International Day of the Girl Child is about standing with girls like Isatu so that she can create the future she wants for her daughter. It serves as an important reminder to all of us to examine gender inequality in our own communities and our global community. Tackling these problems won't just benefit girls, it will benefit everyone.
Reducing corruption...would represent a significant and direct benefit for a substantial number of Sierra Leone's people - more money in their pockets, improved access to services that are vital in the literal sense of the word, and the satisfaction of knowing they can be part of the solution to the problem.
In Sierra Leone, fashion designer Jenneh Mason is best known for frocks and fashion shows. She also dreams of public playgrounds, lots of them, dotted all across the country bringing safe places to play for children who are unlikely to have ever seen one, imagined one or even understand the concept of safe play.
The rows of white tents that used to house patients at the Ebola Treatment Centre in the Moyamba District of Sierra Leone have been disinfected and taken away, and the smell of smoke and chlorine that once filled the dusty air has faded... This time last year, the centre was on the frontline of the fight against Ebola.
At the start of the month I returned to Sierra Leone after more than two decades away. As the country of my mother's birth, I spent a lot of time there as a child and my memories centred around the people, their energy and enthusiasm. The civil war and Ebola have undeniably taken their toll on these things in my absence, it certainly hasn't destroyed them.
Ebola no longer makes the headlines, driven out by news of Zika virus and the crisis in Syria. But the terrible legacy of Ebola persists in West Africa, for the survivors who suffer stigma and fear long-term complications, and for all of those who are vulnerable and in need of healthcare at a time when the health system has been brought to its knees.
Schengen in on life support and West African manufacturers should pay close attention. They are already convinced they won't be able to compete with the cheaper, better quality imports, which will be the inevitable result of a forthcoming EU/Africa free trade agreement. For most, exporting to Europe is a distant dream anyway. Increased border restrictions will make it even more unlikely.
The 49 households that make up Massesebe were under lockdown after a man who had travelled to the village from Freetown for the Eid celebrations, died of Ebola. This was the first Ebola case in Tonkolili District in five months. 498 people, including 101 children under five, were quarantined in the village and two people confirmed as being Ebola positive.
In November, Sierra Leone was reporting 550 new cases of ebola every week. Today the number has slowed to seven new cases a week. Just a few weeks ago, the schools reopened. But there is still a long road ahead for Sierra Leone, and the brave women of West Africa who have already endured so much. I hope that next spring these tragic times will all be in the past, and Sierra Leone's future will once again look bright.