Today (15th Oct) we celebrated International Day Of The Girl Child with a special program to inspire and empower some of the women of The Gambia.
All women are strong, all women are capable, and all women are beautiful, and we wanted to show that anything is possible, we want them to dare to try, dare to fail, and dare to follow their dreams. For the event the MyFarm girls have been thinking about what it means to be a women in The Gambia, and created empowering posters to decorate the farm with.
Isatou Ceesay, the queen of plastic recycling in The Gambia, and founder of the Women’s Initiative kicked off the program with her incredible story. She comes from a poor background in rural Gambia, overcoming community and parental pressures to start the Women’s Initiative. 20 years on, she has empowered and supported women across the whole country, teaching them the skills to recycle plastic, and providing them with financial support to ensure they will be financially independent for years to come.
Her story inspired all who were in attendance, the MyFarm children, the invited women and men, and the acting American ambassador Marissa Scott, whose speech would follow Isatou’s. In Isatou’s own words, “If I, coming from my background can do the things that I have done, then there is nothing that anyone here can not do”.
Marissa Scott then took to the stage, and the two queens, from very different backgrounds, shared the stage as if they had done many times before. Her speech was insightful and thought-provoking, she told her story of the challenges of being a woman in a high-powered position in the American government. Her passionate plea for women to work together taught the women in attendance the importance of cooperation, we believe they will now stand together because now they know “together they are stronger”.
Then we had the amazing Mariama and her band play some melodic traditional music for everyone to enjoy. Everyone was mesmerized by the first sound that came from her mouth, her voice was truly incredible. The whole of MyFarm then stopped what they were doing and gathered for her performance and every single girl and woman danced as one! An empowering moment that will forever be remembered at the farm.
A Day To Inspire
Jankie Jassey from the Fandema organization told us her amazing story of her day-to-day work during her pregnancy. Even at 7 months, she was up on roofs fixing solar panels in the scorching heat. Now that’s hard work. Fandema has been empowering women to become solar engineers and provides them with schooling and support throughout the process. We’re big fans.
A delicious lunch followed cooked by the MyFarm team. Sally, Suna, and Isatou Jallow made one of the best Benechin’s anyone has ever tasted :).
Fun and educational workshops closed out a fantastic day with body butter making by our very own Ramatoulie proving the most popular. The Women’s Initiative also showed off their skills in making jewellery from recycled plastic. The MyFarm team and students loved watching this…learning something new is in their DNA
A Day To Empower
Our aim for this day was to inspire and connect the next generation of young girls in The Gambia… in the end, this day was so much more. We will now be working closely with more women empowerment groups and organizations to bring more days like this, and inspire even more young women to follow their dreams.
Thank you to all who helped make this even happen, and thank you to all who came.
“Wonderful, I Feel like this was the BEST interaction I have ever had. Everyone learned something from one another, we have to use this momentum and make sure this happens again soon”, Isatou Ceesay, Women’s Initiative
“This day has just been amazing, I feel proud to be a Gambian woman”, Adama, Fandema Organisation
“Today inspired me to wake up and follow my dreams”, Ancha, MyFarm Trainee
“I was inspired by the Womens initiative’s project, how they are making things out of recycled materials is great. The singer was amazing. Today has taught me to treat women equally, they are amazing!” Abdoulie MyFarm
“I have been training women how to make soap and start their businesses for years now, I just never truly believed I could do it…now I do” Ramatoulie, MyFarm
“I travelled all the way from Basse to come to this event. As soon as I heard the caused, i simply could not say no”, Mariama Cham, Singer