Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Fatima Maada is the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone. She can be best described as a philanthropist and activist that exemplifies bravery, intelligence and servant leadership, as evident in the massive feats she continues to record in her humanitarian interventions and official work in her home country in particular and the African continent at large.
She is a Bachelor Degree holder in Performing Arts from the Roehampton Institute of London, and also in graduate in Journalism from the University of Arts, London College of Communication.
In 2022, she was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the American International University in West Africa, in recognition of her outstanding humanitarian and philanthropic interventions across the globe.
At the tender age of 10, Mrs. Maada narrowly escaped child marriage; an occurrence that later served as an inspiration for her activism and philanthropy by the time she turned 16. She relocated to London where she pursued her passion for charity work and providing support to women and vulnerable children.
Motivated by Pan-Africanist ideals, Mrs. Maada has led and successfully delivered on several gender, charitable and child welfare campaigns even before she ascended into the Office of the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone on April 4, 2018.
As Sierra Leone’s First Lady, her historic development expedition started in December 2018 when she led a strategic peaceful protest march against the menace of child abuse. This impactful anti-rape and anti-early marriage campaign marked the beginning of her flagship Hands Off Our Girls campaign. The campaign brought together First Ladies from various African countries, who flew in and participated in the historic procession through major streets in the Freetown capital.
Three years later, the Hands Off Our Girls campaign is arguably the biggest and most impactful child rights crusade that led to a Presidential Declaration of a National Emergency on Rape and Sexual Violence in February 2019, which culminated in the review and strengthening of the Sexual Offences Act in September 2019, among several other reforms.
Dr. Fatima Maada also launched the Free Sanitary Pads project for school going girls in December 2019 as an offspring of the Hands Off Our Girls campaign and to complement the Free Quality Education Initiative introduced by the Government of Sierra Leone. The sanitary pads programme has witnessed a significant reduction in the number of girls skipping school, while at the same time intensifying public education on menstrual sanitation.
Presently, the First Lady is constructing an ultra-modern hospital, a Centre of Excellence and an Administrative Block at the 34 Military Hospital in Freetown. She is determined to make the 34 Military Hospital, which was established in 1934, one of the best in Africa in terms of quality, accessible and affordable health service delivery.