The First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Dr. Fatima Maada Bio, has disclosed that her Foundation will be providing scholarships and business start-ups for victims of rape.

She was speaking at the weekly government press briefing held on the 7th of November, 2023, at the conference room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

In 2022, Her Excellency the First Lady championed a course at the United Nations, seeking a dedicated day for survivors of rape and sexual violence.

Her compelling case caused the United Nations to dedicate November 18 as ‘United Nations World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Violence’.

To mark the day for the first time, Dr. Fatima Maada Bio will be granting educational and business support to rape victims.

“I want to commemorate
this important day in Sierra Leone with rape victims, pray with them, and also for a start, my Foundation will offer university support, vocational training, and business capital,” the First Lady pledged.

This year’s commemoration will be held in Sierra Leone with the First Ladies of Nigeria, HE. Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and Angola, HE. Ana Dias Lourenco, expected to grace the occasion, while popular Nigerian singer, Osinachi Kalu, will serve as guest singer at the Winners Chapel.

The First Lady also revealed at the press briefing that next year Sierra Leone will host the United Nations ‘Zero Waste Summit’ in Freetown.

Dr. Fatima Maada Bio is one of eight eminent members selected by the United Nations to champion ‘Zero Waste’ globally. The First Lady of Turkey, HE Emine Erdogan, who is the Chair of the Advisory Board of Zero Waste will arrive in Sierra Leone to witness the event.