After the impactful training of female aspirants in the past five years following the 2018 elections, supported by Trocaire, Irish Aid, and other partners, the Women’s Forum for Human Rights and Democracy (WOFHRAD) has been contracted by World Vision to implement one of its projects for the upcoming June 24th, 2023 elections.

WOFHRAD has been awarded the contract to provide training to female candidates in six districts of Sierra Leone: Karene, Pujehun, Bombali, Western Area Rural, Kono, and Western Area Urban. World Vision conducted due diligence and selected WOFHRAD based on their qualifications.

The training program began on Thursday, June 1st, in Karene District located in the North West Region. It will continue for two weeks until June 16th, 2023, covering all six districts.

Emilia Kamara-Jengo, the Co-founder and Programs Coordinator of WOFHRAD, spoke with NewsFeed Sierra Leone and explained that the project aims to educate women candidates in various essential areas such as gender, human rights, public speaking, and leadership. Kamara-Jengo emphasized the significance of these areas, stating that they are crucial not only during the campaign period but also when elected candidates need to effectively address and represent the people they serve.

Furthermore, she emphasized the importance of respecting and protecting human rights as qualities of a good leader. Kamara-Jengo stressed that the relevance of this training cannot be overstated.

Kamara-Jengo noted that the number of participants varies from district to district, especially considering the inclusion of female candidates from different political parties. She stated, “Overall, we will be training over three hundred candidates.

The number differs due to variations in the list of female candidates we received from the ECSL district offices. For Western Area alone, we received over one hundred candidates, while Kono has over eighty, and so on.”

In conclusion, Kamara-Jengo urged the female candidates benefiting from this project to make the most of this training opportunity. She acknowledged the expenses associated with organizing such training programs across the country, including costs for fuel, food, and more. Kamara-Jengo expressed the expectation for every beneficiary to share and disseminate this knowledge within their respective communities, aiming to empower more capable and successful women in the political landscape.

She emphasized that this training will also help challenge and change the stereotypes surrounding women’s involvement in politics.