The First Lady of Sierra Leone, Fatima Bio, on Saturday launched the Miss Sierra Leone Foundation at the Cape Light House, Aberdeen. The foundation will organize and support beauty contest and any fashion related activity that shares the same interest of Miss Sierra Leone Pageant.
Funds will be raised through government and non-governmental institutions, international and local donors. The foundation is also intended to be able to raise fund for sponsorship to Miss World as well as other international pageants and for training and development of girls in this country.
Launching the foundation, the First Lady called on every well-meaning Sierra Leonean to support this year’s Miss Sierra Leone Beauty contest “because I believe that you would be supporting and contributing to a very important sector in the country…” she said. “When you have a beauty queen you would be looking at promotion, education, tourism. The beauty Queen is going to be a face to promote and represent Sierra Leone. She is an ambassador and I think we are going to change the way Miss Sierra Leone is being treated in this country,” the First Lady added.
This year, the First Lady said, “what I’m going to do is stay in the back and let the Minister of Tourism, Minister of Gender and the Minister of youth come onboard… if we have three ministries supporting the Miss Sierra Leone 2018, believe you me, that’s the new direction.”
The Minister of Tourism Memunatu Pratt, remarked: “…for us at the Ministry of tourism we see this event as very important in contributing to our work especially internationally.” She explained, “tourism means different things, different people, different activities, amongst these activities it has to deal with showcasing Sierra Leone’s culture, fashion and things which can make people learn about our country and also to increase our visibility and make Sierra Leone a very attractive destination.”
Giving a background about Miss Sierra Leone, Adonis Abboud, chairman of the Foundation, said Miss Sierra Leone is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001. He said the last two pageants were not held because of the Ebola outbreak and the mudslide. Mr Abboud however revealed that this year’s pageant would take place at the Bintumani auditorium on August 25th. He said this pageant would be different from others because there are going to be 16 districts represented instead of the usual 14. “This industry is often seen as an industry for dropout girls; however this foundation is intended to encourage girls in a way to help sponsor them in schooling so that we encourage them to come into the industry,” he said.