Rwanda – Josephine Kamara, Senior Advocacy Manager at Purposeful and founder of Women of Wonders SL, arrived in Rwanda to attend the Women Deliver Conference 2023. As she mingled with fellow activists and leaders, she couldn’t help but feel a surge of frustration at a particular sentiment she kept encountering – the idea of putting money aside when it came to helping girls.
During a panel discussion on girls’ empowerment, Kamara passionately raised her voice, expressing her disdain for the notion that money alone was not enough to address the challenges faced by girls. She believed that dismissing the importance of financial resources undermined the efforts of both girls and their feminist allies who tirelessly worked in deep partnership to uplift and empower them.
“I hate when people say let’s put money aside, what else can we do to help girls? I find this disrespectful to both girls and feminist allies who work in deep partnership with girls,” Kamara exclaimed, her voice filled with conviction.
She continued, “Yes, money alone cannot solve the problem, but let’s never frame it as if anything else can work without money. We must acknowledge the significance of financial support in creating sustainable change. So why not just bring that money we desperately want to put aside back at the center of the conversation for supporting girls’ resistance?”
Kamara’s words resonated deeply with those in attendance. Many nodded in agreement, recognizing the truth in her statement. The room filled with an air of renewed determination to prioritize financial investment alongside other efforts to support girls’ empowerment.
Kamara found herself engaged in numerous conversations with like-minded individuals who shared her belief in the power of financial resources. They discussed ways to mobilize funds and ensure that they were used effectively to address the multifaceted challenges faced by girls worldwide.
Kamara’s impassioned plea sparked a shift in the narrative surrounding girls’ empowerment. It reminded everyone that while money alone may not be the sole solution, it played a vital role in providing the necessary resources to implement effective programs and initiatives.
Kamara’s message served as a reminder that dismissing the significance of money in the fight for girls’ empowerment undermined the tireless work of activists and the resilience of girls themselves. It was a call to action, urging everyone to bring financial support back to the forefront of conversations and ensure that it remained a crucial part of the solution.
The Women Deliver Conference 2023 was a turning point in the fight for girls’ empowerment. It was a reminder that while money alone may not be the answer, it was an essential tool that must be wielded alongside other efforts to create lasting change.
Josephine is a girl advocate, environmental activist and young communications professional. She was globally recognised by Together for Girls in 2015 as one of the 16 global heroes fighting to end violence against girls and is a fellow of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Her brainchild, Women of Wonders SL, is a social and development club facilitating the rehabilitation process of girls who are orphaned by the Ebola pandemic and occurrence of natural disasters in Sierra Leone via facilitating educational support. Josephine was the national representative to the Philippines for the 2016 Miss Earth Environment Awareness pageant, representing Sierra Leone.