Chernor Bah receives ‘The Voice of Courage Award’
Education campaigner and A World at School Global Youth Ambassador Chernor Bah has been awarded the Voice of Courage Award by the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York. The event took place on Thursday 1st of May where Meryl Streep and Liv Ullman spoke, as well as Malala Yousafzai who presented the award to Chernor via video.
Chernor Bah’s childhood was exposed to chaos brought about by the civil war in Sierra Leone, which started when he was 6 years old. To escape the fighting, he and his family were displaced countless times between 1992 and 2001, fleeing to displaced camps in Sierra Leone and refugee camps in neighbouring Guinea. Motivated by his difficult experiences, Chernor became a renowned peace activist by the age of 15, setting up the Children’s Forum Network to advocate for children’s rights and participation.
Chernor first set up the Children’s Forum Network as the first national children’s organisation in Sierra Leone, with the aim to advocate for children’s rights and participation in the peace-making and peace-building efforts. As national president of this organisation, he travelled all over the country, soliciting the input of children in displaced camps, ex-child combatant interim care centres, schools and war-afflicted communities. At the age of 15, he was invited by the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, during its thematic hearings, to make a presentation on the impact of the war on children and to make recommendations for the future.
As well as the work Chernor does for A World at School he serves as the Chair of the Global Education first initiative’s Youth Advocacy Group— a network of 15 outstanding youth leaders from around the world who are mobilizing other young people and leading international advocacy on education. Chernor has since worked for the UN Population Fund and Nike Foundation, among others.
To read more about Chernor’s inspiring story from the slums of Sierra Leone to the corridors of power at the UN Click Here
For further information on the 25th anniversary of Women’s Refugee Commission event Click Here