day of Education, we would like to introduce her pupil, another talented Aminata who graduated from the Dream Girls Programme.

Read her story and leave her a message in the comments. 🤗

Aminata is a 2018 alum of Aberdeen Women’s Centre (AWC)’s Hostel Girls Programme, which trains vulnerable young mothers in hospitality and provides health education, literacy, and numeracy classes. In addition to these classes every Hostel Girl receives psychosocial counselling and support.

Aminata was such an impressive and dedicated student that after graduating from the programme AWC asked her to join it’s Domestics department. Today, Aminata is a vital member of the domestics department and a beloved member of the AWC family.

Before Aminata joined the Hostel Girls Programme her mother passed away. She went to live with her Aunty who agreed to help her raise money for her schooling by selling water. Every day Aminata and her Aunt sold water on the streets of Freetown, so that she might be able to attend school.

While selling water she met a man and later became pregnant with his child. The man denied that he was the father and abandoned Aminata and her baby.

“Meeting the right helpers changes someone’s life for good. I feel proud to be a model for
other young girls. God constantly reward AWC.”

Find out more about the Dream team here
https://aminatamaternalfoundation.org/mission/our-projects/the-dream-team/

Via @freedomfromfistula
#generationequality #internationaldayofeducation #maternalhealth #aminatafoundation @aminata_conteh_biger
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Motherhood should mark a beginning, not an end.

#maternalhealth #aminatafoundation #motherhood #mothersandbabies @aminata_conteh_biger
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A better world is possible. Together we can do it.

"If we experienced life through the eyes of a child, everything would be magical and extraordinary. Let our curiosity, adventure and wonder of life never end."
Akiane Kramarik
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In 2020 Sierra Leone overturned a ban prohibiting pregnant girls from attending school. However, teens are not encouraged to study when they are expecting.

According to the 2019 census, at the age of 19, nearly half of Sierra Leonean girls have started having babies. That means that almost half of them are deprived of education.

The "Dream Team Program" aims to transform their lives through income-generating skills and empowerment at the most vulnerable moment in their lives, both economically and emotionally, through rebuilding their self-esteem and confidence.

Learn more on our Highlights or visiting our Website
https://aminatamaternalfoundation.org/mission/our-projects/the-dream-team/

*In order to comply with the government COVID restrictions the Dream Team Program is currently suspended.

#aminatamaternalfoundation #unwomen #SDG4 #education2030 #unicef #unfpa #malala #educationisahumanright @aminata_conteh_biger
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We wish that in 2021 more children can have a safe start in life.

#aberdeenwomenscentre #maternalhealth #sierraleone #safestart #2021wishes @aminata_conteh_biger
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About one year ago @freedomfromfistula welcomed Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex to the Aberdeen Women’s Centre (AWC) in Sierra Leone.

During her visit she learned about the AWC programs that treat children with severe injuries caused by rape and FGM, including paralysis and incontinence. HRH's visit was essential to help raise awareness of the importance to expand the services to support child victims of rape.

@freedomfromfistula
#endviolenceagainstwomenandgirls #endviolenceagainstchildren @unfpa @unicef #handsofourgirls #children #hrhtheduchessofsussex #sierraleone @theroyalfamily #tbt
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Our CEO's memoir is also available at @cityofvincentlibrary

An inspiring story to start 2021

#repost @cityofvincentlibrary

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New books for adults this week include The Power of Disability by Al Etmanski, Sensaton Machines by Adam Wilson, Rising Heart by Aminata Conteh-Biger and All Adults Here by Emma Straub, amongst many more.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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#Library #LibraryLove #BookWorm #Bookstagram #Bookish #Bibliophile #BookNerd #VincentLibrary #LibraryLife #IGReads #IGBooks #CityOfVincent #NewBooks #NewFiction #NewNovels #NewNonFiction #AllAdultsHere #EmmaStraub #RisingHeart #risingheartbook #AminataContehBiger #ThePowerOfDisability
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Having a baby can cause a huge impact in a women’s life, especially in young women's lives. ⁠

The @AminataFoundation came about following the birth of @AminataConteh-Biger 's two beautiful children. She envisioned women in Sierra Leone to be able to access their basic human rights. ⁠

That’s why we work tirelessly to help as many women as possible to deliver their babies with dignity and safety.

With your incredible support we not only made it through 2020, but our community grew bigger and stronger than ever. Thank you!

Please keep supporting us, motherhood should mark a beginning, not an end.


#inspirational #babies #sierraleone #aminatamaternalfoundation #humanrights #maternalhealth #community #motivate #mumsandbubs #childbirth #womenshealth #changealife #healthcare #newyear #2021
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