Sierra Leone’s First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma receives international recognition and award in the United States
The First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Sia Nyama Koroma, received an international recognition on Saturday 24th March 2014 at the prestigious Sheraton Washington Hotel in downtown Washington DC, United States of America. (Photo: Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone)
Ahe organization, WETATi (Women Empowerment to Achieve the Impossible, USA), conferred the award at a star-studded conference, banquet and awards night.
Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma was recognized as an avid campaigner for the improvement of the plight of women and children in Sierra Leone. It must be recalled that since President Koroma came to power in 2007, First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma has been a great team player in the President’s quest to provide quality medical care for the children and the women of Sierra Leone. She has played a commendable role in the promotion and application of President Koroma’s free medical care for children under five, lactating and pregnant women. The award was therefore a recognition of the tremendous work being done by the First Lady to promote the well-being of children and women in the country.
Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the United States of America, H.E. Bockari Kortu Stevens, received the coveted award presented on behalf of First Lady Sia Koroma.
In a short , but well-applauded speech, Ambassador Stevens re-iterated that the award represented ample recognition of the role being played by the first lady in alleviating the sufferings of women, infants and young people in Sierra Leone through her charitable work. The Ambassador further emphasized that the absence of the First lady was the result of unavoidable circumstances as she already had pre- confirmed her participation to serve as conference chair but had to rescind at the last minute. However, the Sierra Leonean First Lady highly appreciated the award and has conveyed her thanks and appreciation to the organization.
According to the citation on the award :
The WETATI Innovator Award ceremony was witnessed by prominent women entrepreneurs, top female ambassadors in the U.S and women from varied works of life. Apart from the award, the first lady was the cover feature of the premiere issue of the organization’s Magazine.
The hallmark of the event was a video recording from Madam Sia Nyama Koroma that was played live at the event. In her key note speech, the First lady stated that “it is better to educate a girl than to fix a woman; it is better to fix our girls at the early stages of life than to engage in damage control”. She also emphasized that there was no better investment that we can make than in the education of our children especially our girls. They are the future ICT specialists, software engineers, scientists, film producers, teachers, doctors, nurses, politicians, and future Secretary Generals of the United Nations.
The first lady stressed that in Sierra Leone 34% of young women become pregnant before age 18 and 26% of girls aged 15-19 had already had birth. She called for increase support to women and young people, especially in their education, health and empowerment so that they will have voice and choice, which would enable them to help to transform our world. Giving a final word of advice , the First Lady had this to say, “We must advice our girls that success in life needs planning, a determined mind, but above all a willingness through positive action to do what is good, and above a reliance on God to direct their path.”
WETATi is a global business network for women of all generations (WETATi Women of Today, WETATi Next Generation, WETATi Daughters of Destiny) and it empowers, educates and challenges women to achieve the impossible, regardless of their socio-economic status, geographical location or other limitations. The organization is dedicated to ADVANCE and CHALLENGE women to DARE to achieve their impossible through community involvement, life and business coaching, mentoring programs, and joint venture-ships.
The Deputy Chief of Mission Ambassador Ibrahim Conteh and other diplomatic staff were present at the impressive occasion.
Meanwhile, many Sierra Leoneans resident in the United States have congratulated the First Lady for her international recognition and award.
submitted by Embassy Communication Unit
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