Communication is a vital key in this new century. It gives an edge to keep abreast with the fast peace of the times. Public speaking Definitely works this goal.

The diversity of opinions today, which are often controversial, has increased the need of public speaking. People need to voice out their view to function well in society. For some four thousand years, public speaking has been the key to building and keeping a democratic society and way of life. Its influences are vast and affect almost all aspects of life. Such as the way we think or act. It is also used in court proceedings, in congress, and even in the plain setting of a classroom.

The Patriotic Advocacy Network Sierra Leone(PAN-SL), has on the 29th October, 2022 organized; The Basita Michael Public Speaking for Girls, on the theme: “Digital Generation, Our Generation.” The event was an opening challenged to schools in Western Area Rural and Urban.

Schools like: Crown International Academy, Hill Valley Academy, Zuliaka Academy, Gabriel Academy, Fawe Waterloo, National Pentecostal Secondary School, Government Kingtom, Methodist Girls High School, St. Joseph Convert, Henry Ferguson, Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood, and Sierra Leone Muslim Congress. A total of twelve (12) schools that participated in the Basita Michael Public Speaking for Girls 2022 at Hill valley Academy Multipurpose Hall, Mambo.

The event was divided into three categories: ‘The Spoken words,’ ‘Music,’ & ‘Public Speaking category.’ The public speaking served as a nitty-gritty for girls to embolden themselves for a mere future.

In her opening statement, the chairperson & board member of the Patriotic Advocacy Network Sierra Leone (PAN-SL), Janet S. Kallon said, “In celebrating this year’s Day of the Girl Child, PAN SL and partners intend to organize the 2nd Edition of Public Speaking Training and Competition for Girls who are attending various secondary schools in Freetown. The theme for this year is Digital generation. Our generation, she asserted.

“The Patriotic Advocacy Network Sierra Leone, (PAN-SL) for short, is a non – profitable organization that is operating nationwide; we have up to 1,500 members include schools in the provincial areas in Sierra Leone, for past years we have being into activities like; the story telling, awareness raising for girls on GBV, community mobilization engagements, the peace marathon, debate competitions, and today, we are organizing the Basita Michael Public Speaking for Girls,” she endorsed.

She continued that, “this event was launched in March 2021 in celebration of the International women day. For this year we choose to commemorates the International Day of the Girl Child, by organizing this event for young girls. We focused on Digital Generation, Our Generation. Because they are the ones using and exploring the digital age more than the aged. And they seem to know more about it. So we wanted to know how best they will use it wisely, instead of they focusing on the negative part of digital world, which is more attractive to them, then the positive side,” she entrusted.

She further pointed out, the whole planned of the event, said, “TRAINING: A day training has been organized on public speaking for girls on the 13th October 2022.

COMPETITION: A day competition will best aged for these girls who have being trained.The theme
for the Public Speaking Competition is: ‘Digital Generation, Our Generation.’

The aim of this project is to train, empower and inspire young girls to become very productive in the society and
ensure that their voices are heard through Public Speaking.

•To train and teach girls on Public Speaking
•To ensure girls get the sense an awareness on digital values and benefits
•To ensure the voices of girls are heard
•To empower young girls and capacitate them through Public speaking
•To inspire other girls who are shy to speak
•To influence others who think girls should be silent
•To develop confidence and boldness in young girls,” She concluded.

In attendance, the former president, Sierra Leone Bar Association, Madam Basita Michael Esq, The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Susue Consulting, Gender & Activist, Madam Naasu Fofanah, Mayor of Freetown City Hall, her worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Principal of Hill Valley Academy, Madam Zainab Kamara, judges, youth – led organizations, parents, schools, youth Ambassadors & Activitists, and invited quests.

In their chambers, key respectable judges for the Basita Michael Public Speaking for Girls 2022, namely: Patricia Mabinty Conteh, Salamatu Kakay⁩, Josephine Ahmeda Sesay⁩, Christian Lansana, Aaliyah Esther Johanett Saxo-Decker, Cecilia Alice Sesay, Mabel Kamara, Maimunatu Bah, Mary Sia Foyah, Bintu Bangura, Fatimatu Bah, Fatmata Kamara Esq, Mariama Sahid, and Fatmata Jaria Bah.

In her statement, the principal, Hill Valley Academy, Ms. Zainab Kamara, threw light to the background of the school which was established in 2018. Motto: Together we can Achieve.

She welcomed all protocol observes to the prestigious school; Hill Valley Academy. “we can encourage a sense of responsibility, we will continue to support to build a better Sierra Leone,” she concluded.

Judges gave criteria how they should be judging the event. The event was divided into three categories: The Public Speaking, Spoken words, and the music category. The judges were so amazed an fairly in their judgement.

The Executive Director, the Patriotic Advocacy Network Sierra Leone (PAN-SL), Ansumana Keita, starts with an opening peace greetings; “Peace and Love be on to you all!” he talked immensely how they have gone so far to enrich young people especially (girls) in the frontline to career development.

He furthered that; “we have been continually engaged this schools on AfriRadio 105.3 about the Basita Michael Public Speaking for Girls 2022. Today, is the grand finale for this event,” he assured.

Pupils from different schools in Western Area Rural and Urban, participated greatly in the Basita Michael Public Speaking for Girls, they were so much over confidence and bold towards their speaking skill. For the public speaking category; they discussed prominent topics that has to do with our everyday life.

In scared to the spoken words, young girls were so enthusiastic to approached the circular form of poetry and drama. They performed exceedingly great in the spoken words category.

For the musical category, schools in the urban setting merged with the nitty-gritty of handling the musical world into feet steps. Interestingly, the urban schools have the privileged to learn music and drama in school.

In her keynote address, the former president of Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA), Madam Basita Michael Esq speaks immensely on the topic: ‘Digital Generation.’ said “I was so humbled to be given the opportunity by the Patriotic Advocacy Network to serve as the keynote speaker. The first thing I did was to look at the theme: Digital Generation, Our Generation,” she ensured.

She further pointed out that, how many girls that have access to information Communication technology (ICT)? Not only but also to have skills training. “It’s time we close the gender gap in Sierra Leone, and give access to digital generation,” she stated.

“I have observed in many campaigns, they are just emphasizing on education, it’s time we focus on the access of technology,” she endorsed.

She reaffirmed that, to create Sierra Leone, no one should not left behind, we can all have access to digital world, “let us make a digital world in Sierra Leone for reality,” she concluded.

Key sponsors of the Basita Michael Public Speaking for Girls, Miksi Chocolate – Twa no Hot! Gave their meaningful contribution towards the event. Their tremendous support was so appreciated by the Patriotic Advocacy Network (PAN-SL).

Madam Basita Michael, recognized and awarded judges with a Certificate of Recognition, proudly awarded to key respectable & fairly judges.

Her Worship the mayor of Freetown City Hall, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and Naasu Fofanah, awarded pupils with a Certificate of Participation & surprised packages.

The man behind the initiative, Ansumana Keita, announced the results of the Basita Michael Public Speaking for Girls 2022.

Public Speaking category winner:
Isatu M. Bangura, Methodist Girls High School, Freetown.

Spoken words category winner:
Isata Yayah Kamara, Crown International Academy, Waterloo.

The Music category winner:
Amisha A. Kanu, Hill Valley Academy, Mambo.

Pupils were so joyful and peaceful towards celebrating their friends.