Phill with Umu, Little Umu's baby Paulina and Aunty
WHAT IS THE UMU FOUNDATION?
The Umu Foundation (T.U.F) is a fund raising arm established to help talented young women realise their true potential through higher education.
The driving force behind T.U.F is Umu, a young woman from Sierra Leone. As a child Umu was taken captive by the rebels in the civil war. She survived and despite it all, has determinedly followed her dream to fight for women's rights, rights she believes, she has never had.
T.U.F is helping young women like Umu in Sierra Leone because put simply, they need help. According to UNICEF 90% of females there have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Nearly 50 percent of girls marry before age 18 and many become pregnant much younger. In 2013 more than 25 percent of 15 to 19 year old girls in Sierra Leone were pregnant or had children. Many are victims of sexual violence, rape often goes unpunished and women's rights are ignored .
Helping Umu is helping the fight for women's rights in Sierra leone.
Umu has the ability, commitment and determination to lead and create change in the future but needs our help in the present.
Umu has lead us to this place and along the way she has taught us how we can, directly help her and the many other young talented women like her.
Education is the key to breaking out of the poverty cycle.
T.U.F has been established to provide further education for young, talented women that have a determination and vision for their future but are unable to fulfil their potential due to lack of finances.
As we have done with Umu, T.U.F will give funds raised directly to the nominated girls on a month by month basis.
The girls will self manage the funds and where possible expenses will be receipted and everything will be transparent and although primarily for education the funds will also contribute to basic necessities of life. For example, Umu's aunty is in her 70's and lives in the village, traditionally Umu would stay in the village, tend house and work the land. T.U.F gives a minimal amount of money for Aunty which allows Umu to further her education whilst fulfilling her family responsibilities.
My family has supported Umu and her family for the past 8 years but as Umu prepares for University, financially it has become more than we can manage alone. It is time now for us to share Umu's story in the hope that together we can continue to help her and others like her.
By giving Umu money directly, we have enabled her to manage her studies and support herself and her family.
Umu is the start and we hope the first of many girls we can help. Your contribution will help to make it happen.