Chernor Bah: A global champion for girls’ rights & education

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A leading advocate for global education, a girl champion and development professional, Chernor Bah is currently an Associate at the Population Council, leading a collaborative initiative to provide post-emergency programs for adolescent girls in Sierra Leone. Born and raised in Sierra Leone from humble beginnings, Bah survived the atrocious rebel war in Sierra Leone, and has become a global champion for girls’ rights and education.

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In 2012, he was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General to serve as the Youth Representative on the High Level Steering Committee for the Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative.

From 2012-2015, Bah also served as the Chair of the initiative’s Youth Advocacy Group- leading a dynamic group of young advocates for global education. In these roles, Bah was instrumental in the “IamMalala” campaign and chaired the first Youth Takeover of the United Nations when Malala gave her historic speech to that august body.

Bah was a Co-Founder and Youth Engagement lead at ‘A World at School‘-a digital mobilization and campaign organization for global education- where Bah started and led the Global Youth Ambassador initiative with over 500 young leaders campaigning for education around the world.

Chernor Bah's commitment to girls' rights and education is quite commendable- (Photo/Huffington Post)

Chernor Bah’s commitment to girls’ rights and education is quite commendable- (Photo/Huffington Post)

As a teenager, Bah founded and led the Children’s Forum Network, Sierra Leone’s Children’s Parliament and was an Executive Producer for the ‘Voice of Children Initiative’– leading children and youth participation in his country’s peace building process. Chernor was the first Special Youth Fellow in the Humanitarian Response Unit at United Nations Population Fund and whilst there co-authored a global report “Will you listen; young voices on conflict zones”.

A passionate advocate for girls’ rights and for education, Chernor has championed his causes at the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union and African Union. He has been invited to speak at Harvard, Yale and Columbia Universities among others. He has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, the BBC, Al Jazeera and the Huffington Post.

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In 2014, he received the Women’s Refugee Commission’s Voice of Courage Award and the Population Council’s Ideas with Impact Award for his global efforts on behalf of girls, children and youth affected by disaster. In 2015, Plan Sierra Leone recognized him as a Celebrity Writer and Life Champion for Girls Empowerment and Education’. On March 5, 2016, Bah was awarded the Illuminessence Honorary Guy Who Gets It Award at the Illuminessence National Women Awards in Sierra Leone.

Bah holds a Masters Degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelors Degree from the University of Sierra Leone.

Grace Kargobai is the Founder of Illuminating Ladies, a global network of Illuminessence ambassadors, facilitated on WhatsApp. She is a graduate of Njala University with a major in Environmental Management and Quality Control. Her hobbies are writing, talking, singing and dancing.

1 Comment



    February 21, 2017 at 4:11 am

    I have recently developed an interest in this matter of girls and an education and the freedom to chose the path of her life. This is the poem that inspired me:

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