FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 11 September 2008 West African singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo recently visited a UNICEF-supported girls education project Sierra Leone, where she called for stronger actions to help educate girls and lift them out of poverty.

Ms. Kidjo spoke to a group of young teenage girls in a small village in Bombali District, northern Sierra Leone. Stay in school. You have to change the face of Africa! Ms. Kidjo told them. If you go to school, you help bring your parents out of poverty and become self-empowered.

The girls, who had dropped out of school due to problems related to poverty, child marriage, sexual abuse and exploitation, are members of the Girls Tell Us Forum.

The UNICEF-supported forum explores issues affecting girls both in and out of school and proposes appropriate solutions to increase girls participation in education, including enrolment, better retention and high performance and completion rates.

To read the full story, visit the UNICEF website.

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