A woman with a voice is by our definition a powerful force in society. It is not common to find such voices and the search can be remarkably difficult. Some people live their entire lives without speaking up for what they believe in.  In other instances, an individual will take a long time to develop a voice, once they do, they are determined to not remain silent. In our latest interview, we caught up with one such leader; Alice Nenneh James.

Alice Nenneh James is a passionate and results oriented personality, a programme specialist, fundraiser, and feminist. She has time and again proven that she has top- notch skills, working with local groups and assisting them to form coalitions/networks around issues of accountable governance.

Through this heartwork, Alice has supported communities, government, civil society organizations and colleagues to develop actions that help them to recognize and develop their abilities and potentials in organizing themselves to respond to shared problems and needs.

Her dedication has seen the establishment of active communities that control and use their assets to promote social justice and help improve the quality of community life.  Alice says her experience working in Sierra Leone during the 10 years rebel war as a humanitarian and project officer, has helped her cultivate a great sense of courage. It has also influenced her levels of focus and contributed to the development of a dynamic leadership style. One that she says is based on people’s management in multinational and diverse settings,utilizing unique strategies, optimization of time and resources with a goal to get work done as a team.

Currently, she serves as Senior Progamme Advisor – Purposeful is an Africa-rooted global hub for girls activism, funding and resourcing young feminists to transform the world with and for girls!

Previously she serves as head of programmes at FoRUT an organisation that aims to empower men, women, and children to fight poverty, corruption, injustice, alcohol and drug abuse, through social mobilization, advocacy, capacity building, and provision of services for long term development.

Prior to this she served as Programme Manager at the British Council in Sierra Leone; an organisation that commits itself to ensuring that there is no unjustified discrimination in the recruitment, retention, training and development of staff, partners, and communities based on age, disability, gender including transgender, HIV/AIDS status, marital status including civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity or political opinion.

The years preceeding this, she was the regional manager for the Northern Regional Programme (NRO) for ActionAid Sierra Leone. Other roles include serving as the Bombali District manager, HIV and AIDS Coordinator and women’s right focal person. Alice also worked with Action Aid Sierra Leone for nearly fifteen years both at national and local level.

She holds a Bachelor of ARTS from Fourah Bay College (Geography), a Master of Science degree in Public Health from the University of East London – UK and Master of Science in Strategic Human Resource at the University of Roehampton,UK. Alice has been working in the field of human rights, with over 20 years of vast experience and knowledge working on Gender particularly women’s rights issues (programming, budgeting, auditing, and results-based accountability), within this period she has accquired a wealth of results-based skills and experience in human rights-based programming, people’s management, and resource mobilization.

What Feminism Means to Me

Matters around the subject feminism doesn’t really sit well with some people in our society, they think those who propagate feminism are hoping for rights that can never be achieved. For Alice it’s not the same story, according to her she has received 90% positivity when sharing feminisim related content on her growing you- tube channel. She attributes 10% criticism received towards improvement in the background, noise, and lighting system particularly with some of the earlier videos.

In dealing with negative feedback, she says she has always tried to reply to comments, whether it’s positive, negative, or neutral.  She believes that maintaining public relations is a must for brand building. As it helps a budding influencer connect better with followers.

“Monitoring each mention and comment is necessary even though sometimes I let some negative feedback slide.”

Running a brand like hers requires lots of effort, dedication with a cooperative team, getting these elements in sync and together at the same time isn’t always an easy task.

Alice shared with Ariana Diaries how she managed to pull this together. She said “My video series is everything about and for women. My topmost priorities are – ending all forms of violence against women – conversations on policies and legislatures that advances and protects women – developing actions and finding solutions for the improvements of the lives of women. I spend up to 12 hours every week to prepare my videos, uploading, checking, and responding to comments. For now, I don’t have a dedicated team that I work with, but I am thankful to my kids for providing the support for me as and when needed.”

Success stories serves as source of motivation for business owners. Alice is happy about the impact her initiative has had on women. Especially helping them to bring their voices to fore. And bringing those who are contributing positively to the society to the lime light. Everyone who starts a business/ initiative wants to see it grow, same goes to Alice.

When we asked her what her big dream was? She said : “My next steps are to go bigger by getting A television and radio platform. Hosting my own talk shows that would amplify women’s voices. Work on more community outreach and mentoring.”

Like we always do, we ask entrepreneurs about their role models, or those who inspires them.
For Alice her role models are courageous women who have paved the way for others to tread on. women who consciously or unconsciously dismantled patriarchy in the world today.

Written by: arianadiaries

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