Education & Economic Empowerment

We believe that change can only come about for women in Sierra Leone if they receive education and economic empowerment. Women in Sierra Leone are disadvantaged on many levels, but a core one remains education. It is rare for girls to continue school beyond primary level, with just 9.5% of women receiving secondary school education and above.

This poor educational attainment creates a huge vulnerability and unhealthy reliance on men, who are more often than not better educated.

AdvocAid seeks to stop the cycle of illiteracy by delivering literacy classes to women in detention, providing women with stronger prospects and a brighter future upon release. These classes are delivered by our educational partner, EducAid. We run three classes per week for the different literacy levels, on a termly basis, with a graduation upon completion.

AdvocAid has installed a library in Freetown Male Correctional Centre and is providing support to the library in the Freetown Female Correctional Centre so that women can further learn and develop whilst serving sentences or waiting (often months) for their case to be heard at court.

Alongside literacy, AdvocAid supports women’s aspirations to further and better themselves upon release. We do this via the delivery of vocational training and business skills training sessions for women.

A common job for women in Sierra Leone is that of petty trading, being a fish monger or market stall holder. By equipping women with stronger business skills, we’re endeavoring to make them more successful upon release, and less likely to run into conflict with the law.

 Being illiterate is tantamount to blindness. You have eyes but cannot see and most certainly you cannot understand basic events around you. Thanks, to this class I can now see. Today, I can spell, count and even read. I am so grateful to AdvocAid.
 Level 2 student serving a seven year sentence.


As a child I was sent to primary school but never took it seriously and so dropped out at class 2. But today, I can count and spell my name. I can even write and when I’m released I can help my children with their homework.
 Level 1 student serving a five year sentence in prison


I went to school and stopped at JSS 3. Initially, I had negative perception of the class and thought I knew everything and so did not want to be a part of the class. Reluctantly, after several attempts at convincing me to enroll by the teacher I agreed to give it a chance. I soon learned that it was fun and it helped reduce my stress. I have learned a lot of things I did not know before. I would like to seize this opportunity to plead to AdvocAid and their partners to help provide more books and materials for us. We need a library as some of us are well educated and could read novels, text books and the likes.
 Level 3 student serving a 15 year sentence


As well as Education and Economic Empowerment, we run a Supporting Detainees programme.