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Isata, a new leader

Meet Isata

Getting children involved in student committees and councils is an important part of the work we do in education. It’s invaluable leadership training for all students, but especially for girls – like 14-year-old Isata from Sierra Leone.

She tells us:

“For a long time I wanted to be a leader in my school. During the second term of this year, teachers announced that we were going to hold elections for student president. I felt shivers down my spine. I accepted that my turn to lead the school had come.

“Four of us vied for the position – two girls and two boys – and we were supported by Plan in developing our campaigns. I was worried that students might not vote for girls. I thought about asking my female counterpart to step down and support me, but then I had a dream where a voice told me to have confidence, to feel strong and face the challenge.

“The very next day each of the candidates read their manifesto to the school. After my turn, my classmates cheered and they gave me new hope for my campaign.

“The day of voting came. It was a totally new day in my life when the results were read out and I won by a wide margin, with the other girl coming in second. I realized my dream, and I felt so fulfilled. We proved to everyone that what boys can do, girls can do too, and even better. Together, we are taking our school to new heights, and it has inspired me to work and study hard so that I can become a Member of Parliament one day.”

Return to the Because I am a girl project