The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board (LAB), MsFatmata Claire Carlton-Hancileshashobnobbed with tensof adolescent girls at the event marking the 6th National Girls Empowerment Forum where shelectured younggirls on how to pursue a good career.
The event which took place at the Conference hall of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration building at Government Wharf in Freetowndrew participants from all corners of the country and was organized by Kids Advocacy Network and its partners.
Addressing the adolescent girls on day two of the three-day event, Ms Carlton-Hancilesrecalled herSixth-Form days at the St. Edwards Secondary Schoolas the beginning of her exposure in attending seminars, symposiums, etc just as they are now doing.
She said as young girls they should not restrict themselves from opportunities, noting that there are women who are in medicines, while others are in engineering, law, accounting, etc. She admonished them not to be timid but to have confidence in themselves and to ensure they pursue their dreams.
She urged them to look out for opportunities and not to be selfish butrespectfulto their parents, elders, teachers and above all to be studious and hardworking. She averred that “to be a lawyer, engineer, doctor, etc is very easy but only with hard work, saying without hard work one will achieve absolutely nothing.”
Ms Carlton-Hanciles warned them not to involvein sexual relations, saying early sex will destroy their dreams.She also talked aboutthe amended Sexual Offence Act 2019, saying the new Act is not a respecter of sex or age. She recalled instances where the Board has provided representation for teenage girls charged to court under the new Act.
She said “if you take this little piece of advice, you will progress from one level to the other be it in school, college or the workplace.”
The Legal Aid Board Executive Director concluded by appealing to her audience, not to put monetary issues at the forefront of everything, saying they should have compassion for others.
Other speakers included, Madam HawaSamai, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Advocacy Movement Network (AMNet) and Madam Philomena Yumkella, wife of the leader of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) party, Honourable Dr.KandehKollehYumkella. The session was climaxed by questions and comments from the participants and group photograph.