Sierra Leone: the superstar in the mirror
Sara wants to be a superstar. What girl doesn’t, right? What teenager doesn’t dream of million dollar homes, fast cars, big parties and an easy life? But, wait – that isn’t Sara’s dream. That isn’t what being a superstar is to Sara.
Sara’s mom can’t read or write. Sara walks the poverty-stricken streets of Sierra Leone every day to see girls at home and not in school. Why?…mostly, because they are girls. She hears stories of genital cutting and wants for a different future from all the gender based violence that fills the culture and history around her. She doesn’t want to marry at an early age…to miss out on her education only to exchange it for early pregnancy and higher chances of HIV. Why does she have to worry about such things? BECAUSE SHE IS A GIRL.
To Sara, a superstar is a girl who speaks up. A superstar to Sara is a girl who is educated and does things differently, because she is worth it and because other girls are worth it. Sara is part of the Girls Media Making Project (like Girl Rising exposing the power of education to change the world through girls). She is trained on how to create and produce radio programs that are broadcasted deep into the villages around Sierra Leone. She is not only speaking up for herself, but for all the girls who still need the message, for their fathers who need to know of their dreams, for their village leaders to see their value. Sara, and girls like her, are becoming a voice of truth for everyone.
I’m not sure when Sara will think she has become a superstar of Sierra Leone, but there is little doubt that the words of empowerment she has already given to countless girls, has already made her one. That is one girl rising!
by Anna Goodworth, WOV Hartford, CT