Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone (GESL) is a feminist-based organization in Sierra Leone that nurtures and enhances the leadership skills of young girls to become effective advocates and social change agents in their communities. With a keen interest to support sustainable development at the community and national level, GESL offers year long comprehensive training programs to participants. In addition to our year long programs, in the event of emergencies and natural disasters, GESL ensures that it can respond effectively to these emerging issues. We recognize the potential of young leaders as such, we are committed to facilitating an efficient process to leverage these opportunities for community and national development. Through our core programs that emphasize personal and leadership growth, community service, health and sexual reproductive rights, innovation and creativity, GESL has successfully impacted the lives of over 200 girls in the past 5 years.
HOW DID GESSL COME ABOUT?
GESL was launched by two Sierra Leonean women who felt that there wasn’t a space where young girls were being developed and nurtured to their fullest potential, so that they can ultimately act as catalysts for change in their communities. Through our interactions with a number of girls, we got the impression that the school systems were lacking a very important element in empowering young Sierra Leonean girls. Out of this concern and through various baseline studies, the need was confirmed and GESL was born in 2012. We partner with schools in Sierra Leone and execute year-round workshops and programming for girls ages 12-17 in the capital city Freetown to help prevent various obstacles such as teenage pregnancy, abuse and exploitation, dropping out of school, and we nurture them through the program.