Hawa
Yokie

Project: Afforestation

I was born on the 11th July 2000 in Kenema. I started my education at Forum For Africa Women Educationalist (FAWE) and later proceeded to the Holy Rosary Secondary school. I am a women and girl advocate and am one of the Youth Advisory members at Plan international Sierra Leone.

I am currently studying economics at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. I continue with a life mission to end discrimination and promote STEM education among girls. My latest initiative is to establish Leone TechStudio to teach mainly girls STEM subjects, computing, and robotics, whilst familiarising them with coding.

PROJECT

My initiative is planting trees across Freetown. Deforestation has been one of the largest environmental problems that Freetown has faced in the past decade. Before climate change, Freetown enjoyed various weather conditions. In December, for example, we experienced the hamartan breeze but ever since citizens started building up the hills, there has been lot of heat across the city. For me, planting trees across the city will help maintain the best conditions. It can protect the coastal community from severe flooding and storms by slowing the waters strength as it surges on land through the absorption of excess water. Secondly with AFFORESTATION, there will be less of disaster like mudslides and flooding in the city.

On the 24th of August 2019, young women from Benin, Central African Republic, Sudan, Cameroon, Niger, Burundi, Togo, Malawi, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone came together to start the Young African For Planet initiative. The thought of this initiative came about after the Amazon fire and after the recent flooding in Sierra Leone. We, as young women, believe that we are responsive for the environment and have the ability to influence our government to speak on climate related issues. We want to be able to help preserve our rainforest and plant trees. As a representative from Sierra Leone, I want to ensure that trees are planted to avoid mudslides and flooding. To be able to safeguard our forest ecosystem and to raise awareness of the damage deforestation can cause to our environment and to involve young women to provide strategies to help prevent disaster. I want to involve young people, especially women to safeguard our forest ecosystem and raise awareness about deforestation and how to provide strategies to help prevent disasters. Reforestation activities will be one of the solutions to address the problem of deforestation and climate change.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

For as long as I can remember I have been passionate about helping people. Any opportunity to help thrilled me. When I first heard about the climate crisis, I thought it was a hoax and people just wanted to make money out of it. But then I saw how real it was and how it affects Sierra Leone. In the fight against climate change, I want to see Sierra Leone where women play a key role in addressing and handling issues that deal with climate change. Like many other women in Sierra Leone, my mother struggles every single day for water for her family and for her fish business. Changes in the local access to clean water and floods over the past few months have caused huge challenges in our daily lives. We have to walk for miles to be able to get good drinking water. In Sierra Leone, women have to adapt to a number of difficulties caused by a constantly changing climate, and limited or no capacity or exposure for women to take the lead in making decisions that affect their lives.