Brisu Sesay

  • My Educational Goal:

Considering the fact that I am a woman my educational goal is to be self-reliant and also that I will be able to take good care of my children with or without a husband. Another fact is that I will be free from the disease called illiteracy as there are thousands of women in Africa, especially in Sierra Leone, who are suffering in the hands of their husbands simply because their parents failed to give them education with the claim that a woman does not need education. My future will be secured which means I can go anywhere in the world in search of a job or higher education as long as it is an English speaking country. Even if it is not an English speaking country like French, Spanish, for example, I have the potential to learn.

Lastly my education is not just limited to acquiring a first degree but I want to also get a PHD as I have already done my Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies.

  • My Career Goal:

When I was in high school I wanted to read International Relations. But looking at Sierra Leone as a post war country I saw the need for reading peace and conflict studies. Because if we have like a hundred or more people who are expert in this course the possibility of war repeating itself will be slim.

  • Personal Experience of War:

During the war I was an innocent little girl. The war created fear in my mind because everywhere we went there was a fear that the rebels will soon come to attack. My own bitter experience was in Makeni in the North. The rebels attacked a village, which was five miles away from Makeni. We had no option but to escape. So we walked on foot from Makeni to Port Loko, which is a distance of 62 miles in just two days. I was nine years old then.

The last and final one was in Kenema in the east of Sierra Leone in 1998. There I saw the rebels kill people in front of my own eyes by burning them using tires and petrol, burn houses, and take valuable assets from people. My mother was victim of that and my elder sister was a victim of rape. We had to escape again as we became homeless because the house we occupied was burnt. We walked for another 42 miles from Kenema to Bo in just one day. It took a whole night and morning. It is an event I don't ever want to experience in my life again, for it stilled the joy in me.

  • My Experience in Peace:

It was after the war that I had five years or more of learning without fear of the gun or anyone. It was after the war that I had the opportunity of beginning to think of becoming a peace activist. Now I can sleep in a relaxed manner without jumping off my bed because of the sound of the gun.

So I would like to encourage those who think that for one to achieve something or even have power in the world so many things can be achieved through non-violence, i.e. without the use of force. Mahatma Gandhi, who is a renowned peace scholar, is a typical example for what he did in India with the peace march and the use of salt. Gandhi believed in non-violence and, in the end, he was able to achieve his goal.

So we Africans and the world at large must try to do things that will bring peace and not war for long gone are the days that wars are glorified. There are so many global threats we are now faced with, such as climate change and global warming. Countries should sit back to think of what should be done in order to address these world threats instead of using money for the purpose of war.

  • Community Service Project

This included 10 hours of teaching at the Freetown Secondary School for Girls. Brisu spoke to ten classes on basic human rights and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). She had some girls perform a skit to bring out the positive and negative affects of FGM.

Excerpts from her report...

"The first thing that I learnt was the school-going pupils are ignorant about Human Rights. It is only for those in the liberal art streams that can be able to say something on human rights because of a certain subject that they are offering called Government. But for those in the commercial and science streams they are left out.

I also learnt that when you teach these pupils they can later give very important points that if been listen to, the society might chance. There will be less human rights violations."