Selected as one of the Fifty Most Influential Women in Sierra Leone, Asmaa James participated in the second monthly leadership and inspirational forum for girls held in Moyamba on Wednesday 30th April 2019. Mrs. James admonished the girls to never give up on their dreams and continue to focus on education as it is the only way to build a solid foundation to achieve their life’s aspirations.
Mrs. James used her personal experience as an example of what a woman can do when she is committed.
“I have been faced with numerous challenges as a female journalist, and especially practicing journalism in a male dominated profession, but I was able to remain focused, paying attention to enhancing my professionalism and cared less about distractions until I reached my goal of becoming one of the most outstanding radio personalities in Sierra Leone, and Station Manager of Radio Democracy, the station that continues to influence development agendas in the country. It has never been easy for me, since an early age I wanted to become a journalist, I dreamt about it, worked for it and in the end I made it, this is because I believed in myself and never gave up. I am a woman, a housewife, a mother, a station manager and on many boards, but I am able to manage all of these because of discipline, and commitment. I continue to dream big. So I urge you to dream big too, and with determination you will achieve your dreams and goals in life.”
About her foundation, Mrs. James recounted how stories aired on the radio spurred her to set up the Asmaa James Foundation (AJF), to help address numerous emerging issues confronting girls in our society. She said the foundation mainly focuses on providing sexual reproductive health education to girls, a societal challenge if not addressed holistically will adversely affect future generations of girls. She spoke about how sexual penetration, rape and other forms of violence against women and girls continue to affect growth and aspirations of girls.
Girls should be able to say no and report any form of violence against them. Mrs. James advised girls to break the silence, speak up and stand up for what is just and right. Girls should be able to break barriers if they want to succeed. Girls just need to believe never give up.
Mrs. James commends the efforts of the Fifty Most Influential Women Committee for organizing such programs.