Eleanor Lusenie, Abigail Kamara and Kadie Kabba are 3 young women tackling issues of unemployment and, access to funding and clean drinking water in Sierra Leone. This is their story.
We don’t just seek jobs; we seek to bring positive change in our communities and our country as a whole.”
In February 2021, Restless Development Sierra Leone welcomed three new members to their team. Eleanor Lusenie, Abigail Kamara and Kadie Kabba are part of the third batch of over 500 interns currently taking part in the National Youth Service programme, a ten month government graduate intern programme supervised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs in Sierra Leone.
Eleanor, Abigail and Kadie are all graduates from different universities in Sierra Leone aiming to gain work experience that will help them to excel in their careers and prepare them for a competitive job market. They’re currently tackling societal issues and facilitating their change through the community service element of the National Youth Service. Each week, they take Fridays off from work to implement a project to bring about positive change.
The sight of young, vibrant youths in the community giving themselves up to alcohol, drugs and teenage pregnancy saddens my heart. It is my desire to help them see the value that they have, and to use that energy positively to better themselves, their community and the nation as a whole.”
I was born and raised in a village in the mountainous area near Freetown, and I’ve used this opportunity to go back there to help at the school, as well as to support out-of-school adolescents and young people to live a purpose driven life. I am organising a day for the community where I will be bringing in experts from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, a gynecologist, police from the police academy, and a pastor to counsel and encourage the young people in different areas where they have challenges. I hope this will help them become informed and active citizens. Within this ten month programme, I’ll be engaging schools and the community in outreach work and organising three different community days.
Eleanor has a degree in Mass Communication and Public Relations, and is interning in the communications team at Restless Development.
I’m using this opportunity to pass on the knowledge about business that I gained at university to educate and empower small scale traders to maximise their profits from microfinance loans.”
I find it frustrating when traders around my community receive microfinance loans, but then attribute it to superstition, and so involve themselves in bad investments and unwise spending as they do not have the necessary skills for investment. During my ten month placement, I will be getting involved in one-on-one market outreach and sensitisation for businesses and investments.
Kadie has a degree in Banking and Finance, and is interning in the finance team at Restless Development.
I live in a rural area, close to the capital city of Freetown, and I want to bring clean, safe drinking water to my community.”
I know that the lack of water in my community has led to teenage pregnancy, because adolescent girls spend a lot of time during the day and night at the stream collecting water, and young men and boys take advantage of this opportunity – this leads to a high rate of teenage pregnancy. Because of our lack of clean water, there is a high infant mortality rate and water borne diseases are common in this community. The stream has also become a hub where young boys are influenced by their peers to get involved in drugs and alcohol abuse, which then also leads to a high rate of dropping out of school. I am collaborating with community stakeholders to provide and maintain clean and safe drinking water in my community.