Eunice Naffie Mustapha is a 21-year-old female Sierra Leonean that has been championing kids and youth issues in her country since she was a teenager.
Eunice started her advocacy in 2015 after the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, as she was motivated by the desire to promote the empowerment of kids and youth in her country. In 2015, she was awarded an Orange Belt in her school for excellent performance and she was made the President of Children’s Forum Network-The Annie Walsh Memorial School branch (A Child Led Organization).
A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
During her days as President, she championed the weekly engagement of girls at her school wherein prevalent issues affecting girls in Sierra Leone such as teenage pregnancy, child marriage, sexual penetration, poverty etc., were discussed. This platform contributed to the lives of many girls in taking control of their developments, as it was a peer-to-peer education. Eunice also coordinated the donation of items to kids that were flood victims in 2015 and 2017. Her humanitarian tendencies extended to the organization of Christmas parties for less privileged kids in 2015, 2016 and 2018 in order to bring smiles to their faces. In 2016, she was made the Head Girl of The Annie Walsh Memorial School.
She was identified by The Former Office of the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Her. Excellency Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma. Eunice’s passion for promoting girls’ empowerment earned her a space at The First Lady’s National Girls’ Camp in 2015. At the camp, she performed excellently which led to her being appointed as a Marshal in 2016 and 2017 to serve as an inspirational force to other girls.
At age 18, Eunice decided to start a youth led organization to promote patriotism among young Sierra Leoneans. She founded Emerald Leadership Initiative African Network (ELI AFRICA) to serve as a youth voice in Sierra Leone. This organization has a focus of promoting education, entrepreneurship; curtailing of gender-based violence and the promotion of access to sexual reproductive health education. Through this organization, she has championed the organization of advocacy trainings, summit, media programs, community and school outreaches etc. She believes that neither age, nor gender should be a barrier to creating positive impacts in society.
She also started Sierra Talents Explosion aimed at promoting the skills of kids and youths in order to enhance self-reliance. ‘Young Africans are talented and if they could tap into their gifts, mama Africa will benefit greatly from her little gems’, Eunice.
During the 2018 elections and with tribal personality attacks, Eunice started the Zero Tolerance for Tribalism and Regionalism campaign. The campaign was a message of unity among youths, thereby preaching against divides based on tribal differences. According to her,’ in order for a nation to grow, the people have to be united, patriotism should triumph over tribalism’.
Eunice has represented Sierra Leone in International platforms in Kenya (African Health Agenda International Youth Pre-Conference and Conference 2017), Senegal (AfriYAN’s Restructuring Meeting) and Ethiopia (Gender is My Agenda Campaign 2017). She believes that Africa has the required human resource grown into a crown continent and she believes in the unity of Africa. It is worthy of note that she represented the Law Department in the Inter-Departmental Debate held last year. She also served as a Judge in the ‘National Storytelling Festival’ held in 2018 by Patriotic Advocacy Network.
She is a creative writer and her articles always leave readers thrilled, craving for more. Eunice is The Co-Founder of Nafisa Magazine, which is an online magazine that gives power to youth voice. She’s currently supervising the implementation of Project ‘ELI GIRLS’ NETWORK’ under Salone Adolescent Girls’ Network in 3 schools in Freetown, which is a mentorship program for young girls.
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
She is a Final Honors 1 Law student at Fourah Bay College- University of Sierra Leone. She believes in unity, freedom and justice. She has won awards such as, Female youth advocate of the year 2016 (Voice of Children SLBC and Activists on Point), Honor in Recognition of Valuable Contributions in Serving Humanity in Sierra Leone (Thorough Empowerment, Education and Development for Women and Girls in Africa), National Child Development Award for Excellent Service to Children in Sierra Leone (Kids Advocacy Network). To crown it all, she was recently listed among the 50 Most Influential Sierra Leonean Women at just age 21.
Her life’s mission is to champion issues detrimental to the growth and development of kids and youths through all available means including community outreaches, media engagements and other forms of engagements.
She says ‘My source of strength is waking up every day knowing that I have a duty of serving humanity’.
HOW SHE DEFINES SUCCESS?
Success for me has to do with feeling complete. Living a life full of love, peace, happiness, Godliness and accomplishments.
WORDS OF WISDOM ON LEADERSHIP
1. Humility: Because as a leader you’ll be serving. One should learn to avoid taking excessive pride when occupying positions. What you do and whom you are should coincide. The inner you shouldn’t feel like you are above everyone else. When a leader is humble he/she tends to connect with subjects easily.
2. Godliness: We are all not perfect in God’s sight; however, we should never forget that God’s the author of every destiny. With Him in the boat, one will go far in life.
3. Patience: It’s tied to focus, consistent hard work and perseverance. This helps a leader to mount countless staircases.
SHE WOULD LOVE TO MEET :
At first I admired her from a distance but after reading her book ‘Becoming’ I fell in love with her personality. She’s humble, intelligent, caring etc. The personality never changed even when she became the first lady of USA.
Hawa Samai: She’s one of the women in Sierra Leone that you can talk to easily. Hawa Samai is extremely friendly and a motherly figure ever so willing to advise. She’s easy to connect to. When my journey effectively started, she believed in me and supported me.