Media Matters for Women at the Paris Peace Forum

The Media Matters for Women team showcased our female-owned aquaculture project at the annual Paris Peace Forum. The fish farm, which was supported by the World Bank and the Skills Development Fund Sierra Leone, provides significant new sources of nutrition to address food insecurity in the village of Kamalenka, a last-mile community in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone. The fish ponds have drastically improved access to fish: 84% of villagers are now eating fish from the ponds.

The Media Matters for Women team at the Paris Peace Forum (from left to right): Delia Perez-Paya, Madeline MacKenzie, Lisa Sebree, Alinah Kallon, Ndeamoh Mansaray and Sharon Bylenga.

Our MMW team came from across the world to attend the forum and share the insights we have gained from a year of managing this aquaculture project. The forum provided an excellent opportunity to speak with stakeholders across all sectors including government, private and non-profit representatives from countries such as South Korea to Brazil. We shared the stories of last-mile Sierra Leonean women, whose voices regularly go unheard.

Media Matters for Women Senior Journalist Alinah Kallon spoke about the fish farm during a panel discussion at the Paris Peace Forum.

Alinah Kallon, our Senior Journalist for the Northern Province and the project leader for the fish farm, spoke on a panel that discussed “Women as Catalysts for Agricultural Resilience.” Kallon joined female leaders within the agricultural field from Morocco, Indonesia, Nepal, China, and Spain in a riveting conversation about the innovations rural farmers have generated to respond to the business barriers they face. Specifically, Kallon raised the transportation problems women face in Sierra Leone, where many of the roads are in such terrible condition, only motorbikes are able to travel them.

At the MMW exhibition table (left to right) are Alinah Kallon, Ndeamoh Mansaray and Memory Kachambwa, executive director of Femnet, which amplifies women’s voices in Africa.

The MMW team left the conference invigorated, especially by the many conversations with community leaders who were facing similar challenges, and was inspired by the multi-sectoral solutions presented at the forum. The team made excellent connections that will help to serve the aquaculture project, particularly with a focus on making it a viable business to bring economic independence to the women of Kamalenka.

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