“I have always believed in complimenting the efforts of existing organizations that work to promote the rights and welfare of women/children, as well as sustaining peace across the country. Hence, I thought it necessary to assist those organizations with the little experience I have, rather than establishing another organization with the same goals. Young advocates need to avoid duplication of effort.”
Sise Sawaneh was born in the Upper River Region of The Gambia – Garawol, as the 7th of her mother’s eight children. She hails from Serahule – one of the eight tribes in the Gambia. Despite being born to a pious and cultural minded family, Sise counts it as a blessing to have parents that believe strongly in educating the girl child. Before she was enrolled to acquire knowledge in western education, she was sent with her sisters to an Arabic school ‘Muhadinurr’ Islamic school. Thereafter, she proceeded to Ndow’s Comprehensive Nursery School. She graduated from Senior Secondary School in 2011 and later proceeded to Information Formation Personnel Navigant Cabin (IFPNC) in Dakar, Senegal to pursue a certificate in Aviation as an Air Hostess.
Growing up in a country where Journalists are not given the freedom of expression, our Super Girl was driven by the belief that she could effect a positive change as a Journalist, through advocacy. This strong belief led her to lay aside a career in the Aviation sector in order to venture into Journalism. Today, Ms Sawaneh is an Award- Winning journalist and an activist in the Gambia known for her lead stance and strong advocacy in ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Child Marriage and other harmful practices that affect the growth and well-being of the girl child.
As a survivor of FGM at only two weeks old, Sise uses Journalism to advocate widely against FGM across The Gambia due to its devastating effects. Through her radio program and Newspaper articles, she has co-created a dynamic platform to amplify the voices and stories of other FGM survivors in her country. This and other accelerated efforts largely contributed to the pronouncement on the ban of FGM in November 2015 by the President of The Gambia, Sheikh Professor Dr Alhagie Yahya AJJ Jammeh.
Impressively, young and passionate Sise currently serves as the Media Ambassador of The Girl Generation, Board member of the Serahule Youth Development Organization, Youth Empowerment Officer of the Peace Ambassadors (Gambia), and the 2nd Vice-President of the Sport Journalists Association, Gambia. In her advocacy cum journalism work, she has also worked with international organizations such as the West Africa Civil Society Forum, ECOWAS Early Warning, West Africa Youth Camp, UNAOC and Africa Youth Commission among others.
At present, Ms Sawaneh works with the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) in the Newsroom Department. As the only female journalist from her village (Garawol), she has embraced a mandate to create more awareness about girl child education and its attendant benefits, as opposed to child marriage.
Sise loves travelling, making new friends, playing lawn tennis, reading, engaging in research, and hanging out with friends.
We are proud of Sise’s strong dedication to girls’ rights advocacy. We wish her only the best in all her endeavors!