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Mrs. Amie Sherrif Sangarie
An ideal Role-model is one who embodies the characteristics of honesty, dedication, inspiration, education  and motivation, one whose life is worthy of emulation and admiration! By this brief I introduce to you our 21st century role model from Sierra Leone: Mrs Amie Sherriff Sangarie, a personality that marks the difference with an unassuming disposition.

Thrilling in her 30's! Amie was Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s burgeoning capital but had a deep rooted childhood in Kenema Eastern Sierra Leone where  she grew up as a promising young girl, little wonder did she become that assumed dream. Growing up in an extended Family, Amie recalls how  she was motivated by the likes of  her Mother and the multitudes of illiterate woman who continue to toil daily with the expectations of life despite grand obstacles. She believes that the resilience of these women ignited her dreams of working towards human dignity.

Like many Sierra Leoneans, her life and education was interrupted by the war in Sierra Leone which started in 1991. When she was in her early 20’s, Amie left her home country for the United Kingdom and continued her education up until she completed her Masters Degree in International Development. During the course of her study in the UK, Amie hobnobbed with a host of female global icons, most notably Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, Kenya’s Wangari Mathaai, Liberia’s Leyma Gbowee and Sierra Leone’s Aminata Fornah. These Women had considerable influence on her life, especially in reinforcing her beliefs in the preservation of human dignity, sustainability of peace and security, access to good health care,  good governance and the rule of law.  

Her passion to give back is worthy of commendation; during the heat of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Amie returned home to lend a help in the fight against the virus. She dared to leave safety and comfort abroad, risking it all for the benefit of her people! More importantly, for the sake of humanity and for the love of her country, she volunteered herself with no strings attached. Amie organized campaigns directed at healthy precaution methods and proffered solutions to the prevention and control of the virus. When asked about what passion motivated her to come back to Sierra Leone, she articulately says:
 “My current involvement in the fight against the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone brings me closer to my humble past - reigniting memories of the influence that communal living had on me and the desire to help others. When I go out in the field to support communities and children whose lives have been affected by Ebola, I get a sense of rewarding, of bringing smiles back to the faces of our compatriots who have endured a lot and still hold hopes for a better future amidst a challenging environment. When I look back, I realize that my story might not be completely different from theirs – the war, the displacement, the trauma and hope of one day giving back to society” 

There is opulence in her career, presently, she is an Ebola Response coordinator working for the Catholic Relief Services. She is involved in coordinating impact assessment, Social mobilization, psychosocial and trauma counseling, all geared towards getting zero on Ebola and initiating post Ebola recovery. Her formula for advancement is the combination of hard work and education to promote development. In a male chauvinistic society like Sierra Leone, Amie has flared in the face of criticism, of resentment and apprehension most from cow boys who are sensitive to female ingenuity. 

I came to know Amie through a group on Facebook, she had posted a topic that caught my attention and we debated on it. This enduring conversation brought out her communicative competence that was unmatched by many of her age. Upon further viewing of her profile, I fell in awe of  her intellectual taste! She is a quintessential role-model for her generation, she towers the world trade center in articulating the aspirations of human dignity and  sustainable development especially in Africa! It behooves me to end this dedication to her with something she recently wrote:
"The kids I see on a daily basis roaming the streets might be written off as a lost generation. But their travails give me inspiration to work hard for human dignity – the desire to make the world a better place.  I might not be alone in this adventure. And certainly will never be. But we all can look back at our past – however terrible it was – and draw inspiration from it to make society a better place to live" 

By Sulaiman B. Sowa


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