Born in Kono, Juliet Bio Mondeh is Sierra Leonean Innovator and only youngest female physics teacher in her school in Moyamba District, Rural Sierra Leone. Juliet recently presented her prototype water distillation system to a team of both national and international experts to experiment. Juliet hopes her idea will leap into reality while responding to a local challenge. Juliet attended the Jubilee International School Conakry Guinea. Life growing up was very challenging for Juliet because her father was a teacher and her mother was a trader. At a very tender age, Juliet had to divide her time for school, studies, and helping her mother sell at the Market. Juliet most times help her mother during the holidays and weekend, despite these challenges, she never lost hope of becoming the woman she is today. Her parents ensured they never went to bed hungry.
Juliet moved to Freetown to take her WASSCE exams, speaking to Salone Messenger, Juliet told us that this was the most difficult decision she took moving to Freetown, with no friends, no family members at the time, Juliet started working as a security guard to be able to cover some bills. “It’s wasn’t easy for me working at night and going to class in the morning, it was challenging for me as a woman.” She told us at Salone Messenger.
Juliet grew up in a community where the water crisis is a major challenge, this prompted Juliet into finding solutions within her reach, and she went into innovation to find possible answers to the challenge face in her community. “Looking at my community, they do not have access to pipe borne water supply so people resort to other alternatives such as drinking water from unprotected wells, they buy sachets water and not all can afford it. Only the working class can afford it, especially visitors even I cannot afford it all the times. In addition, I had an opportunity to talk with one of the senior medical personnel who explained their challenges in getting distill water. Seeing this situation, I started thinking of ways to purify water that will be cost-effective. So this was what led me to start working on a Solar Water Distiller.” She told us at Salone Messenger
Because Juliet understands that not everyone can afford to buy water in her community all the time because it is expensive and the one available is not purified, she embarked on a journey to ensure that her solution is both purify and affordable
“Finding ways to solve this problem in Moyamba District is to provide a purified and safe water for drinking at an affordable price and to provide distilled water for the hospitals in Moyamba as my immediate market. I will widen my scope as time goes on”
Like many innovators trying to find solutions in Africa, the challenges they go through are numerous, Juliet is no excuse. From skill gap, knowledge gap, mentorship, and many more.
“The challenges that I was facing in my line of work were skill gap, knowledge gap, mentorship gap, and funding gap. Brainstorming with experts to get clarity or mentorship before was challenging for me. Finding fellow Innovators and who to meet, a sort of network, was impossible but I thank God for UNDP Accelerator lab that has helped and supported me to close these gaps.”
Juliet is currently working with the UNDP Accelerator lab to develop a standard prototype solar distiller wherein samples will be collected for testing and certification by Standard Bureau, Sierra Leone Pharmaceutical Board, and other experts after which she is looking forward to establishing her own water company, which will be highly equipped with alternative methods to increase production throughout the year.
“One of my greatest achievements in life, well, first as a teacher, it is the joy of every teacher to see their students making it to the university after imparting knowledge into them. As the only female physics teacher in the entire district, it is an achievement to be able to impact knowledge into my students, and they making progress in my subject in external exams. Also as an Innovator, being able to identify a problem in my immediate society that can be addressed is an achievement. In addition, me coming into contact with the UNDP Accelerator Lab which has boosted my motivation and provided me the required skills and support I needed to achieve my goals is probably the greatest achievement in my life.”
She told us at Salone Messenger
Aside from innovation and being a teacher, Juliet is also into agriculture.
When asked about her message to the young innovator, she said
“My message to young Innovators will be for them to be determined to achieve whatever they are aspiring to achieve in life. It is not easy for young people in this part of the world, especially young Innovators, there are a lot of gaps but thank God now there is UNPD accelerator Lab in the country that is working with young Innovators to make their dreams come through. If you have an idea or you are an Innovator you can contact UNDP accelerator Lab in 2030 and they will pick it up from there.