First Lady of Sierra Leone, Madam Fatima Bio has said her husband the President Julius Maada Bio is so concerned and passionate about the protection of girls to a point that their safety and security overrides his interest for the presidency.
She made the statement during a courtesy call paid to her at her office in Freetown by the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Lisa Chesney on Wednesday 2 January 2022.
“My husband values the protection of the girl child more than even his position as the President” she disclosed, while describing him as the champion for women’s empowerment and girl child welfare.”
The visiting High Commissioner was interested in learning more about the activities of the First Lady and the latter comprehensively updated her guest.
Mrs. Bio described her three years in office as challenging but fulfilling.
She narrated the challenges associated with leading a campaign in Africa against early marriage, rape and women’s empowerment, while saluting her husband, President Bio, for the selfless support he continues to offer.
The President, she said, has been selfless is creating the enabling environment and providing the required support for the empowerment campaigns to thrive.
The Hands Off Our Girls Campaign, she said, is not only creating a safe environment for the girls but equally educating them about their rights and responsibilities.
According to the First Lady, the campaign, with support from partners and stakeholders including the traditional leaders, have reached every corner of Sierra Leone.
She also spoke on the impact the campaign has had on the hygiene of the girl child, with introduction of the Sanitary Pad distribution and education.
The Sanitary Pad campaign, has immensely supported the free quality education initiative as girls don’t miss out on classes anymore because of lack of Sanitary Pads. She further spoke of the impressive performance of girls on all public exams.
She further updated the High Commissioner about the massive progress being made in the construction of an ultra one-stop-center hospital complex at the 34 Military Hospital. modern one-stop-center hospital complex at the 34 Military Hospital.
The complex, she said, will have a 500-bed hospital, safe home, nursing school, administrative building and structures housing various line institutions.
Responding, the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Lisa Chesney said she was excited and motivated to learn about the work of the First Lady.
She urged the First Lady to continue with her good work and keep the girl child in school.
“I am very much impressed with the positive progress you have made in protecting the girl child and empowering women,” she noted, while pointing out however that more needs to be done.
She assured Mrs. Bio that the High Commission would be happy to collaborate with the Office of the First Lady on shared interests.