The Chronicle Gambia

An Activist’s Personal Journey to Empower and Inspire Girls

Aji Isatou Saho is a human rights activist advocating for children, women and youth. Her career was borne out of her long passion and desire for positive change.

Aji treasures her ability to work in a team with strong interpersonal, communication and good lobbying skills. This has made her successful even when working in challenging and stressful environments. “I am a strong-willed and friendly person who loves networking,” she says.

Aji’s leadership stars started rising in 2013 at a leadership training organised by NGO Think Young Women (TYW). At the training, she led a group of girls to interact with prominent Gambian activists like Njundu Drammeh, Satang Nabaneh, Sait Mati Faye and Aisha Keita. “From that moment, my curiosity about TWY grew.”

Aji Saho mentoring TYW girls

In 2014, TYW organized a National Youth Forum on FGM. Aji applied to be part of the organising committee and she was selected. The forum helped broaden her understanding of FGM and its impact on the live and livelihood of a woman. Two years later, she got a job with TYW as finance officer and rose through the ranks to become admin officer and now program officer.

“It’s a very inclusive organization which empowered those who went through FGM and child marriage,” she says of TYW.

At a personal level, the skills Aji acquired from TYW helped her beat an anger problem. “It was a great deal for me. I used to have anger management issues. I now realise I am in control of my feelings and emotions, whatever my state of mind.”

Aji has a vast experience working in communities and because of that, she understands how to get people together on the same platform to discuss even sensitive issues relevant to their lives. Today, her passions include designing and implementing programmes and activities for local communities.

“Serving as a mentor to girls in the Girls Mentorship Programme has been a beautiful journey for me, especially the recent batch that graduated last month.”

Her personal goal is to continue to inspire girls and empower them with skills and knowledge to be responsible and independent.

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