The GESL team is comprised of a dynamic group of African professionals,

with teams in-country and abroad.

Moiyattu Banya


Moiyattu is Co-Founder & has served as  Executive Director of GESL since 2012. Through GESL, Moiyattu has coordinated leadership programs targeted at over 200+ young girls to help them become social change agents in their communities and supervises the direction and strategy of the organisation as well as the in development of in country programs. 


From working with rural women farmers in Sierra Leone, to training girl leaders in Uganda, Moiyattu has extensive experience in working in the international development organizations in Africa in the areas of Gender and Women's and Girls rights over the last 12 years. She holds an Msc in Social Entrepreneurship from Columbia University, New York with a focus on Gender & International Development. 

She currently consults for international organisations focusing on women's rights and girls rights across Africa and teaches Women and Gender Studies courses at Temple University & Program Design and Proposal Development at Columbia University. She is a published writer who enjoys family time, travel and self care. 


For more on her work visit

In-Country Team

Maryam Darwich

In-Country Coordinator

Maryam Darwich, our country co-ordinator since 2014, has been living and working in Sierra Leone since 2010. Maryam has a strong background working with young vulnerable people which has included working with young refugees in the UK, young Palestinians in the west bank and with young girls aged between 11-18 as part of a women’s project bringing them back into education in Sierra Leone (Educaid). Her NGO experience, which has focused on women’s issues, has been complemented by her extensive teaching experience at both a school and university level as well as her training experience in Sierra Leone. Maryam first went to Sierra Leone in 2008 and since then and after making the decision to move there in 2011, she has been actively involved in projects and initiatives working with young people both in her capacity as country coordinator but also in her role as part of the board of G2G Empowerment (A Forward funded project working on teenage pregnancy and sexual health-related matters) and as part of her corporate social responsibility working with Schooling for Life as their work ethics trainer and curriculum developer.

Lindsay Sesay

Programs Manager

Lindsay Agatha Sesay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and a Master’s degree in Development Management. Prior to her role as Programmes Manager at Girl’s Empowerment Sierra Leone, she has worked with other child centred organizations in different capacities.  Lindsay is passionate about empowering girls and giving them the space to thrive in their communities.

Cheryl Acheampong

Project Officer

Cheryl has been GESL's Project Officer since 2018. She has a proven and track record in project management, project coordination, conducting assesment and survey serving in NGO and Government institutions and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History/Sociology at Fourah Bay College. Cheryl B. Acheampong has a strong background working with young women and girls both in politics and development engagement and also has strong passion for women and girls empowerment.

Hannah Conteh

Admin/Finance Coordinator

Hannah Conteh is the Admin and Finace Coordinator of Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone (GESL). Hannah has over ten years of experience managing Finances, Administration and Logistics for Child Protection National NGO's in Sierra Leone. She holds a Degree in Financial Services from the University of Sierra Leone- Institute of Public Administration and Management.

Imran Kamara

Finance Officer

Imran Kamara is a graduate from University of Sierra Leone – Institute of Public Administration and Management with Honors in Applied Accounting, with over 3 years experience in the accounting industry in Sierra Leone. Imran is currently the Accounting Supervisor for the leading cooking gas company in Sierra Leone. He has also been involved in freelance bookkeeping services for start-ups and small businesses in Sierra Leone.  Imran is an alumni of the Young Africa Leaders Initiative, Ghana Accra where he participated in a training on entrepreneurship and business management.

Imran has been working with GESL as a volunteer Finance Officer since May 2017.

Adama Sesay

Project Officer

Adama Sesay joined Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone in April 2019 and she is a project officer. She has experience of working as a field officer, project officer, youth coordinator, team supervisor for 5 years in NGO, Government Institutions and UN. Adama holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Fourah Bay College University of Sierra Leone.

GESL Advisory Board

Rukayah Sarumi

Advisory Board Member

Rukayah is an experienced public policy professional who has acheived measurable outcomes and impact on global, international and national campaigns and public affairs.

Currently working at Save The Children, Rukayah Sarumi is a campaigner and advocacy specialist.

Rukayahis a lifelong Londoner who works on women's maternal and sexual health and rights. A committed community organiser, she is passionate about people, social inclusion and political education. 

Stephanie Filo-Jones

Advisory Board Member

Stephanie is a film and television editor and producer living in Los Angeles, California.

With a deep passion for bringing a voice to social issues and telling stories of the unheard, she spends much of her spare time producing public social action campaigns, primarily focused on the rights of women and girls worldwide.  Some of her notable campaigns include her work with the United Nations, International Labour Organization, and the Obama White House Task Force's It's On Us campaign to combat campus sexual assault.  Her charitable work has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, Telegraph UK, Yahoo, Al Jazeera, XWhy Magazine, and various others.

Stephanie's passion for working with young people has manifested worldwide, from the greater American community through the NFL's charitable programs, to working with Caribbean youth towards youth literacy and leadership, to fighting for girls empowerment and leadership on the African continent.

Stephanie's degree in Journalism/Film and Political Science from the University of Denver allow her to bring a unique communications and branding skillset to GESL.

Mahmoud Koroma

Advisory Board Member

Mahmoud Korma is a development practitioner with a specialization in monitoring, evaluation and gender and a deep knowledge of the MRU regional context. Mahmoud has more than five years of direct experience with capacity development, program development, planning and management.

He is the pioneering Team Lead for Governance, Leadership and Women’s Political empowerment  in Liberia and has led and contributed to a number of studies and evaluations on women in Liberia and their participation in politics and the economy.                                                                                    As a former banker, Mahmoud has very strong financial management, corporate communication and branding skills. He is client oriented towards his work and environment. His last role in the bank was as head of Treasury and International Operations for Skye Bank Sierra Leone Ltd.


Mahmoud is a tourist at heart and enjoys outdoor adventures. He loves to explore new places and communities.


Mahmoud I holds amongst other qualifications, a Bachelor of Social Science Degree in Political Science from Fourah Bay College and an Executive Masters in Business Administration Degree from the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) both in Sierra Leone.

Gillian Macaulay

Advisory Board Member

Gillian has served as a Treasurer with the AWOGA Carolinas chapter and where she was responsible in preparing financial reports; ensure there are strong internal controls and financial policy in place.

Gillian Macaulay is currently a compliance consultant for Wells Fargo Bank. As a compliance consultant she is responsible to ensure that various businesses within the bank stays in compliance with the required regulatory; consult the business on how to effectively manage risks/ maintain adequate policies and evaluate and rate the effectiveness of internal controls. Gillian is currently a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE holder). Outside of work and volunteering, Gillian enjoys cooking, Zumba and spending time with family.

Hennither Gant

Advisory Board Member

*Bio coming soon!


GESL nurtures and enhances the leadership skills of  young girls to become effective advocates and social change agents in their communities.  




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© 2020 Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone. All rights reserved and strongly enforced.

Affiliations and Conflict of Interest Policy 

GESL is a not for profit community-based organization. The members of the Board of Directors, Advisory Board and any Employees as well as Partners of GESL shall avoid political affiliations and conflicts of interest which may suggest the appearance of impropriety on the part of the organization.