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How Founder of MirrorAfrica Simeonette Uwanie Pontis is leading the way for the empowerment of Girls and Young women

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How Founder of MirrorAfrica Simeonette Pontis is leading the way for the empowerment of Girls and Young women

Personal life and Career

Born on the 12 November, Simeonette Uwanie Pontis is a young Sierra Leonean international filmmaker, advocate, communication specialist and girls champion. She is the Founder and Executive Director of MirrorAfrica, a non –profit organization that provides services to young women and girls in crisis. MirrorAfrica  engage girls in sexual reproductive health and rights ,advocacy on issues that promotes gender equality,mentorship, skills and leadership trainings, She is the former  Vice-President of the Young African Leader Initiative Alumni (RLC) Sierra Leone Chapter Per

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis 2
Simeonette Uwanie Pontis 2

Education

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis attended the Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School at Kissy Road, where she sat to her BECE and WASSCE exams respectively. She currently holds a B.A Degree in History and Polictics from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.

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EXPERIENCE

Growing up, Simeonette Uwanie Pontis loves and had passion in working with and for women and children especially girls. At a tender age, Simeonette Uwanie Pontis joined the Children’s Forum Network, a child led organization that advocated for children in Sierra Leone, where she started advocating  for the voiceless, she co-founded Voice of Children culture radio 104.5 FM and  produced and presentered for Voice of Children Radio Mount Aureol . Her mantra is “Impacting lives is a purposeful life”.

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis Mirror Africa
Simeonette Uwanie Pontis Mirror Africa

Sallu Kamuskay

What do you do in your line of work?

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis

“I am a trained film maker with International awards for  short fictional and Documentary Films like Picturing my Life,Accra Flowers,Plastic Man etc, also an international film making trainer for young people in Sierra Leone , Liberia ,Ghana,Togo and Gambia.”

Sallu Kamuskay

You are the founder and Executive Director (ED) of Mirror Africa? What would you say enable you to set this initiative?

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis

“This initiative was born out of my desire to empower and give a voice to girls and young woman that are abused ,violated  and discriminated against .It was to  always contribute to the development and growth of women and girls.”

Sallu Kamuskay

Tell us about the services the Mirror Africa offer and where are your operation areas?

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis

“We enage girls,boy,men and women in sexual reproductive health and rights campaigns,Gender and sexual based violence ,Skills training ,Mentorship and leadership trainings .

We also have MirrorMedia which offer multimedia services,we use the funds to support our activites”

Sallu Kamuskay

Before setting up Mirror Africa, where have you worked before and what position did you hold?

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis

 

“I have had the opportunity to work at Skye Bank as a business development officer and at fomer 232 Complex as Manager.”

Sallu Kamuskay

Reflecting on your childhood or early youthful age, what was/were the difficult things you did to survive, acquire education or any of your dream?

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis MirrorAfrica
Simeonette Uwanie Pontis MirrorAfrica

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis

“My mother was a single woman and life was not always a bed of rose .She was a pre-school teacher and the salary was really small. I sometimes had to follow my neighbours to sall water at the market and my mum was selling down the street.My mum is my inspiration and i am happy to be raised by a strong resilent woman.”

Sallu Kamuskay

How would you count on the impact of your in fighting any of the Sustainable Development Goals?

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis

“We have been working on goal 5 which is gender equality ,goal 10 reduced inequality , goal 8 decent work and economic growth and partnership for the goal which is goal 17. MirrorAfrica has partnered and collaborated with other organisations like Defence for children Sierra Leone ,Purposeful,Fund for Global Human Right,Lilian Fonds,Advocacy Movement Network etc to achieve the above goals mentioned.

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis 33
Simeonette Uwanie Pontis 33

We have been produced media contents like short educative videos and audios that have foster change in behaviour in our targeted communities and the nation as a whole.Through our mentorship and leadership programs  ,Girls Advocacy Alliance had girls represent and speak on international platforms in Holland ,USA and Geneva.Our girls panel is now an established organisation that is to show we have been able to groom young women and girls that can take leadership roles and responsibilities.”

Sallu Kamuskay

How can you be reach? Your social media platforms and website ?

Simeonette Uwanie Pontis

Sallu Kamuskay

Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean activist, storyteller, and blogger. He was born in Sierra Leone but later relocated to Guinea as a refugee because of the war in his country. Sallu Kamuskay uses his phone to engage on social media, under the name ‘’Salone Messenger’. He Co-Founded the Salone Messenger platform after his experience of the war, Ebola, and injustices. According to him, silence was the root cause of war, and of many social injustices, we continue to face as a nation. In 2013, during the Ebola crisis, Sallu Kamuskay took the risk and volunteered to fight Ebola. He spent some months in both safe and unsafe places; helping the victims and telling their sad stories. The election in 2018, left a divided country with communities fighting on tribal lines. This inspired Sallu Kamuskay to serve as the coordinator of the United Sierra Leone peace concert, which was organized in 4 major parts of the country, targeting violent communities and troubled youth. Sallu Kamuskay led a group of entertainers, activists, and organizations across the country on a peace tour, a program supported by the European Union, United Sierra Leone, Africa Union, ECOWAS, and the Messeh Leone Trust. Sallu Kamuakay has also served as a staff writer for the Hidden Voices Magazine. Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below http://ayvnewspaper.com/index.php/k2-categories/item/7350-america-stress-a-hero-to-recognize. Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.

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